Taking Care of You

by Sherry Heuser

I am a member of a professional women’s organization. We meet monthly to hear compelling presentations and connect with each other. While this may sound like a formal, stiff group, it is far from it.

Because of these luncheons, I have met incredibly interesting and intelligent women who are funny, friendly, and in very diverse sectors of the career world. My professional network has increased, certainly, but, more importantly, my collection of friends has grown. I rely on these women for business recommendations and personal advice alike. This is my go-to group, my “village”. It keeps me centered, celebrates with me, and knocks my stress way down. It is a resource that makes me a happier, healthier person. It is so much more than just lunch and I count on it every month.

After a recent meeting, I wondered…what other ways do women like these take care of themselves?

So, I conducted an informal poll to find out how colleagues take care of themselves throughout the year. In addition to some expected answers (“go for a run”, “meditate”, “eat a balanced diet”, “go to the spa”), my on-the-fly survey also resulted in some creative responses. Here are some of my favorite gems:

  • When I’m in a rut, I don’t just exercise as usual, but I sign up for a new, fun class—one year I tried belly-dancing!
  • I find a friend and make our own adventure—one friend suggested taking a sailing lesson on a local lake on a weekday, but even lunch in a new restaurant has been just as refreshing.
  • I eat as healthy as possible at breakfast and lunch, so that when I indulge in an occasional special treat at dinner or dessert, I don’t feel guilty. In fact, I relish the “mental health” benefits of sharing celebratory foods with people I love.
  • My book club. Period.
  • I call a good friend who will let me whine and complain, then gently remind me by her presence that I have more to be thankful for than not. We call it a “Vegas” conversation—anything can be said, but what is shared there, stays there.
  • When I only have 2 minutes, I pick out one of my toddler’s storybooks and read it to myself in bed. I try to choose one he hasn’t requested dozens of times in one sitting, though.
  • I make sure I hug someone every day.

What does this tell me? Yes, keep doing all the things you are supposed to do—eat healthy, exercise, and rest, but also do what truly makes you happy and keeps you going. 

Bottom Line: We all know we should eat healthy, exercise, and rest, but we must remember that to fully live a healthy life, we must also do those things that truly make us happy and keep us going.

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