As strong women, we often try to be everything to everyone everyday. Unfortunately, this is not possible without running yourself into the ground. Each one of us, regardless of our situation, is trying to succeed in every way possible in our lives, but we often forget to take care of ourselves. If we take care of ourselves, we will often tackle the day with more energy and focus. If we do not take care of ourselves, the quality of work, quantity of energy and internal drive will decrease. If one continues down this course, as I have twice, your body will begin to deteriorate. Because I did not take care of myself, I developed moderate to severe irritable bowel syndrome as well as lost 17% of my body weight in about 9 months. I have always been a small person so when my boyfriend and parents began begging me to eat more because I was too skinny, I knew there was a problem.

Now that I have embraced self care, my body weight is stabilized, and I am no longer losing weight. My digestive system does not continually hate itself, and my relationships are improving tremendously. The lessons below are what I have learned from this experience.

  1. Self care is essential if you want to be successful

As strong conservative women, we want to succeed in whatever career/life path we choose. If you are not taking care of yourself, you will start to fail. Maybe not immediately, but will start happening. Try to find what works for you in managing your stress and the expectations you and/or others have put on you. I turned off the email notifications on my phone so when I got home, I could disconnect from my work life. If you are expected to be available 24/7, try to find a way to de-stress yourself by taking your dog on a walk or taking a warm bath.

  1. Know when you need to take a break

If you are zoning out and know you still have work to do, know that it is okay to take a 10-20 minute break. Doing so will clear your mind and allow you to get back to work with clarity. A great way to take a break is to turn off all electronics, set an alarm and clear your mind. If it is warm enough, a walk to your mailbox or local park with your dog to get away.

  1. Try to find the light at the end of the tunnel

Try to realize that whatever is stressing you will end at some point. When I have a big project due, I try to break down the project to where I work on it for a little bit every night. Doing so makes the project seem do-able and allows me to see the end. It will also allow you some flexibility in how you do your project because you have spaced everything out.

  1. Learn to say no.

We are all busy with professional work as well as personal lives. When asked if you can take on another task when you already feel like you are swimming upstream, know that is okay to say no to the other task. You know yourself and if you feel as though you cannot take anything else on, trust that instinct. If you do take on the additional task, you will likely fail because you will not be able to give it your all.

Kallie B
CABINET