By Kent Elliott, Contributor
As women, we wear many hats. We’re mothers, wives, girlfriends, employees, and friends. But for all that we are, there is one thing we are not: worried about ourselves. Prioritizing everyone else often leaves us physically and emotionally depleted. Fortunately, there are many small steps we can take each day to put ourselves on the pedestal we deserve and break our bad habits of self-neglect.
It Starts With Intention
To be the best we can be, we have to be intentional in our actions. Being aware of how we feel in each moment can help us make better decisions in all aspects of life. One example is how we eat.
The busier we are, the less likely we are to sit down and enjoy a healthy meal. We may go through the drive-through or, just as bad, live-off boxes of cereal and prepackaged snacks. While these might be quick, convenient, and readily available, these types of foods are not what your body needs. We can change this bad habit by making sure we have snacks on hand that actually fuel our mental and physical energy. ‘Eat This, Not That’ makes several recommendations, including yogurt and berries, chocolate-covered banana bites, and trail mix. These are equally as tasty and convenient as their pre-packaged counterparts but come packed with the vitamins and minerals we need to be at our healthiest best.
Balance Is Key
Another area we tend to put too much of ourselves into is work. This is especially true when we are in a position of authority, whether we are a manager or entrepreneur. Healthy self-care includes doing things at work, such as taking our vacation days and working remotely when possible, that help us be both productive and mentally relaxed at the same time. You can also take breaks and establish boundaries that help keep you on track personally and professionally.
Finding balance in our lives also extends to our interactions with others outside of the work environment. Something you can do here is to learn how to say no. We get so caught up in the idea that being busy means that we are successful that we often forget that the time we spend with ourselves is just as important as the time we spend doing for and with others. Psych Central explains that quiet downtime allows us to rest, discover what is truly important to us, and helps to eliminate stress.
Small Steps Toward Wellness
Women often get distracted by the myth that it’s the big decisions that have the most profound effect on our health. This isn’t true, and all of the little things we do each day can either make or break our wellness efforts. For example, waking up early for exercise to get our day started on a positive note and wearing comfortable gear like an easy-fitting pair of leggings and cushy sneakers can help as well.
This is, of course, provided that you’ve slept a full seven to eight hours the night before. Something else we can do for inspiration is to read one thing each day that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Blogs, such as The Healthy Apron and Greatist, share a variety of content that we can use to shape our thought processes and actions.
When you feel like your life is stuck in a perpetual rut, it’s up to you to change it. It does not take a huge life overhaul, and you don’t have to live your life trying to emulate the world as it’s depicted in social media. As a woman in the real world, you have to make an actionable plan to keep yourself whole and healthy. This starts by making small decisions each day, like eating well and exercising, that help you live your best life despite the grind.
Embrace a lifestyle that helps you manage stress and enjoy life. The NEO Chi Institute can help you optimize your immune system and focus on stress-free and body-conscious living. Schedule a free introductory call at your convenience.