Why We're Over the Word "Balance"
There’s no such thing as “balance.” Between work, personal commitments, and side hustles, we all have busy schedules. While multitasking and nurturing come as second nature to most of us women, we often set unrealistic expectations for ourselves. If we don’t “do it all,” then we must not be doing enough. The truth is that you don’t necessarily need to spend more time at work to increase your productivity — you just need a routine that prioritizes you and your well-being.
A winning wellness routine can help you not only avoid burnout but also accomplish more in less time. To get started, we asked leaders in the FQ Lounge @ Campus to tell us how they maintain healthy habits. Here are some tricks they shared that you can use to find out which self-care practices are right for you — no matter how busy you are.
Embrace a “Work-Life Integration” Mindset
What if women cared for themselves in the same way they care for others? As the traditional primary caregivers, we often put everyone other than ourselves first—to the detriment of our mental and physical wellbeing. Unless we get comfortable putting ourselves in the equation every day, we won’t be our best selves at home or in the workplace.
Building healthier habits begins with shifting your mindset so try something that gets you out of your head. “I traveled 237 days last year,” Amy Weinblum, Chief Business Development Officer of WW, shares. “What I learned to do was take some of the things that make me feel good at home with me on the road. One of those things is walking.” If walking doesn’t do it for you, then find something else that brings you joy.
Above all, remember that self-care isn’t selfish. “There’s often guilt surrounding self-care routines. But, even paying your credit card bill on time and avoiding stress can be a form of self-care,” says Actress and Activist Corinne Foxx. “When we redefine self-care to be anything that prioritizes yourself first, you lose that guilt.” Stop feeling guilty and start embracing your feminine characteristics as a strength.
Decide What Matters Most
What matters to you most? Let’s face it: There are only so many hours in a day. As health and fitness expert Katie Austin says, “You can’t do it all. All you can do is your best.” If you get clear on your priorities, you’ll be able to focus on what really matters to you. For Teri Hatcher, it’s about letting go of judgment and breaking free of society’s unattainable standards. “I’m passionate about connecting people with kindness and positivity,” says the actress-turned-wellness guru. “What do you need to live a good life? In my case, trying to make people of all walks of life feel good.”
Create Daily Rituals
Self-care means carving out space each day to do whatever makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming. It could be as simple as taking a bubble bath, getting a massage, or going to bed at the same time every night. “Find the things that work for you within the context of your current lifestyle— things that you know will always make you feel better,” says Jackie London, Head of Nutrition and Wellness, WW. “Shutting down email might be one, organizing might be another.” As Amanda de Cadenet, Founder of Girlgaze, explains, “What self-care is for one person might be overdoing it for another person.”
Self-care shouldn’t be something that’s one-and-done either. “A lot of people think self-care is a trend but it’s so much more than just one act of self-care,” Katie adds. “It’s about focusing on improving yourself as an overall holistic picture.” So, don’t wait to practice self-care until you’re reaching burnout or already there. Give yourself— and your team— permission to take a time out.
Know Your Limits and Set Boundaries
If you need to take a moment alone to check in with yourself, then do it. Take the time you need when you need it and manage to get it all done…your own way. “Being alone is empowering,” says Teri. “If you can make your own choices and be independent, those are strong things, not things to be ashamed of.”
The same holds true for relationships according to Molly Thompson, Co-Founder, Kind Campaign. “We talk about breaking up with significant others, but we don’t talk enough about breaking up with friends,” says Molly. “It comes down to having enough respect for yourself to walk away from certain relationships that aren’t healthy for you. And that’s ok.”
Lean on Others for Support
“Loneliness is one of the greatest public health concerns of our time. How do we combat that? Prioritize connection,” Jackie says. Asking for support helps you increase your productivity, which will, in turn, help others. Managers often set the tone for workplace culture. One survey found that 80 percent of employees said they’d be more likely to take time off if they felt supported and encouraged by their boss. If you’re a manager, you can shift workplace culture by demonstrating to your co-workers that self-care is a priority. As our very own Shelley Zalis, CEO of the Female Quotient, always says, “A better ‘me’ leads to a better ‘we.’
Does wellness make people more productive? The answer is a resounding YES. Small self-care rituals can set the tone for your day and cultivate the self-confidence you need to succeed. Figure out what a winning wellness routine looks like for you.
For more on self-care, health, and wellness, check out:
Making Mental Health Matter
Take Five: How To Practice Self Care At Work
Leaders Share Their Favorite Action Steps to #MakeEqualityMoves