Women are nurturers by nature. We often put the needs of others ahead of our own. Sometimes we all need to be reminded that making yourself a priority isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.
When your to-do list is a mile long, your family needs you, your boss needs you and you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, and it’s hard to make your wellbeing a priority. Finding that perfect balance while avoiding being stretched too thin isn’t impossible.
Stamp Out the Stress
Stress isn’t good. It’s straining on your mind, body and soul. You can only support your loved ones, if you take care of yourself first, and that means learning to cope in healthy ways. These quick tips can help to lessen the tension:
Just breathe. You do it by nature, but deep breathing can actually help your muscles relax*.
Get a hobby. Gardening, dancing, reading, rocking out to tunes – a favourite pastime can relieve stress*.
Exercise. Yes, it actually can be relaxing, especially when you run or walk, try meditation, stretching, tai chi or yoga.
Organize your time like a boss
Why is there no 25th hour? As women, we tend to take on a heavy workload every day, at the office and at home. These tips can help make the load a little lighter:
Plan. Writing things down can help you to prioritize and carve out some much needed time for yourself.
Be present. We are all busy with life, work and people who need us; being present and living in the now can help you to stay on task and be more productive.
Delegate. You can’t do it all, nor should you. Your family and your friends are your team – don’t be afraid to ask them to tag in.
Say goodbye to the working mom guilt
Balancing family life and a career is a juggling act that can sometimes feel impossible. These tips can help you quiet the guilt:
Make Memories. It’s about the quality time you spend together as a family. Head to the park; play games; ride bikes; share a lot of laughs.
Thank your Village. If you’re lucky enough to have family members, or a great babysitter, to help with your kids – make sure they know how much they’re appreciated.
Do What’s Best for You. Go for your goals - kids benefit when mom feels happy and fulfilled.
Get a Move On
Dr. Valerie Taylor, the psychiatrist-in-chief in the department of medicine at Women’s College Hospital and a scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, says: “Exercise helps build community and mindfulness. And it gives people time to relax.” So consider adding these simple fitness tips to your feel your best regimen:
Exercise. Dr. Taylor says that exercise can be just as effective as medication for mild to moderate depression.
Build your strength. Our partners at Osteoporosis Canada state that physical activity, including both weight-bearing and strength-training exercise, can help prevent osteoporosis (which effects 1 in 3 women).
Improve flexibility. After age 50, we simply are not as flexible as we used to be. Set aside time to stretch after each workout, when your muscles are warm and receptive to stretching**.
Finally always try to remember:
Taking care of others is wonderful.
Taking care of yourself is essential.
Caring for yourself is the first step to caring for others.