When you're trying to build a career, save money to buy your own home, juggling work and family, or all of the above, many working women are living on the run, which can take a toll on their mental health.
Read our top five tips on how to look after yourself and chat with your group or workplace about the changes you plan to make.
These simple strategies can help reduce stress levels and help you feel calmer and more in control:
1. Leave your desk for lunch
Eating lunch while reading a report at your computer is a fast track to less productivity. You need to get out and enjoy a change of scene. Tired of the same old lunchtime routine? Then ensure you have something more stimulating to look forward to. Here are some enjoyable lunchtime activity suggestions:
- Walk and talk with a friend or work colleague in the park
- Take some pencils and sketch a nearby streetscape
- Start a book club with colleagues at a local café
- Swim some laps
- Play outdoor chess
- Enjoy a power walk.
You will return to the office feeling energised and invigorated.
2. Schedule quality ‘me’ time
In your diary, every day – just like you would schedule every other important appointment – set aside some time just for you. If you are rushing from the moment you wake up ‘til the moment you go to bed, you are likely to feel constantly drained. This may compromise your energy, mood and ability to focus.
To ensure you are not living on the run 24/7, block out some time for yourself every day to read a book, walk outside or enjoy a quick cup of tea with your partner or a friend.
The aim of this ‘time out’ is to do something that makes you feel relaxed and regenerated.
3. Strike a pose
Engaging in slow movement such as yoga and tai chi is beneficial for both your body and mind. It can even help you iron out the ‘kinks' from sitting at a computer all day.
4. Let nature nurture you
Listening to sounds of nature can trigger brain responses that calm your nervous system. Even just five minutes spent looking at photos of ‘green spaces’, such as rainforests, can help reduce stress levels.
That’s a good reason to place some ‘green’ images near your work station and on your computer screensaver. It’s also a good reason to take a nature break every day, such as walking to the park during your lunch hour, stopping off at the beach on your way home, or sitting in your garden or on your apartment balcony to watch the sun set.
Spending time walking in a park or near trees and plants, or ‘forest bathing’ (a practice of slowing down and connecting to nature), can reduce stress chemicals and also lower blood pressure, research shows.
5. Take a technology break
Set a period of time every day where you switch off your mobile phone, ignore emails and focus completely and mindfully on the task at hand. This will help you be more productive and tick off that job on your to-do list, giving you greater job satisfaction and helping to lower your stress levels.