COPING WITH YOUR VARIOUS ROLES
As women, we have various roles, we are wives, mothers, business owners, entrepreneurs as well as being the family cook, chauffeur, teacher, nurse and therapist. The pace of modern day life adds to the pressure we already feel. So how can we cope with all the demands of being a modern woman?
Step One is Self-care.
There is a reason for self-care being step number One. If you want to avoid burnout, depression, stress and other health issues, self-care should be a priority.
Taking care of yourself first is essential. This means :
- eating healthily
- drinking enough water
- getting enough sleep
- exercising regularly
- having regular health checks.
- ask for or get help when you needed
- managing stress by taking regular breaks throughout the year.
Are you having some “me-time” every day? Taking just ten or fifteen minutes a day away from technology to just relax is vital to your well-being.
Go for a walk, read, pray, meditate, drink a cup of tea in peace and quiet or whatever it is that helps you feel more relaxed and grounded. If you can spend time in nature or go for regular massages or facials to relax and rejuvenate.
When we fail to take care of ourselves, our immunity system becomes weakened and we end up getting sick. This is our bodies way of telling us we need to slow down and take better care of ourselves.
Step Two is Self-Management : Planning and Prioritizing
Are you feeling constantly stressed and overwhelmed with everything you have to do? You’re busy but not productive? Do you feel like you’re running from one thing to the next without accomplishing anything? Then you probably need to make time to plan and get organized.
Start by creating a Weekly Planner. Sit down on Sunday afternoon or evening and plan your week. Ask yourself what do you need to achieve this week. What are your three most important tasks for the week?
Then create a Daily Planner. What do you need to achieve each day? Prioritize -what are your three most important tasks for today? Do this every evening. At the end of the week (Sunday), review and plan for the following week. Don’t fill your entire day or over-schedule. Allow space for breaks or to do unexpected tasks which may come up. Allocate extra time getting to meetings. That way, if you are running a little late, you can still be on time.
If you are running your own business, you might also be the sales agent, bookkeeper and admin etc. Consider hiring someone to help with some of these functions allowing you time to do what you do best. Make sure you hire qualified, competent and motivated people to help you in your business. If you already have staff, delegate where possible.
Beware of time-stealers. Set aside time each day to deal with emails. Have separate email accounts for business and personal emails. Don’t waste time on social media unless you are promoting your business.
At home, make sure you know everyone’s schedules such as your kids sporting activities and events, extra-murals etc. and plan and organize accordingly.
At least once a month, spend one weekend preparing meals that can be frozen and reheated for a quick, easy dinner when you are working late, ill or tired and just don’t feel like cooking.
Juggling work and motherhood can be tough, especially if you are single parent. If you have young children, try to spend at least fifteen minutes per day with each child individually. If you have older children, try to eat dinner together as a family away from the TV. Ban cellphones from the dinner table! This is your time to connect with your kids and find out what is going on in their lives.
Step Three is your Mental State : Being Positive, Mindful, Resilient and Flexible
Having a positive attitude helps us to cope with life more easily. It makes you feel more optimistic, it gives you the energy and focus you need to deal with life on a daily basis as well as fortitude during life’s challenging times.
A positive attitude helps you achieve your goals – it helps you to believe in yourself and your abilities. Stop complaining about the things that are going wrong and focus on the good. Have an attitude of gratitude.
Being mindful means being present in the moment. The first thing we need to do is to STOP multitasking! We have become so used to multitasking that we fail to see the harm it is doing to our physical and mental health as well as our relationships with our families. When we multitask we are not giving 100% attention to whatever it is we are doing. When your husband and kids are talking to you, are you actively listening or preoccupied doing something else? This is often how misunderstandings happen. Stop what you are doing and give the other person your full attention. At work, concentrate on one task at a time, giving it your full attention. Try to avoid interruptions when you are busy with something urgent or important.
Be mindful throughout the day. Notice the people around you, your surroundings, the beauty that’s around you, whether it’s the smile of a child or flowers growing in your garden. Allow yourself to just be in the moment.
Be flexible. While it’s important to plan your day and prioritize your most important tasks, accept that there will be unexpected challenges and things which may require your immediate attention. Deal with crises as they occur and then get back on track. Working through challenges builds resilience.
Lastly, slow down and enjoy life. While we can’t avoid the stress of daily living or stressful situations, if we take the time to look after ourselves, plan and organize as much as possible, have a positive attitude and being mindful of what we do each day, we will find it much easier to cope with whatever life throws your way.