Ask an audience of 500 high-achieving women what isn’t fitting for them and you will get a lot of answers – from jeans to life to some things that truly can’t be printed! But over and over I hear recurring themes. We want to feel like our life fits, like our precious time and energy is spent in ways that reflect our values, in ways that make us feel effective, and in ways that leave us energy to take care of ourselves and have some fun!
Why is this so hard? Why do so many truly remarkable women feel drained, their energy scattered in so many directions? To address this critical subject, we’ve invited Cynthia Ackrill, MD to share her expertise and understanding with our readers.
The secret may be in the error of the phrase I just used: “in ways that leave us energy to take care of ourselves and have some fun!” This is completely backwards! Yet, it is such a pervasive concept it is part of our culture. We take care of ourselves last, even give ourselves and each other kudos for the sheer martyrdom of it all. We are secretly competitive to do more than those around us. We are continually rewarded for external achievement, not for our ability to balance healthy self-care with managing the challenges of careers and lives. Sure, you might get noticed for dropping some weight, but it is rare for our culture- corporate or otherwise- to recognize the art of life balance.
Yet aren’t we drawn to those folks who have that grounded-ness, that vitality that comes from putting themselves on their own to-do list? And don’t we really know, somewhere deep inside, that making sure we have stoked the fires of our energy resources pays off–getting enough sleep, good nutrition, movement, recreation, social connection, etc. We certainly know it when we send children off to school. We know their little bodies must have the basic needs met to learn. Yet we expect our brains to be creative when cheating our rest and nutrients.
Energy spent must be replaced. It’s not linear, by any means. Beyond the basic human needs, what refuels us varies. But we are all systems that operate best when balanced. And often it takes so little to tip the scales back toward balance. 10 minutes of me-time in the middle of a day can recharge batteries for hours. 10 minutes! 2 minutes of breath work can reset your brain and heart- how cool!
What can you do for yourself today to help your life fit? To reclaim some energy for your fabulous life?
To learn more about Cynthia Ackrill, speaker, coach and president of WellSpark, please visit her at her website.