The role of women has changed since the days when our grandmothers had the opportunity to take care of the household on a full-time basis.
WORKING MOTHERS make up a significant part of the labor force, accounting for nearly one-third (32%) of all employed women. And there were around 23.5 million employed women who had children under the age of 18, and nearly twothirds worked full-time, year-round, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey (ACS). (Information published in May 2020)
REMEDIES FOR STRESS RELIEF:
As women, we often spread ourselves thin by taking on too much responsibility. It is written within our DNA to nurture and uphold our environments so that everything is in equilibrium. In order for everything to be in equilibrium, you must first create balance by deciding to break free from things that aren’t important. Learn the art of letting go. The less baggage there is to carry, the more you create balance.
If you’re a woman who says “yes” to everything and everyone and puts yourself last on the list in creating balance in your life, then you have not created any boundaries. Learn to say “no” to requests from family, friends, and co-workers.
Your journal is a tool which provides a roadmap—a vision of your day-to-day life scenarios. It puts things into perspective for you to make changes, to create balance, to create boundaries, as well as to help you understand your feelings and thoughts in your day-to-day activities with others and, most importantly, within yourself.
Incorporating a health and lifestyle change by integrating the FITT principle into your routine helps you maintain optimal energy levels throughout your day, as well as helping with stress reduction. Lay out a plan to achieve your goals:
- Frequency: How often are you going to schedule time to go to the gym to work out? How often will you schedule with your personal trainer or yoga instructor? Ex. 2–3 times per week.
- Intensity: Your personal trainer should assist you in developing a sound workout program according to your exercise level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced).
- Type: What type of fitness and/or physical activity are you ready to incorporate? Exercise and fitness activities are structured workout routines usually created by an instructor and/or a personal trainer. Physical activities include walking, gardening, shoveling snow, etc.
- Time: How long will you engage in fitness and physical activity? Thirty minutes is a great starting point.
Taking time away to visit a spa is another great way to release stress. A back massage, a facial, a manicure, a pedicure, a body wrap…aaahhh. It’s an opportunity to close your eyes, download the clutter in your mind, and release negative emotions and thoughts. And it’s an opportunity to have someone else take care of YOU!
Schedule an appointment with your doctor! Stress wreaks havoc on the female hormonal system. While PMS, perimenopause, and menopause are a natural part of aging, we experience these processes during certain intervals of life. Stress can accelerate hormonal imbalance and activate underlying health issues which include, but are not limited to, heart disease, diabetes, hypothyroid, hyperthyroid, and eating disorders.
Last but not least: Hold yourself in high regard! Understand that it is not selfish to put yourself first some of the time.
Do it for Yourself
ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION:
- WOMEN ARE more likely than men (28% vs. 20%, respectively) to report having a great deal of stress – 8, 9, or 10 on a 10-point scale.
ALMOST HALF of all women (49%) surveyed said their stress has increased over the past five years, compared to four in 10 men (39%).
WOMEN ARE more likely to report that money (79% compared with 73% of men) and the economy (68% compared with 61% of men) are sources of stress while men are far more likely to cite that work is a source of stress (76% compared with 65% of women).
WOMEN ARE more likely to report physical and emotional symptoms of stress than men, such as having had a headache (41% vs. 30%), having felt as though they could cry (44% vs. 15%), or having had an upset stomach or indigestion (32% vs. 21%) in the past month.
Helena Smolock CPT-RNC, Founder and President of Velocity Athletic Training, has over 35 years experience in the fitness industry. Her journey as a track athlete in high school led her to a rewarding career in fitness. Today, Helena continues her journey as a fitness professional and as a master athlete. She has assisted corporate clients, semi-pro athletes, clients with cancer, heart disease, and post-rehab clients with injuries to lead an energetic and healthier lifestyle. Visit her at www.velocityathletictraining.com.