Rather listen, than read?
Here I go again…
You plop yourself down on the couch and the feelings of overwhelm and fatigue rush to the surface. Your eyes are so heavy and your body tired — your patience is running on empty, yet there is just one more task to do. There is always one more task to do.
Tonight it is packing your lunch for tomorrow. But there is nothing in the fridge ready to be easily set aside. You can feel even more energy drain from your body.
“I will just buy lunch tomorrow.”
As the sense of defeat flows over you and penetrates every cell in your body, you can’t help to think, “Is this how it will always be? Is this what being successful feels like?”
Feeling the motivation slipping away moment by moment, you pull out your phone and open your social media. Time to check out. Disconnect. Forget your worries.
Time to relax.
As a busy woman, you probably know this feeling all to well. Each day seems like a repeat of the past many days and sometimes it can feel like your train is running off it’s tracks.
You want to feel healthier. Slimmer. Happier. Lighter. More alive.
But you have so many obligations — work, a booming career, kid’s schedules, household chores, quality time with your mate — that makes it feel impossible to implement all you know that you should do.
Your schedule is so jam-packed that your friends joke that you are single-handedly saving the world, in and out of the office, all while wearing heels and speeding to your kid’s next soccer game.
On the outside, you look like you have it all together, but on the inside you feel the disconnect and the discontent.
And as you stare at your phone, scrolling mindlessly, you mutter silently to yourself “Something needs to change.”
Does this sound familiar? Even if it is not exactly as it plays out for you, does it ring true on a certain level?
Recent research has shown that many women just like you often become so caught up in their fast-paced lives and careers that they struggle to find time for proper nutrition, exercise, and maintaining the healthy relationships and mindsets to bring more fulfillment to their lives. According to NPD, 13% of women aged 35-54 skip breakfast. And the CDC states that “More than 60 percent of U.S. women do not engage in the recommended amount of physical activity” and “More than 25 percent of U.S. women are not active at all.” You are not alone!
Finding real fulfillment and still taking care of the core responsibilities on your plate can appear to be like oil and water — they just don’t mix — but there couldn’t be anything further from the truth. Even slight improvements can make a difference; They can alleviate chronic pain, decrease depression, increase energy, and even help with addiction. It really takes 3 main approaches for you to begin feeling higher levels of fulfillment in your life. But you don’t have to make huge changes. Even small little baby steps in each of these categories can quickly lead to huge gains in the long run!
1. Healthy Body
Eating healthy and having the right foods on hand can be super simple for the busy lifestyle. It is all about planning and prepping. This is a game changer. Designate one day out of the week when you will prepare healthy meals for the upcoming work week. Make 2-3 main meals and either store them in the refrigerator or freeze them for when you are ready.
Prep your veggies and fruit too! Wash the fruit and chop up the veggies — you can even make a big bowl of salad to dish out as you fill your lunches. Just make sure not to add dressing until you are ready to eat the individual serving size.
Smoothies are another quick, easy and healthy option. Make your smoothie the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator so you can pull it out before leaving the house.
A healthy body is also about body movement. And busy lifestyles need exercise more than ever — it helps to increase energy, decrease stress, and power the brain. If you don’t have time for a full workout or even a 15-20 minute power workout, you can get sneaky. Walk on your lunch breaks, do a simple body weight workout in your office, take the steps instead of the elevator, or park far away from the front door and walk those extra steps. All of it counts and all of it gets your body moving!
2. Healthy Relationships
It’s no secret that being an overly busy bee can lead to relationship issues. According to life coach and couples therapist, Connie Milligan LCSW, a relationship is like a fire. If you don’t tend to the flame, it will burn out.
But here is the secret to healthy relationships: It isn’t just about your relationship with others, it is also about your relationship with yourself.
Learning how to love yourself and give yourself the respect you deserve will automatically help you understand how to love and respect others.
When creating healthy relationships with others, there must be a harmonious balance between setting boundaries, communication, and respect. You need to understand what your boundaries are with the people and situations in your life and learn how to communicate that openly and honestly. And then learning to respect the other person or situation by honoring who they are, what their needs are, and letting go of what does not serve that relationship.
When creating a healthy relationship with yourself, the same applies, but defined slightly different. Learning to set boundaries with yourself and other people creates the respect for you and your core values/needs. You must also learn communication with yourself — communicating power and love for yourself (i.e., “I am” statements or positive reinforcing self-love statements), but also communicating with your shadows and the parts of yourself that need work (i.e., Carl Jung’s shadow work, addressing insecurities and behaviors that no longer serve you).
Regardless if you are working to improve the relationship with yourself or with someone else, it is important to carve out that time to spend building that relationship and nurturing it with love.
3. Healthy Mind
You can do all the things to make yourself healthier, but it starts with your mindset and how you are thinking throughout your day. We spend the majority of our day with random thoughts floating through our brains and often, we are not even aware of how much we are thinking. It is estimated that the average person has over 6,000 thoughts per day. That is a lot of thoughts! Which then leads me to wonder, how many of those thoughts are serving you and how many are not?
Learning to reframe your mind and your thoughts in ways that build you up will ultimately create more fulfillment. This sounds very hypothetical, but it’s as simple as this: More thoughts that are empowering and positive in nature help to nurture your self-esteem and your confidence. A raised self-esteem and a higher level of confidence create an outlook that is more empowered and full of possibilities. And, in the long run, this can help create more happiness and fulfillment.
Learning to reframe your mind is NOT all about just thinking more positive. It is about acknowledging your strength and your incredible qualities. It is about talking to yourself with more kindness and giving yourself grace. It is also about facing your faults and having the inner strength to walk through some of your shadows and those behaviors that are not so healthy.
Journaling is a powerful tool to all of this! If you are curious about journaling, but not sure where to start, read this past blog to get the pen moving! And if you are interested in learning how to start diving into your shadow work, here is an excellent question prompt journal to get you started.
I was a version of that woman up above. I lived the struggle. I was the struggle. And, I struggled so badly with overwhelm and fatigue that I would spend many nights pulling away and questioning what it was all for. I knew there was more and I knew that I had all the power to change it. These 3 steps were my personal saving grace and what allowed me to pull myself out of the trenches. I joke and say that I am a recovering addict to chaos. If I can do it, so can you!
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