Our society is one that glorifies the designated role of a woman in order to maintain the status quo laid down by patriarchal practices. To be able to multitask, always empathise, take on life’s difficulties with a smile, be a mother – these roles, once glorified, create an image of an ‘ideal woman.’ In trying to keep up with this image, and driven by the guilt of not being able to, women tend to drive themselves into unhealthy lifestyles. They look the other way when it comes to their physical and mental health.
What you need to understand, as a woman, is that your health should be your top priority because only when you are physically and mentally in good shape, can you contribute to a happier home and work culture.
So, what is it that you are doing wrong, and how to make it right? Let’s find out.
Poor sleep cycle
There is a good reason why experts say our body needs at least 8 hours of sleep every day. Gulping down those cups of coffee to keep working is only going to harm you in the long run. We take on a lot of stress every day that tends to wear us down, and the energy boost that we keep looking for can only be found in sleep. When you shut your body, and your conscious mind, down, it gathers the strength that you’ll need to be mind-blowing the next day. Listen to your body and get an adequate amount of rest every day.
While working in the office, or even at home, we sit in the same position for long hours which leads to muscle stiffness and, eventually, bad posture. Practicing exercises like the child’s pose, forward fold, and doing some light stretches improves your posture by easing those shoulder muscles and reducing stress around the neck area; result being, a more energetic and productive you. These exercises are simple enough to be practiced both in the office and at home. Let’s not forget that a good posture not only provides an aesthetic gain but also makes you feel more confident by adding strength and flexibility to your body. The key, however, is to stay consistent.
Not having a routine
Having a schedule in place helps you keep a tab on your whole day and gives you a sense of control. It reduces the clutter of activities and maintains a healthy mental balance. Your mind is an important part of your overall well-being and having a routine helps you maintain its equilibrium. Incorporate healthy habits in your routine like waking up on time, ensuring you have a healthy breakfast, exercising and mediating, and reading. The first 10 minutes of your day is when your mind is the most productive, so use that time to think about how you want your day to flow. You’ll be amazed at how much more at ease you’ll feel when you consistently follow a set schedule.
Also read: It's Time We Stop Acne-Shaming
You might know this but as you grow older your metabolism slows down. Studies reveal that it reduces by at least 2% every five years. Breakfast is the key to maintaining a healthy metabolism, thereby promoting a healthier lifestyle. It is the first meal of the day and therefore it is imperative that you never skip it. Include a lot of fruits and proteins in your meal. Avoid consuming fats first thing in the morning because they take longer to digest, making you lethargic and dampening that early morning energy. Also, having a good and hearty breakfast provides energy for the coming day by burning all those calories; definitely a win-win.
Not hydrating adequately
This is where most of us fumble. Since our bodies are made of 70% water, we need to keep our water intake high to maintain the healthy functioning of our bodies. Lack of water leads to reduced energy and consequently, concentration which hampers your productivity. It also dehydrates your skin and slows down digestion which can make you feel bloated and heavy. Set hourly reminders to keep yourself hydrated. There are tons of applications available through which you can keep track your daily water consumption. It’s the first step to a healthy lifestyle so follow it religiously.
Not asking for help
As a woman, you are conditioned to overtax and overburden yourself with responsibilities. While it might not feel like a big deal right now, these health debts accumulate over time to culminate in a major health issue, impacting your physical and mental health. Postpartum depression, anxiety, panic attacks etc., are all by-products of unattended emotional problems. Don’t be ashamed of needing help; reach out to a therapist and refrain from overloading yourself with work. It’s okay to take a step back and simply relax.
(Edited by Varsha Roysam)