Written by Julia Merrill
Life can be challenging for busy women who have to juggle family and professional demands. Often, there may seem like there is no room or time to incorporate personal needs, such as fitness and a healthy, balanced diet. Although neglecting one’s needs may provide for short-term gains, women run the risk of experiencing burnout or having physical or mental health issues.
With some planning and introspection, however, it is possible for women to transcend their daily grind to take charge of their life in total without making any compromises. Here are some ideas on how to achieve a balanced and fulfilling life that combines personal and professional success with reduced stress.
Self-knowledge is key to planning
Decision-making is almost impossible if you do not know the risks and likely outcomes and guide the process with planning. This applies to people in general, but the importance of self-knowledge can be overshadowed by women’s traditional obligations and stresses, such as child-rearing and navigating inequality in the workplace.
There are several ways to identify your individual needs. Meditation is a conduit for information. The practice slows the world down a bit and allows you to focus on you. Far from a selfish act, mindfulness is like recharging your batteries so you can achieve more and live a more efficient life. The mindfulness attained from meditation can help especially in areas of personal growth that fuel a healthy lifestyle such as managing weight through diet and exercise.
Exercise keeps life moving in the right direction
For women looking to bolster their health, exercise does wonders for life. Exercise and weight management can also be sources of tremendous stress with many women chasing after fad diets and difficult-to-attain ideals of body image and youth. Instead of trying to lose 10 pounds for bathing suit season, change your life. Make exercise something you do throughout the week, if not every day. Once you incorporate physical activity into your routine, it no longer becomes something you can skip.
In order to attain sustainable exercise, it’s crucial to identify enjoyable activities. Some people despise running on a treadmill, so planning to lose weight through gym-based cardio will probably fail for them. If, on the other hand, they find swimming to be the best activity ever, then it’d be a good idea to focus on water workouts. Finding the right exercise will require some experimentation.
Invest the time and effort at the beginning of your exercise planning and pinpoint the right exercise for you. In addition, exercise doesn’t have to mean an expensive gym membership. If you are not the kind to pack up a bag and drive to the gym each day, set up a home gym with some simple equipment. Dumbbells, kettlebells and a Bosu Balance Trainer are inexpensive and effective tools for weight management and strength training.
Healthy diets power healthy bodies and minds
The importance of good nutrition cannot be overstated, especially for women who are seeking improved physical and mental health. Food choices are often dictated by busy schedules and the need for convenience. We drive kids to separate after school activities, work long hours and then have to prepare and plan meals. It is understandable that we end up eating fast food or other unhealthy choices.
A healthy, balanced diet keeps us physically fit, and is the most effective tool in battling obesity. When we are physically fit, we sleep better and experience less stress. Although it may be seemingly time-consuming, there are easy ways to incorporate smart meal planning in even the most hectic schedules. Leverage your free time fully.
If you have time on the weekends, plan your meals for the upcoming week. Cook for the week on a Sunday evening, packaging heat-and-eat dinners and lunch items. Not only will you benefit physically from the meals, your budget will be happy as well. A plan that makes you feel better and saves money will help even the busiest avoid stress.
Women can improve their lives by taking care of themselves. Self-knowledge fuels planning, which in turn can help create a calming environment that enables personal success.
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