KEYS TO WELLNESS– JUST FOR WOMEN
Wellness is the capacity to be and do what you want and be happy. What is on your wellness wishlist? Today’s high-level women experience more stress than ever before. They not only juggle clients, a staff, budgets, deadlines, making key decisions, and proving themselves among their male counterparts, they also have to manage a sometimes-hectic home life. Women need to find simple ways to achieve wellness by being a bit “selfish” with no regrets. If women trust the power of nurturing themselves, the rewards you get will empower you to do what comes natural – and care for your loved ones with more intensity than you ever thought you could muster.
Nutrition: There is no shortage of information about what to eat. Low fat, low sugar, low carb…You can go crazy in the grocery store keeping up with the products touting they’re the next best thing you need to be healthy. Instead, why not try to make one positive nutrition change:
- eat a power-breakfast daily like oatmeal with walnuts and fat free milk
- get your fruit fix by making a fruit and yogurt smoothie or adding fruit to lunch
- try something different like an unusual veggie (ackee, bora, calabaza) or cooking with beans.
Exercise: If your ideas of exercise include time on the “dreadmill” and “personal draining”, you need to change up your exercise regime! The following exercise ideas involve some kind of commitment – and that’s what it takes to really nurture you toward wellness. Find something that sounds good and enjoy your new exercise endeavour!
- Try yoga – a moving meditation! Power yoga classes involve using your personal strengths to tone up.
- Dance your butt off, people are into dancing like never before. Try zumba, belly dancing, bollywood, ballroom or broadway jazz. Whatever your flavour, take a risk and shake it.
- Sign up for a walkathon, you don’t need to run a marathon to experience the exhilaration of getting a race number and crossing the finish line.
Stress Management: Maintaining emotional health is so important for wellness. Most women tend to think they strive under stress, but they don’t realize the harm that comes with it when the walls close in. Women take on the burdens of others and then become overwhelmed themselves. Stress triggers changes in our bodies and makes us more likely to get sick. The key to healthy stress management is to let it all out every day.
- talk to someone, and let others know if you can’t take on the burdens of their stress (give yourself permission to be selfish and not listen once in awhile)
- find a quiet corner, relax and breathe to a slow count
- remind yourself that food didn’t cause your stressful situation and it won’t solve it either
- intimacy with your partner– what can I say, all those lovely endorphins will drown the stress out of your body and mind
Relationships: Relationships are one of the core human needs. Take a minute and think about your relationships today: How strong are your personal relationships? How much effort do you put into them?
Are you getting out of them what you need or do you give too much with little in return?
Let go of what you don’t need and transfer the newly available attention to the relationships that really matter most. Those relationships allow the other keys to wellness fall into place. You can lean on people to support you in your nutrition and exercise efforts and when life’s stresses get to be too much, they can help you deal with it.
Healthy Women Are (a Little) Selfish
Everything is connected; nutrition, exercise, stress management and relationships all have a role in contributing to your wellness. Women cannot achieve wellness without the strong foundation of healthy stress management and the social support that comes with stable relationships. To attain wellness, being a little selfish is one of the most selfless things women can do.
By Denise Merkitch, M.Sc. ; Acknowledgement: Rebecca Scritchfield, R.D.