Behind the Scenes with Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington shares her secrets when it comes to success, sleep, and stepping stones.

It’s safe to assume that you’ve heard of Arianna Huffington. Recently, the entrepreneur, writer, and founder of Huffpost was kind enough to answer some of our most pressing questions about motherhood, finding balance when you’re so tired that you can’t even think straight, and what her newest venture—Thrive Global—is all about. 

We’re excited to share some of what Arianna (self-proclaimed lover of flat shoes) had to tell us, but we’ll go ahead and let you know this right away: she wants everyone to get more sleep.

Take care of Yourself so You Can Take Care of Your Baby

“It’s like they say on planes,” Arianna explains, “secure your own oxygen mask first before helping others.” The sentiment being, if mom is floundering, how can she care for a baby? Arianna really believes in this. More than that, she wants to help. 

We know it isn’t always easy for a mom to get the required amount of sleep, because figuring out a way to make it happen can feel impossible. Arianna, however, has a plan. And it involves looking towards old traditions. 

“It’s so important for new moms to take care of themselves, so they’ll be better able to care for the child,” Ariana says. “So, the old advice still stands–try to nap when the baby naps. But also be ruthless about trying to find time in the day to nap whenever and wherever you can. Because there are so many times when your time is not your own, you really have to make the most of those brief moments when it is.” 

“For those moments,” Arianna continues, “sleep should be a priority.” And that is a big part of what Thrive is all about. Reducing stress in moms reduces stress in babies, which is a win-win for everyone involved. No one can be a perfect parent, but giving yourself a little love, and a bit of prioritization, can go a long way. 

“When you take care of yourself,” Arianna explains,” by sleeping well, eating well, and staying connected to the people and things that matter most to you—you’re going to be a much better parent.” Words to live (and sleep) by.

Failure Is A Stepping Stone

As mothers, we can’t be afraid to fail. But so often there’s no straightforward way to tell which decisions we make will go well and which ones might not have been the best idea. Arianna shared some wisdom that was passed down by her own mother. One of her favorite sayings, Arianna told us, was “that failure isn’t the opposite of success, it’s a stepping stone.”

As moms, we have to be mindful of the fact that our children are always watching. Letting your child see you take a risk, and even fail, is going to give them the tools to make better choices in the future. 

“It’s a great lesson,” Arianna explained, “but the lesson only worked for my family because it was undergirded by an incredibly strong sense of unconditional love. The support of my family is really what made it okay to take risks–and fail–throughout my life. There are so many parenting books about how to be the perfect parent—and, of course, an ever-expanding universe of Internet advice and opinions—but what a lot of it boils down to is two things: that sense of unconditional love,” she says, “and allowing both your child to fail and yourself to fail.”

Helping Parents Thrive

Thrive Global, Arianna’s latest project, has been expanding all over the world since 2016. Arianna reveals that the platform is designed to help users reach their maximum potential, by guiding them through “too-small-to-fail Microsteps they can incorporate right away into any aspect of their daily lives.” 

The tool sets out to help expand health and well-being, and it’s all backed by science. And that’s why Is This Normal collaborated with Thrive to bring some of the content you find on to Thrive’s community, many of whom are new parents. 

As a mom, Arianna finds it important to meet like-minded parents who will encourage you in your journey, similar to the community aspects that you can find on both platforms. “I highly recommend finding other parents who will support you. I call this my Thrive Tribe–the people in my life who are always in my corner, always there for me,” she says, “whether I succeed or fail.”


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