As someone who walked away from his position as a senior working member of the royal family to be the chief impact officer of BetterUp, a coaching and mental health company, Prince Harry knows a thing or two about taking care of the mind.
But that doesn’t mean he’s always good at it. Like most of us, the busy husband and dad of two sometimes struggles to balance self-care and daily life, but he knows taking time for himself is essential to avoiding burnout—that pesky thing we know all too well.
For BetterUp’s Inner Work Day, Harry teamed up with pro athlete Serena Williams to discuss self-care, and the ways they practice it. “The self-care is the first thing that drops away. I’m happy to admit that—as a husband, as a dad,” he told Williams, per People. But he tries to be adamant about giving himself at least 30, ideally 45 minutes every day.
“One of the kids has gone to school. The other one’s taking a nap. There’s a break in our program,” he said. “It’s like, right, it’s either for workout, take the dog for a walk, get out in nature, maybe meditate.”
These acts of self-compassion and reflection don’t have to be grand gestures—they can be small and brief. Simply showing up for yourself, Harry said, is the most important part. In his opinion, it should be just as much of a daily habit as brushing your teeth, to which Williams replied: “I got a little work to do.”
“Mental fitness is the pinnacle, it’s what you’re aiming for, and the road towards that is… it can be really bumpy,” Harry said in a clip shared by BetterUp on Twitter. “It’s called inner work for a reason, and I think that immediately might put some people off, going, ‘More work?’ It’s like, ‘Why?’ But the outer work becomes so much easier once you get to grips with the inner work.”
For Williams, part of that inner work is creating boundaries between her personal and professional life. “Boundaries are so important to have. If you don’t have boundaries you aren’t going to reach what you can do,” she said, per Entertainment Tonight Canada. “Don’t send emails at 11 p.m. You will burn out.”
And while both Williams and Harry have come a long way in their individual mental health journeys, they both know it will always be a work in progress. “I don’t have it sorted, Serena doesn’t have it sorted, none of us do,” Harry said. “Life is about discovery.”