Women are notorious for putting the needs of others ahead of their own. But bringing yourself into the spotlight will give you the energy and enthusiasm you need to be at your best. Does the mere thought of putting yourself first make you cringe? Here’s why it shouldn’t and a few ways to prioritize taking care of you.
Find balance in your to-do list
Stress often spikes in the summertime, when kids are home from school and vacations have to be planned and scheduled. If you’re taking care of the house, work and family — and neglecting yourself — there’s no balance in your life. Studies show that not taking time for yourself and fulfilling your needs, puts your health at risk, so you’re less capable to meet life’s demands. It’s a downward spiral.
One way to alleviate some of the demands is to have a family meeting to coordinate other family members helping out with the daily chores and errands. You might even consider a nanny or working with extended family to take care of your kids, if they are too young to do chores; it will give you a few more precious hours in the day and better balance your daily to-do list.
Instant ways to recharge and revitalize
Feel as though you need a few rejuvenating days of not-lifting-a-finger at a spa? You may not have the luxury of time or money for that kind of indulgence, but it’s the little changes you incorporate into your daily life that make the biggest impact. Start with these four “instant” strategies to rev your energy: move more, eat well, rest up and get connected.
Start a morning walking group with neighborhood friends. A group activity provides the motivation and social support. Once you do it, you’ll feel great for the rest of the day.
Squeeze in physical activity throughout your day. Walk up and down the sidelines at your kids’ soccer games or practice mini-sprints around the playground at the park. Do lunges or squats while you watch your favourite TV show and switch to sit-ups or push-ups during the commercials. Buy a cordless phone so you can stand up and walk around while you’re talking. Every bit counts.
Make fitness a family event and play with your kids. Run with a game of tag, skip rope, throw a Frisbee or kick a soccer ball around an obstacle course. Not only does this get the whole family moving, it also affords you important quality family time.
Get active during your vacation. Sometimes family vacations can feel more draining than staying at home. To help you reap the vacay rewards, make a concerted effort to connect with nature. Swim for 20 minutes if you’re staying near a lake, bring your bike or inline skates along, too.