The struggles and successes of working mothers is hardly a new topic. It seems that nearly everyone from celebrities to CEOs has something to say on the matter. Why all the tips for working mothers? Because more moms are working than ever before. The United States Department of Labor Women’s Bureau states that 57 percent of women participate in the labor force, 70 percent of whom have children under the age of 18. And according to a 2014 report put out by the Obama Administration, “More than 40 percent of mothers are now the sole or primary source of income for their household.”
So exactly what and how much advice should you follow? That depends on you. But at Women’s Care Florida, we believe there is a common tenet that every working mom should heed: good health is vital to personal — and professional — happiness and success.
Our six quick tips for working mothers are lifestyle choices that we encourage every working mother to make. Yes, some of the tips are easier to commit to than others, but together, they provide a solid foundation for good health and feeling less overwhelmed.
6 Working Mom Tips for Staying Healthy
- Drink plenty of water. You’ve probably heard the rule of thumb to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. While the actual amount of water you need depends on your lifestyle and diet, it is a guideline worth remembering. Drinking water is essential to maintaining the balance of body fluids, aiding in kidney and bowel function, fighting fatigue and improving skin appearance. And if that isn’t reason enough to stay hydrated, remember that mild dehydration can also negatively affect your mood and concentration. So if you’re feeling grumpy at work, reach for a glass of water — it might just brighten your day.
- Get enough sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults 26-64 years need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Not enough hours in the day? That may be true, but it’s important to your health that you make time for sleep. Skipping an hour or two each night can add up to a serious sleep debt, which can lead to slower reactions, decreased productivity and health problems. In fact, the health care expenses and lost productivity due to insufficient sleep cost the U.S. about $66 billion … a year.
- Pack your lunch. Eating healthy is one of the most important things a working mom can do to maintain her health. Besides the obvious cost savings (it’s estimated that Americans spend $3,000 buying lunch each year), packing your own lunch allows you to better control what and how much you eat. You might be a food-pyramid devotee when it comes to feeding your kids, but are you as smart with your own choices? For example, that muffin might look delicious, but you’ll fare much better with a combination of protein and fiber; it will keep your energy up and your mind sharp. If you need recipe inspiration, check out delish.com for 51 healthy lunch ideas.
- Take the stairs. Finding time for regular exercise can be a challenge, but staying fit is essential to good health. If you can’t get in a formal workout, look for ways to burn some calories at home and work. Here are a few ideas that can be easily incorporated into your day: Pass by the front row spot and park your car further away to get in the extra steps.- Grab a co-worker and go for a lunchtime walk.
- Skip the elevator and take the stairs.
- Dance around the living room with your kids and enjoy some quality time, too! Want a few more quick calorie burns? Check out these ideas from shape.com.
- Call a friend. When life gets stressful, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Friendships are essential to good mental health. So whether you’re overwhelmed at work, annoyed by your partner, exasperated by the kids, or just feeling down — don’t be afraid to reach out to friends for support. Sometimes a good chat (or the opportunity to let off a little steam) is all it takes to get back on track.
- Do it for you. Wake up. Pack lunches. Get the kids to school. Go to work. Make dinner. Homework. Get the kids to bed. Fall asleep. REPEAT. Sound familiar? When you’re a working mom, it can feel like life is all work and no play. Be sure you take time out of your busy day to take care of you. Whether it’s enjoying a few minutes of meditation, spending time with a good book, going on a date with friends, or heading out to the spa —it’s important to do something that is just for you. Remember, it’s not selfish, it’s good for your health.
And here’s one more tip for good measure:
To help prepare for parenthood or receive more tips for working mothers, partner with your Women’s Care Florida physician to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Your family — and boss — will thank you for it!