1. How can I carve time out of my day for just myself?
Today’s women wear many, many hats and often feel guilty for wanting to have time away from family, work, and friends. Even Oprah will tell you that if you can’t take care of yourself, you’ll have a hard time taking care of everyone else. Our panel of Fayette experts all had the same easy suggestion for carving out time for yourself: schedule it! You schedule appointments for the kids and meetings with co-workers, so why not schedule some time each day for just you? Put it on your calendar and stick to it. Take a walk, read a book, or just relax. Make an hour a day all about you, and you’ll find it easy to give your best to everyone else.
2. What is one thing that gives your life meaning?
Family and strong spiritual ties are the two things that all of our experts resounded over and over. No matter what life brings or how times change, family remains a constant in most women’s lives. Not simply immediate family, but extended family and friends as well. Nurturing relationships with those closest to you can add meaning to your life and also keep you feeling younger and more connected to the world around you. A personal relationship with God is the other thing that brings meaning to many of our women. Understanding the reasons why God has put you here and fulfilling what you believe to be your own personal calling can add more meaning to not only your life but to the lives of the people who you choose to share your talents with.
3. What is the first step to becoming more physically fit?
How to fit a work-out into an already busy schedule can be challenging. We all know the importance of exercise and keeping healthy, but many women put exercise last on their priority list—either because they don’t feel they have the time or simply don’t want to do it. First, you must make the decision to do it. One of our panel put it best by saying, “admit that you are physically unfit.” Create a plan for yourself that you can stick to and if necessary enlist the help of a professional trainer or nutritionist to get you started. Exercise more and eat less. Be reasonable about what you can accomplish and you will be more likely to stick with it. If you have never worked out before, don’t start by trying to run a marathon. Take baby steps and each day try and do a little bit more than the day before.
4. How can I better juggle all of my responsibilities (kids, job, friends, etc.)?
“Prioritize and organize!” say our panel of Fayette women. Take a good long look at the things in your life that take up your time. You need to ask yourself what is important and learn to say “no” more often. One of our experts suggested, “Determine the difference between must-do, need-to-do, would-like-to-do, and can-live without-doing.” How often do we think that we “need” to do something that can really wait until later? The dust will always be there. Your kids won’t. Make lists of what you need to do so that you can prioritize daily chores and block out time accordingly.
5. What is your favorite go-to treat for relieving stress?
Every woman has some amount of stress in her life. We all deal with the stress in different ways and a treat can be many things to many people. Our Fayette ladies suggested many different ways to reduce the stress, including having special time with a girlfriend away from the family, or just time by yourself. (One panelist unwinds by “feeding the neighbors’ horses and donkeys.”) Try keeping a journal, getting a massage, or treating yourself to a manicure. Classic old movies, working in the garden, and swimming were mentioned. As a real treat one of our ladies suggests having a Snickers ice cream bar, the “best food on earth” according to her. No matter what you do, find something that you can do on a regular basis that will help keep your busy life in balance.