Work Life Balance: Knock Stress to the Curb! Get Healthy.Women…how do they do it? They schedule doctor’s appointments, plan birthday parties, cook dinner, review homework, clean the house—and some even do this while maintaining a career. Today women wake up before the sun and stay up well into the night trying to get everything done. It’s no wonder stress piles up. Creating a healthy work-life balance is an ongoing challenge for many of us, but it can be especially hard for women who are expected to perform at the office and take care of their families at home. But as the gatekeepers of the family, it’s important to take a moment to decompress and relieve stress. Here are a few recommendations to help you get started.
Find Ways to UnplugTake a break from all of the digital distractions that rule your day. For one full day, turn off your laptop, cell phone and tablet and let yourself unwind. Go off the grid and get out in the real world. Go bike riding, cooking, shopping, gardening or find other ways to manage stress. Put in some real FaceTime with the people you care about.
Combine Meditation Techniques With Your ExerciseContrary to popular belief, your health is comprised of more than just diet and exercise. Mind-body exercise is exactly that; it means you’re exercising both the muscles in your body as well as your brain. The brain, which is also a muscle, controls emotions and everything else that allows your body to function at its ultimate capacity. According to WebMD, forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress, a state of emotional strain resulting from very demanding circumstances. The good news is, mind-body fitness is a powerful way to reduce stress and cope with taxing situations. Here are five ways you can get your mind and body fit.
1. Yoga is a fantastic way to stretch and lengthen your muscles while focusing your mind and relieving anxiety. Recent findings from the Journal of Gerontology Series found hatha yoga can improve cognitive performance in older adults.
2. Meditation is the art of focusing your attention and can provide a number of health benefits including improved concentration, decreased anxiety and overall happiness. Meditation isn’t something that comes overnight and should be practiced consistently twice a day. If you’re interested in learning more, check out these beginner meditation tips from ZenHabits.
3. Life happens, and it’s easy to get distracted or feel depressed. In fact, feelings of depression are usually signals of different stress symptoms. If you’re feeling lost, don’t worry. There are tons of positive, motivational coaches out there that you have access to online. Whether you need career motivation, spiritual advice, or fitness tips, all it takes is a simple Google search.
Just Say “No"Women are often people pleasers, which often results in putting other’s needs ahead of their own. Learning to take on only what you can handle is an important skill to relieving stress. When used correctly, it gives you the power to focus your energy on what’s important and to deflect distractions. Just make sure you always say “no” politely and that you’re able to explain your own deadlines and challenges. If you really can’t say “no” you can often say “no” to right now and buy yourself some time to complete urgent projects.
Get Busy!Finding meaning outside of work is so crucial to your work-life balance, because it keeps you from putting all your eggs in one basket. It can also be a great way to pursue your passion. Consider donating your time to a local organization, taking a class or trying something new. Doing these types of activities will allow you to meet new people and expand your horizons.
Get Organized!Getting organized is one of the most important factors in creating a better work-life balance. If you’re disorganized at the office, you’ll likely be disorganized at home. Planning meals, workouts, meetings, and other activities ahead of time while you declutter your life will help you stay on track and keep you from becoming frazzled.
Eat HealthyAmong other responsibilities, women are primarily the chefs of the home and responsible for keeping the family’s meals healthy and balanced. That’s why it’s so important to take a closer look at the healthy food choices you’re making on a daily basis — you want to make sure you’re promoting good eating habits at home. However, making the right choices isn’t always easy. Here are healthy heart stress techniques to keep you and your family on track:
1. Educate Yourself About Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Health Foods that claims to be “all natural” or “100% natural” may still contain processed sweeteners, colors and preservatives, so it’s important to read your labels. In general, the more processed your food is, the less healthy it will often be. Stick to the outside aisles at your supermarket and look for terms like “certified organic,” “cage-free,” “grass fed,” and “hormone-free” and "Non-Gmo." However, keep in mind that these foods may be more expensive. If you’re on a budget, the Environmental Working Group has put together lists like “the dirty dozen” (foods with the most pesticide residue) and “the clean fifteen” (foods with the least pesticide residue) to help you make smart buying choices.
2. Get Support for Your Stress Management
Join forces with friends and family members or look for health-focused groups online. Find someone who shares your health goals and aspirations — you’ll find it easier to stay on track when you have people around who know what you’re going through and are ready to support you.
3. Bring Something New to the Table
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. Put a new spin on a familiar recipe, try new flavor combinations or add an unexpected garnish. Make dinner a social occasion that brings everyone back to the table. Find inspiration on sites like Pinterest, Food Gawker and Food Network and look for discounted cookbooks at your local bookstore.
In the end, stress will always be a part of our lives, but it’s important not to let it overshadow all the positive aspects of your life. Take a step back and examine the roots of your stress so you can change and eliminate negative signs of stress. Don’t wait till you’ve reached the breaking point before you implement a work-life balance. Less stress means less hostility, tension and frustration—and that’s better for you and your loved ones. Start kicking stress to the curb today and take control of your own stress management.
Delia Passi is the leading expert on marketing to women and CEO and founder of the Women’s Choice Award. The Women’s Choice Award is the leading referral source for women to find the most recommended brands for her and her family.
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