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Toto Talks Mental Health for #WorldMentalHealthDay

"Mental health is at the core of wellbeing" says Toto, as he discusses the importance of mental health and the mechanism he uses in both a professional and private environment...

Toto on... coping with stress

"Extreme stress is different for everybody," explains Toto. "From the business side, obviously travelling to 22 races a year with the jet lag, trying to perform in every single session and the race on Sunday is a stress factor.

"I'm stressing myself the most with the expectations I set for myself and my own performance. But, on the other side, there are many stress factors in your private life as well

"In these crazy COVID-19 times, I have a good example; I am spending much more time with my three-year old and it's not always easy.

"I'm trying to be the best possible father and spend a lot of time with him but I am pressurising myself all the time - am I doing this enough, am I doing this good enough?

"And therefore, everybody has different pressure points and you need to be conscious to identify them and then rationalise - is it really a stress factor or am I making a stress factor?

"For me, when I am under too much pressure and am not enjoying playing LEGO after 20 minutes, I say to myself, 'you are not an animator, you are not an entertainer and you are not a kindergarten teacher'. And that kind of releases the pressure for me."

Toto on... mindfulness

"Being mindful and being aware about the present moment is very important," Toto says. "With our crazy travelling schedule, there is a routine that I practise - it's being conscious of where I am flying to, on arrival where I am, about the timezone difference, feeling the heat or the cold and it's a very simple exercise.

"When waking up, it's how the water feels on your back, brushing your teeth. That moment only exists once. We only have one life; it will end sooner or later.

"Practising mindfulness and meditation doesn't necessarily mean to sit on a rock for a year and stare into space.

"It can be this easy practice of being aware of what you do and I think that is very important."

Toto on... moments to reflect

"In this world where we are bombarded with news every day and social media all over the place.

So, it is important to carve out time to reflect and think. I personally enjoy starring into space on a long-distance flight. I'm not watching any movies or listening to music.

"I can read some documents but most of the time I am just there for myself and I am thinking. I try to do this in my private life as well.

"For example, putting my son to bed, he doesn't fall asleep immediately so I take a pillow and I put myself on the floor and it gives me 20 minutes or half an hour every day to reflect about things that worry me or things that I enjoy."

Toto on... passion and inspiration

"For me, motor racing was an early passion. I have followed it up and merged it with my interest in finance. But to be honest, it doesn't come easy and I sometimes have to reflect on what I am actually passionate about.

"Is it the fast cars, is it the competition, is it the travelling, is it the business side of things and you can only realise that by carving out time to reflect or by talking to someone who is neutral.

"For me, talking to somebody has become a routine. Online psychological support is important and essential to get a neutral opinion.

"It's great to have friends and family that support you but speaking to somebody that isn't influenced by a family setting is key and it also helps you to find out what really excites you."

Toto was speaking in conversation with Instahelp, a platform for online psychological counsellingin which he is an investor. Instahelp connects those seeking help with psychologists. Those who seek help can send their questions online to experienced psychologists, in order to find a solution through chat-based, individual counselling. Find out more here.