If you are a working mother, chances are you are neglecting your health. Here are 8 ways you can strike a balance between work and health.
Waking up in the wee hours of the morning, preparing breakfast, helping the kids get ready for school, then in turn getting ready for work, hectic work schedules and finally driving back home to spend the last few hours of the day with family. This is a typical day in the life of the urban Indian working woman.
If a woman aspires to work and have a family life at the same time she is bound to face this schedule day in and day out unless she has a very strong support system. Amidst the hustle and bustle of work, how much time do women have to take care of their own health and personal needs ? Not much I guess. And in meeting her work goals, her family commitments and so on, she many a times compromises her health. It’s depressing to know that many of my own friends and colleagues have become victims of thyroid problems and diabetes.
It’s a known fact that due to work related stress, many women become victims of diabetes, thyroid problems and breast cancer (putting off breast exams) in their mid thirties. This is alarming. Does that mean women have to compromise on their health in order to work or are there alternatives ? The good news is that by making essential lifestyle changes, we can reduce the risk of diseases and improve our overall well-being.
Beginning our day by relaxing ourselves gives us clarity of thought and sets the right mood to jumpstart the day. We’ve commonly heard about yoga, and meditation that works wonders; however listening to our favourite music or having a hot cup of tea by ourselves can also be soothing to our nerves. I’ve seen many who turn to spirituality and begin the day by reciting a short prayer. So choose what is most relaxing and what works out best for you depending on your work schedule.
A working woman hardly gets time for herself, so making healthy diet choices is the most challenging aspect of her life. Can that be taken care of ? And the answer to that is ‘Yes’. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So fuel up your breakfast with a variety of food products that are high on nutrition value. Oats, cereals, muesli tossed with nuts and milk is nutritious. It doesn’t require much time to prepare. Eating fruits can be another great alternative.
Lunch can include rotis/rice with vegetables or non vegetarian like chicken or lean meat. Sandwiches loaded with your favourite veggies can be another good option. Night can be concluded with a light dinner with bread and soup loaded with vegetables or Rotis with Dal and vegetables. Steamed food is gaining popularity too as it’s less time consuming. Steaming food like vegetables and sprouts keeps the health quotient high as it retains all the nutrition value.
One pot meals are just one preparation that contain all the required nutrition. So it’s less time consuming and it can be refrigerated too. Have a quick look at some of the one pot meal preparations in this article One-Pot Meals : Less Mess, Less Stress!
Missing out on one night’s sleep makes an individual feel sluggish and low the next day. Imagine what lack of sleep can do to our system, if we loose out on our normal sleep pattern for days together. No matter what the circumstances are, every individual needs a minimum of six to eight hours of sleep. It affects our ability to perform our daily chores at home and also our efficiency at work.
A working woman strives hard to maintain a balance between family, home and work. She caters to the happiness of others and sometimes due to unavoidable circumstances when she’s unable to fulfill her responsibilities as a mother or wife, she feels guilty. This plays havoc with her mental health. It leads to depression and anxiety. Also, because of biological factors, women are more prone to depression than men. This makes it all the more necessary for women to be more positive and easy going in their outlook towards life. It’s okay if things are not perfect.
While playing the role of the perfect mother, perfect wife and a hardworking professional, women tend to lose their own identities. We tend to forget who we are as individuals. We are individuals first. Discover who you are and identify your true self. Take out some ‘personal time’ and indulge in your favourite activity, or listen to your favourite song, drown yourself in reading your favourite book, hang out with your close friends, spend a whole day pampering yourself at the beauty Saloon or take pleasure in just being alone.
Being in the company of our loved ones be it family, friends or our life partner, can do wonders to our mental health. We feel more relaxed, loved, and at ease. Our loved ones are the only people with whom we can be ourselves. So don’t miss out the opportunity of spending time with them. Laughter, time and company of our loved ones act like medicine to our soul.
Exercise releases hormones that ease stress. Besides this, we all know the health benefits of being physically active. The challenge is to find the time to fit in exercise in our hectic schedules. The key to the above concern is to be active at home and work. This means to include a lot of activity in our daily routine.Some simple ways are to use the stairs instead of the escalator. Today most families stay in apartments and gated communities, so there are lots of opportunities to use the stairs. You can use them at the work spot too. Park your car as further as possible in the parking lot, so you can walk a distance before stepping in. During the work, hours use breaks to stretch out and walk around. Even at home, take your kid to the park or go for long walks after returning home from work. Walking can burn out those extra calories.
We can’t deny the fact that there are several women who strive hard to be perfect. And men fall in this bracket too. But according to health experts striving for perfection all the time can have disastrous effects on our mental health. We need to adopt a realistic attitude and accept our flaws the same way as we accept our positive traits. It’s okay to make mistakes at home or at your workplace. Loving and accepting ourselves the way we are can do wonders to our soul. Feeling guilty for our mistakes is passe. Accepting our mistakes, making amendments and moving on is the way to go.
An urban Indian working woman’s life may not be a cakewalk but she certainly tries out alternatives to make life simple for her and her loved ones. There are many women who have implemented some of the points mentioned above and have successfully struck a balance between home and work, thereby taking care of their health which is a growing concern. Women are embracing changes in their lifestyle and career choices to cater to the growing demands of their health. They are understanding the importance of health in achieving their goals and dreams. And by doing so they are setting a good example for future generations of women too.
Work and running shoes image via Shutterstock
Diana has worked as an Editor/Writer and Content Manager for various digital platforms and
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