What a modern era we live in: the busyness of life, the hectic to and fro of commitments and the relentless battles that seem to pull us from pillar to post. Technology, accessibility and convenience rule our days and are designed to take the guesswork out of life.
As a woman, you are still the giver of life, the nurturer, the stability of a family, and the ‘go to’ person for all. Is the modern lifestyle serving you well, or is it merely an extra inconvenience?
Unfortunately, we have not evolved to a point where we can care for all without taking on some degree of their pain and turmoil. A woman’s genetic makeup is designed to creatively and efficiently solve the problems of others. Whether it is access to food, shelter and love, or whether it is problem solving in the corporate arena, the daily tasks we perform may alleviate issues for others but they also leave an indelible imprint on us as we lunge into solving them.
In current times, a woman’s ‘fight or flight’ response can be confused and conflicted easily. The conveniences we have only exacerbate the feelings we have. Technology can bring about a more hurried approach to fixing people’s problems and that increases the stress we put on ourselves. Accessibility now governs that we have no ‘down time’. We cannot switch off as our kids, partners and workmates can contact us on social media, by mobile or email at any given time. Convenience now herds us to unhealthy living practices (often ending with weight gain) and the social stigma of the ‘housewife/nurturer’ is leading us to look for the ‘easy way out’.
The modern woman is under vast pressures and as a result, her stress response is kicking in. The fight or flight response is warped to turn us into overweight, unhealthy people. Our tasks are not lessened, so now we are busy, overweight people who are stressed about it all.
There is hope! To truly master the modern way of life, we need to set boundaries. Women can still be the nurturers without being a social pariah. We can still break the glass ceiling without cutting ourselves to ribbons. We are resilient and dedicated, we are strong and reliable but without boundaries, and we are overwhelmed and stressed.
So how do we set boundaries, use modern conveniences to our advantage and look after ourselves at the same time? We need to make sure that we plan, pre-empt, perform and prevail. The 4 P’s of life that any modern woman can navigate and master. This will help her reach her goals and in terms of weight loss: win the battle.
Plan your day and that of those around you. You are not doing it for them; you are doing it for yourself. To be specific, you want to be healthy so you plan the meals of all that you care for (including yourself). Take the guesswork out of mealtimes to avoid putting on any extra kilos and to avoid the pitfalls of stress-feeding and emotional eating. Plan your work meals to avoid steeping off your health plan. Plan your day and integrate your family members days so that you don’t run out of time to care for yourself.
Pre-empt what could happen in the course of a day to throw you off your schedule. Do you have a couple of contingency plans? Reduce your stress levels by having a solid ‘fall back’ schedule. Maybe allow extra time for some activities. For example, kids always seem to be on a ‘go slow’ when you’re in a hurry to get to school on time. Allow extra time for them to get up and ready. If they don’t use it, you have some extra time for yourself. Workmates may take a little longer to complete a task that you are waiting on. Take extra time in the schedule to allow for inconveniences. Have a couple of odd jobs for yourself to do that can be slotted into this time, stay productive. With meal planning, pre-empt who in your family likes what, who does not and some easy options so that all are happy (especially you). Maybe you can substitute an ingredient in a meal for a fussy eater? Maybe you can encourage independence and show a family member how to construct their own healthy meals?
Always perform each task set. If something happens to make that impossible, re-evaluate what happened. Can you shuffle your schedule without causing more issues? Is there anything you can delegate to reduce the stress on yourself? Performance is all about action. Action leads to accomplishment. Accomplishment leads to success. Success leads to happiness. Happiness leads to health.
You must end each day with a scorecard of ‘wins’. Each day you will prevail. This way your health, your weight, your happiness are all focussed on and cared for.
In the modern era, too many women are stressed, overweight and unhealthy. Take the 4 P challenge and start 2015 with attention on you. You are important and valuable, you are priceless and irreplaceable. Let’s reduce our stress and harness the inner power we possess.
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