One of the biggest complaints among women who have built successful careers is that it comes at the expense of personal wellbeing. Women thriving professionally in their 40s, 50s, and 60s are likely in the most demanding phase of their careers, leaving little time for self-care. They might have broken a glass ceiling or two, but by the time they reach the upper floors, they often are out of shape, carrying extra weight, and facing higher risk for a variety of age-related stagnation diseases.
Women have the wisdom to empower midlife and menopause as an “exciting developmental time,” not a downhill slide, according to Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of The Wisdom of Menopause. It actually is meant to be “bracing, exciting, and health-enhancing.” If you knew this to be true (and it is!), how much do you want to revive your body, mind, and spirit to take charge of the abundant possibilities in this next chapter? And what if you could do it in a way that enhances your life and work, not disrupt it?
Habit science to the rescue. Small, incremental, consistent changes are easier to accomplish than big challenging ones, and therefore, they are more sustainable and more successful. (Because evolution lasts; struggle rarely does.) Here, then, begins my series of easy, energizing habits you can insert incrementally throughout the workday to kickstart your personal wellbeing without taking time away from your professional success.
ONE: HACK YOUR WAKE-UP CALL
The first hack starts before you even leave for work. How is your morning routine contributing to your wellbeing? To feel energized, motivated, and positive, your physical, mental, and emotional body needs to pulsate with oxygen, energy, and blood. But moving from the bed to the computer, the news, or the wardrobe prolongs the stagnation of the previous 8 hours of sleep. You carry that stagnation with you to work, where you find yourself pushing against it all day.
Instead, gorge on some oxygen. After you drink your morning beverage and go to the bathroom - but before you eat - move with conscious breath. It doesn't have to be your intense cardio workout (although it could be). You can stretch or walk the dog or do your sun salutations and burpees - as long as you consciously connect the movement with breath. I take the dog for a spunky walk and take belly breaths that start in the belly and expand into the lungs. Cate Stillman, entrepreneur, Ayurveda/yoga teacher, and author of Body Thrive, explains that besides oxygen, the breath also carries consciousness, which is infused with intelligence. By moving with conscious breathing, your body and your cells experience more energy, more connection, and awakened intuition. It makes your cells smarter, healthier, and super functional. Start with 5 minutes and work up to 20. Do this every day without fail to kickstart your brain, your metabolism, you circulation, and your balancing hormones. Right away, you’ll feel radiant!
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