Tips on staying well and fit despite your chaotic schedules
With the extremely fast-paced society we are currently living in, trying to keep our sanity and health intact is an immense challenge. Majority of career individuals, especially parents who have re-entered the professional world are struggling to achieve that ever-elusive work-life balance. I for one have been beating myself up over this matter until I came across 2 great articles (see links below) and realize it’s about time I jumped into the driver seat and take control of what is essential and what makes being a working mom work.
Lauren Laitin who authored “The Other B-Word: Embracing It Can Make You Happier Than Seeking Work Life Balance” has raised plausible arguments on shifting our mindset onto boundaries instead of balance because the latter, when used in the context of trying to achieve a happier life while also meeting our professional responsibilities seems to be a little too unrealistic as it connotes work and life are mutually exclusive. In fact, Berkeley-Haas has included an imagery comparison of a work-life balance scale and an interconnected work-life integration spheres in its short write up on work/life integration (see photo above).
Personally, I find myself leaning towards the work/life integration camp. No, I have nothing against those who prefer to stick with the traditional work-life balance. It’s just that I find its more feasible to find little pockets of time in my work and personal schedules to complement the other, and thus blending or mixing them together makes more sense than disconnecting one from the other in pursuit of the highly unattainable “balance”.
Let’s take wellness as an example. A lot of working moms have ditched the idea of getting exercise altogether because it’s just so hard to find the time, and I was one of these moms. I work the traditional 9-5 job, which means I already spend most of my waking hours away from home, away from my little daughter, so why would I want to “waste” another 30 minutes to an hour going to the gym just so I can get my exercise? I would much rather give that up and use that time to bond with my daughter instead.
Luckily, I work for a company that values its employees wellbeing and has a strong commitment to provide opportunities for its people to improve their health and general wellbeing. As such, a National Wellness Step Up challenge has been introduced in order to motivate everyone in the organization to focus in their health and work towards a common wellness goal. You bet I signed up for this challenge, and our team has been doing well so far.
I guess the key takeaway for me from this challenge is the realization that getting fit and exercising don’t have to be outside your work hours. Below are some tips the organization has put together on how to get active and achieve a healthier lifestyle through home-work-wellbeing synergies.
1. Get your team together to gain the most steps out of your active day
2. Set your individual goals – I’ve set my individual goal at 10,000 steps. And I’ve managed to hit the mark 5/7 days last week.
3. Set walking meetings
4. Take the stairs not the lift – When I’m not carrying heavy stuff (ie laptop, books) I take the stairs from the building lobby up to our office on level 19. On days that I take the lift, I go down 4 or 5 levels using the stairs for toilet breaks. ?
5. Organise social activities outside of work that will get you moving – our team goes out for lunch. Depending on the lunch preferences for the day, we either just cross the road or walk a few blocks. I personally find this to be a great way get some fresh air and be active.
6. Walk to work
7. Get off a stop earlier from your bus or train – I don’t do this but I improvise. I take the farthest exit and walk the longer way to the office – a good 15 minutes walk.
8. Collaborate with your team members to make your day work for your collective steps
9. Keep each other motivated by sharing regular progress updates!
My favorites are 2, 4, 5, 7, and 9.
This Step Up challenge runs for 60 days but looks like I will be sticking with this for many more months after. I will be posting a separate blog with our team’s progress and how we’re tracking. Stay tuned!
Mom the explorer ?
p.s. The best project you will ever work on is you, so why not give the above tips a try? Or better yet, share this to your friends and set up a walking/step goal challenge amongst your circle of friends – you’ll be surprised at how much fun and motivation a friendly competition can give.
To say raising a child is not easy is an understatement. Whether you are raising your child as a stay-at-home mom or as a career-mom is completely irrelevant – the struggle is real either way. I chose to join the latter group because I personally believe in doing so I’m helping myself and my child grow in enourmous ways. I get to go out and pursue my professional career from my 9-5 job while my child gains exposure and invaluable opportunities for learning and socialization.
I have an adorable toddler, Little Miss. This blog focuses on my journey and my attempts (successful and failed ones) to juggle all the roles I voluntarily signed up for. I will also slightly touch on my previous travels and bucketlist items ticked off before motherhood took over.
Thank you for reading this far and I hope you join me as I venture into the unknown – the ups and downs of being a career-mom.
Mom The Explorer ?
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