June 22, 2024

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A thrill-seeking CEO says skydiving is the ‘greatest mental health reset’

2 min read

When Isa Watson needs to clear her head, she jumps out of a plane. The Brooklyn-based author and entrepreneur considers skydiving her “greatest mental health reset.” And she may be on to something. Studies show that the adrenaline rush can help increase mental concentration, make you more alert and give you more energy.

“I’ve struggled with depression on and off since I was a kid, but what really made me have to address it was becoming a founder,” says Watson, who founded Squad, an audio-only social app, in 2018. “Becoming a founder is one of the most isolating experiences. It’s very anxiety-inducing and it’s a really hard path.”

In an effort to refuel her tank and learn how to take better care of herself and her mental health, Watson began experimenting with different self-care activities, such as guided meditation, traveling and skiing. But at some point during the early years of the COVID-19 pandemic, those tools were no longer working for her.

“I always wanted to try skydiving and it was the most serenity I’ve ever felt,” Watson says of her first jump at Mauritius, an island nation off the coast of Madagascar. “It was a mental health reset for me. When I go to the drop zone, I feel like I’m in a different world.”

CEO Isa Watson
Isa Watson, co-founder and CEO of Squad is currently training to compete in the 2024 US Nationals for Skydiving.

Courtesy of Isa Watson

Watson has completed more than 200 jumps since she started skydiving two years ago and she’s currently training to compete in the 2024 US Nationals for Skydiving. Although she’s often the only Black woman at a jump zone, Watson appreciates the skydiving community for being laid back—a stark contrast to the entrepreneurial world. Once on the plane, Watson is able to zone out as she takes in the world below her.

“It really sets the tone of ‘look at all of that down there, look at how beautiful the world looks from up here,” she says. “It’s like all of the…

L’Oreal Thompson Payton

2023-10-31 05:00:00

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