Fighting fatigue top topic at women in insurance conference

How focusing on the journey, less on the results, can lead to less anxiety at work

Fighting fatigue top topic at women in insurance conference

Diversity & Inclusion

By Desmond Devoy

Feeling the fatigue?

Who isn’t?

There may be any number of reasons why you are feeling it, but there are also ways to combat it too.

“Setting boundaries to make yourself a priority,” recommends Abby Bellgrau, executive underwriter, AmTrust, who will be taking part in the panel discussing “Fighting Fatigue – How to Remain on Top of Your Game, at the Women in Insurance Summit at the W Chicago City Center Hotel on May 11. “So, whether it be taking 10 minutes to take a walk or do a quick meditation or stretch or do whatever brings you joy, that’s going to make you feel better. I think that’s important because the work is always there.”

Stepping aside, even for a few minutes, “certainly re-energizes me to then refocus when I get back,” she said.

This is Bellgrau’s first time taking part in a panel. “I’ve attended quite a few of these,” usually in women in insurance-specific events, she said. “I’ve witnessed a lot of panels before,” like one earlier this year in New York, “but I’ve not actually participated in one so I feel very honoured and excited about it.”

Bellgrau is part of a woman’s network at AmTrust and has taken part in internal Google training.

“One of the most recent workshops we did was eliminating the stigma, the cultural norms, around self-promotion,” she recalled. Self-promotion may come easier for men, culturally, so it is “really working, empowering women to, acknowledge their achievements, not just professionally but personally as well.”

As such, “it’s exciting to be then asked to speak on the panel for this women’s insurance summit,” she said.

The topic of fatigue is not necessarily specific to women, she said, but “I believe we’ll be addressing the burnout that exists in current working culture where we’re always connected. Working from home, sometimes it’s hard to separate yourself from work.”

One of the problems of dealing with fatigue is “that selfish word. I think, as a mother, or parents, that often comes into play, because I feel like there’s so many demands between work and my kids and family that I’m making myself a priority seems selfish.”

But looking after yourself is not selfish.

“You need a chance to replug,” she said. If you don’t, “you’re not fully charged for the rest of the day. It’s important. I always do that.”

She regularly works out first thing in the morning.

“It’s like you pay yourself first, before everybody else,” she said.

Other times she quietly reads in the morning, before the crazy morning routine starts.

Another business mind shift that Bellgrau would like to see is “focussing more on the path, or the journey, the progress that you’re making along the way, instead of just the end result. I think that’s more of an older school mentality, just totally focussing on results, because that can make anxiety bubble up,” she said.

Instead, she would like to see a “focus on the small victories along the way of progress that you’re making. I think it certainly motivates employees more,” she said. She sees this new mindset as a better “anti-burnout strategy.”

From female empowerment at work to finding more solutions for fatigue, Bellgrau said she is looking forward to May in the Windy City.

“It’s going to be a great day for networking and empowerment and being energized,” she said.

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