In general, as I’ve witnessed from my conversations with clients from all walks of life in my coaching practice, women tend to do for others and put their own needs last. As a result, the impact to your emotional wellness, which ultimately impacts every aspect of your health including perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms, is magnified if you’re not proactively taking measures to “replenish your emotional cup” every day.
Think of the advice you get when flying and the flight attendants address how to use an oxygen mask when traveling with a child or other person who may need extra care. First put on your own oxygen mask, then help that person put on their mask. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to help others.
How to Prioritize Yourself!
1. Don’t Skip Your Own Self-Care
It may seem impossible some days to accomplish this with all of the roles you play in your life, but it’s important to move yourself up on your priority list.
If you feel you can’t take your lunch, break it into smaller chunks of time. If you feel you can’t take a break, take a shorter one. Even a 5–10-minute walk around the block, a couple of minutes of deep cleansing breaths, watching a 5-minute funny YouTube video or texting a friend or loved one, can give you that mental break you need.
Also, don’t be afraid to Just say no (sometimes). It can seem like every request for our time must be accepted, but the reality is that some can be moved to a different day/time, “assigned” to someone else or turned down outright. If you say “yes” to everything you won’t have time to put on your oxygen mask!
2. Food is Fuel
When you’re not putting your own needs first at times to be able to take on all that life is asking of you, it can be harder to make better food choices that are supportive to your mission that day and longer-term maintaining or getting down to a healthy weight.
Make sure you’re giving yourself high quality fuel to get through your day. It may seem that a candy bar, sugary coffee drink or other goodie will give you a burst of mental energy, but it’s short-lived. Your body needs quality food and lots of water to thrive--especially when you are in high demand.
Always have some quick nutritious snacks ready like nuts/seeds, fruit, light cheese sticks, peanut butter “go” portions or high protein/fiber bite-size cereal like Barbara’s Morning Oat Crunch.
3. Use Down Time You Create to Enjoy Things that Make You Feel Relaxed and Happy Daily
Remember, simple 5-to-10-minute chunks of “you time” can have a profound impact on your emotional wellness as you intersperse them throughout your day and night.
What are some things you enjoy doing that you’ve let fall by the wayside? What did you love to do as a child?
Pick a quick thing when you’re short on time (for example, blast a favorite song on the radio and sing along out loud while on break, commuting or making dinner). Then save taking a hike, doing a puzzle or painting a picture on days when you have more time.
Busting the Yoga/Meditation Myth
When it comes to what you do to achieve emotional wellness, you should do what is a fit for you, so you stick with it. If you’re into Yoga or Tai Chi, great. However, if they’re just not your thing and you’d rather jog or dance for 10 minutes, that’s perfectly fine. You can achieve that same emotional release and replenish your feel-good hormones by doing what you love.
Suppose you’ve heard you should meditate, but traditional ways don’t appeal to you? Meditate in a way that suits you and shuts out the world for a few precious minutes. Watch the wind rustle leaves on a tree outside your window. Check out a gorgeous kaleidoscope video on YouTube.
Prioritize Yourself Consistently
Emotional wellness is not something you invest in temporarily. For it to pay the dividends you seek, it must be something that becomes a regular part of your life. Consistency is key and so is quality over quantity!
Like any habit, the way to get started is to start small and set simple, achievable goals for yourself. For example, “each day I will go for a 5-minute walk during my lunch or break, rain or shine this week.” Those small goals will give you the small wins that eventually lead to the big wins you want to achieve and sustain.
Now Take Action!
What’s one small step you can take today to move yourself up on your priority list and positively impact your emotional wellness and overall health? If you want to share what worked for you, feel free to email Coach Melanie and we’ll share your ideas in an upcoming post with other members of the Membrasin Community.
Melanie Jordan is a Nationally Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) with 12+ years of coaching and corporate wellness program experience for digital health start-ups, top health insurers, and her own private practice Your Healthy Life Made Easy LLC. Melanie specializes in working holistically with business professionals to become as successful at healthfully losing weight for good and transforming their overall health as they are in their careers.
If life changes have contributed to frustration with your weight and overall health, you’ll want to check out Coach Melanie’s 5-day E-Course 5 Essential Keys to Healthy Weight Loss Success. Access is free as a thank you for reading the Membrasin® Blog.
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