Career Advice, Interviews

Arianna Huffington on Clinton Working While Sick: “We’ve All Done Similar Things”

During a speech at the 3rd Annual Glassdoor Summit, Huffington Post founder and best-selling author Arianna Huffington spoke about the effects of working harder and longer than ever, using a very public example, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Huffington spoke empathetically about Clinton’s current bout with pneumonia, as it’s an example of the price of being overworked.

“I believe right now we are all experiencing a teachable moment in what happened with Hillary Clinton. If you think of it, it is absolute insanity to have a candidate with walking pneumonia do public events as she did last Friday in the interest of the campaign,” she said to the audience of nearly 700 HR executives.

[Related: Day 1 of Glassdoor Summit— Here’s What You Missed]

“We’ve all done similar things. We’ve pushed, we’ve powered through even though we’re exhausted, even though we had the equivalent of walking pneumonia. We need to go back and see what were the consequences, not just in terms of our health but in terms of our performance.”

Last month, Huffington announced she was stepping down from HuffPo to devote her time and energy to building a new company venture, Thrive Global. Thrive’s mission is to change the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success. Just as Glassdoor is dedicated to transparency, Huffington is addressing some truly important issues with work-life balance.

“We take better care of our smartphones than we do ourselves,” said Huffington to laughs from the audience. Then setting aside all jokes, Huffington made the point personal. “I speak from personal experience. I made every mistake in the book. I collapsed from sleep exhaustion in 2007, when I awoke in the hospital I asked myself: Is this what success looks like?”

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[Related: 17 Companies with Great Work-Life Balance & Hiring Now!]

Talking about her latest book “The Sleep Revolution,” Huffington shared the dos and donts for getting a good night’s sleep. And this is when she surprised attendees. “Watching tv before you go to sleep is not a good thing—you don’t know what you’re going to see. You may see Donald Trump and that’s not a good thing.” Huffington laughed as she said this trying to not appear bias.

She then continued. “You need to slow down the brain and transition to sleep,” said Huffington, before sharing her own evening ritual. “Like kids, you need a transition strategy to sleep. I need 30 minutes to transition to sleep. Turning off my devices, charging them outside of my bedroom. Then I take a hot bath to wash away the day. Declare the day complete. Then I wear dedicated clothes to sleep. Then in bed, I only read physical books.”

The perfect evening book? She says it’s “The Sleep Revolution. In it, Huffington shows how our dismissal of sleep as time wasted compromises our health and undermines both our personal lives and our careers. A must-read!

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