Despite gender progress in other areas of life, as women in corporate institutions – and company life in general – many of us feel obliged to work twice as hard as men to show how good we are in order to get noticed.
And for that reason in itself, women are prone to becoming burned out in business.
But there are physical causes too. And I’m speaking from painful experience here. As an ambitious career driven women who managed a large restaurant chain and then started up her own marketing business, I worked hard. But I also partied, determined to make the most of all the opportunities London life presented to me. And I just assumed my body was coming along with me for the ride.
Only it had other ideas. And it tried to warn me via weight gain and an unsightly skin rash until it all culminated in a thundering crash in energy. Eventually I felt so bad I was forced to put the brakes on my career for a bit.
Meditation and becoming vegetarian helped but it wasn’t until I looked to a vegan lifestyle and a whole new way of thinking that I got my old lust for life back – and even stronger than before. You can read my story here at Vegerasta.com.
Meanwhile, here’s how you can prevent your working life coming to a complete stop:
Taking care of yourself by having a weekly massage or a relaxing spa session isn’t a treat: it’s a necessity. This type of pampering is a way of rejuvenating your mind and body so that it’s capable of dealing with any stresses the week ahead holds.
You’ll sleep best when your bed and wake-up times are consistent. That’s because your body likes to know what’s happening via a regular routine. You’ll realise you have this sorted when you can wake up around the same time every morning without the need for an alarm.
Daylight helps regulate our circadian rhythm (which dictates when we sleep/wake). It also makes us more alert generally. If you can’t get outside for a stroll or to walk the dog during the day then try and sit beside a sunny window. Move your desk in front of the window if possible and always open the curtains or blinds.
Green smoothies (made from mineral and vitamin-packed vegetables) are a natural stimulant and unlike that other infamous artificial stimulant caffeine, aren’t addictive, headache-inducing and make us even more tired a short time later. Green smoothies provide energy that lasts. They’ll also help us feel calmer, sleep better and make our skin glow.
Meditation, Yoga, Tai chi or even rock climbing (ie any exercise for which we have to switch off our thoughts and focus fully on what we’re doing) is excellent for giving us some mental time out. Again, like pampering or eating and sleeping well, this is non-negotiable if we want to make the most of our abilities at work.
Exercise makes us happier – by releasing endorphins – and gives us more energy. That’s two brilliant reasons in itself to do it. Another is that it helps us sleep better. Whatever your sporting passion (even if it’s just a stroll around the shops at lunchtime) make time for it. You’ll feel more empowered, enthusiastic and sharper if you do.
Get up at least an hour earlier than you have to in order to spend time doing something guaranteed to nourish both your mind and soul. This will set you up for the day ahead and could involve watching a favourite YouTube comedy, reading a great book or engaging in some stretching exercises.
Set up a routine in order to make your new healthier activity diary easier to stick to. That means having your smoothie at the same time every morning, getting up at the same time and going to bed within the same 15 minutes or so every night. Try and spend some time every evening on some dedicated ‘me time’ where you switch off all electronic devices (including the TV) and focus fully on an activity you love.
Dominica Roszko is a nutrition and well-being specialist, and the founder of vegerasta.com – a site dedicated to healthy living.