Take five: how top business and trading pros relax

If those trading charts have got you feeling wound up, grab yourself a cup of tea and read on to find out how some of the top trading, investing and entrepreneurial powerhouses kick back and relax.

You might think you can’t afford to take time out – but giving yourself a chance to reflect and recharge those batteries is vital for business success. So here are some well-endorsed techniques for relaxing and rejuvenating…

Branson likes a hot bath and a cup of tea

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 14.17.46They do say simple pleasures are the essence of life, and apparently no matter how many billions you have in the bank, there’s nothing like a good old cup of tea and a soak in the tub.

Virgin founder Richard Branson is worth an estimated $4.6 billion but shuns fancy relaxation techniques in favour of two old fashioned cures for a stressful day. He says: “When things are hectic, I find a good English cup of tea rejuvenating, and after a long day of business travel and meetings, a hot, relaxing bath can make a big difference.”

Get involved: If it’s good enough for Branson… Stock up on Tea Pigs tea bags for those stressful moments – opt for relaxing chamomile or make like Branson and keep it simple with their everyday brew. And fill your bath with Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Bath Oil to clear your mind. Bliss!

Draghi heads for the great outdoors

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 11.58.52As the head of the European Central Bank and the 9th most powerful person in the world, we imagine Mario Draghi finds himself in stressful situations more often than most.

So for a bit of time out, Draghi likes to swap his desk for the hills – hiking and mountain climbing are his hobbies of choice. You’d be excused for wondering whether scrambling up a mountainside in the middle of nowhere can be all that relaxing, but compared to maintaining financial unity across the Euro zone’s 17 countries, it’s probably a walk in the park. And it’ll certainly blow the cobwebs away…

Get involved: From quad biking and gorge walking to coasteering and river bugging (no, we’d never heard of it either…) we’ve got 10 outdoor activities to try that are sure to take your mind off your trailing stops.

Sandberg swears by a good night’s sleep

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 14.08.31Forget burning the midnight oil – Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says the key to managing her stress levels is making sure she gets enough sleep. She admits: “For many years the way I thought I would get everything done was to get less sleep.”

But she now makes a conscious effort to get enough shut eye. And Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post and the 52nd most powerful woman in the world, agrees, remarking that: “When I look back, all my biggest mistakes were when I was burned out. Life would have been incredibly easier if I’d been getting enough sleep.”

Get involved: For the best night’s sleep in London, choose the Montcalm London Marble Arch – they have a sleep concierge service designed to provide a restful night, with a pillow menu, bedtime snacks, room aromas and relaxing music. And for a good night’s sleep at home, give This Works Sleep Plus pillow spray a go – it’s clinically proven to help you nod off.

Warren Buffett takes time to think

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 14.11.09There are no packed calendars or back-to-back meetings in the schedule of the most successful investor of the 20th century. Warren Buffett, the third wealthiest person in the world, takes a more relaxed approach to his corporate life, and claims that 80% of his working day is spent reading and thinking.

He doesn’t have a computer or mobile phone in his office, and opted to set up camp in Ohama because he finds it easier to keep perspective in a place where he is undisturbed by “irrelevant factors” and “the noise generally of business investments”.

Okay, your boss might not like you to go around claiming you spend 80% of your time thinking instead of doing – but taking a few minutes here and there to relax, reflect on your progress and regroup your thoughts can help you keep a clear head and stop stress from clouding your judgement.

Get involved: If you think your day is too packed to squeeze even a minute’s reflection, instead of rushing out of the office at the end of the day, let the rush hour traffic dwindle while you take a few minutes to organise your desk and your thoughts and enjoy the peace and quiet of the empty office.

Google make time for fun

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 12.15.58Lucky Google employees don’t have to leave the office for their relaxation time – they have thinking booths, hammocks, relaxation rooms filled with loungers and fish tanks, recreation rooms with pool tables, table football and video games, a slide to get from floor-to-floor, a library, movie room and massage rooms at their disposal.

Google’s philosophy is that by giving employees time to allow their minds to wander “out of the box”, creativity thrives. When engaging in relaxing tasks, they are able to think more freely and come up with creative ideas. Apparently, some of Google’s more innovative products including AdSense and Google Suggest were born out of the 20% relaxation time Google employees enjoy as part of their working day.

Get involved: Okay, most employers probably aren’t going to be particularly chuffed if you rock up with a pool table in tow tomorrow morning. But for some less distracting ways to make your office a more relaxing and enjoyable place to be, check out the Best Office Equipment and Gadgets (a Phantom Keystroker would definitely help lighten up a stressful day…)

Let us know what you do to unwind by tweeting us @LFXKatie and @LittlefishFX.

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