International Women’s Day marks a day of celebration, advocacy for women’s rights and equality. What a year! We saw Kamala Harris break a glass ceiling becoming the world’s first female, Black Vice President of the US. While Scotland became the first country to provide universal and free access to female personal health products.
We have crazy lives: Natural Distilling Co, leading the family team of Rhys and our two young children (Charlie 2 and Eden 8 months), household tasks, family activities, etc.
It’s hard to find the opportunity and energy to connect with other female role models and set aside personal time to avoid burn out. If I burn out what happens to my family?
I wanted to share a couple of ways you and your team can celebrate International Women’s Day by carving out more time for yourself – read on!
1: Sleep is more important than food!
Say you decide to go on a fast, you effectively starve yourself for a week. At the end of seven days, how do you feel? You would probably be hungry, definitely cranky, but possibly thinner.
Now let’s say you deprive yourself of sleep for a week. Not so good. After 2 days you would be utterly unable to function. That is why Amnesty International lists sleep deprivation as a form of torture.
According to the Harvard Business Review, sleep is more important for your health than food. Lack of sleep also impacts relationships and communication which is so important for business and at home.
I now take time when the kid's nap during the day to close my eyes for 20 mins and set a hard stop (No phone, Netflix off and no arguments) at 11 pm every night. Discipline is essential but worth it and everyone’s a winner!
2: If the last time you had quality ‘me time’ was grocery shopping, join the club.
As women, we play multiple roles in our lives – wife, partner, mother, sister, daughter, friend, colleague, cook, cleaner, teacher, coach, and taxi-driver.
It’s taken me a while to realise, but whenever I find myself feeling agitated, overwhelmed, or snapping at my kids (or husband), chances are it’s been a while since I have done something just for me.
My favourite ways to get in some me-time are:
Going for walk, get outdoors, and get the endorphins flowing, also improving the ability to sleep.
Soak up some sunshine, sweet vitamin D is a great mood booster, sunlight also provides several health benefits such as triggering the release of serotonin which is responsible for strengthening bones and healing skin.
Listen to a podcast in the bath with a glass of wine (or at least aim to!). An uninterrupted bath is one of the best ways to relax after a long day. Multiple studies have revealed that having a bath results in a significant drop in feelings of pessimism about the future and can cause increased internal feelings of pleasure.
3: Set up a coffee date with a woman in your network
Sometimes, the best way to get inspired or learn something new is through a simple chat.
This International Womens Day try asking a woman in your network on a “coffee date” to discuss their career, leadership experiences, self-care, or any other topics of interest.
Here are a few questions I find interesting:
What is one lesson that a mentor or role model has taught you?
How do you manage your balance your career and personal life?
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
What unique challenges have you faced in your career as a woman? How did you overcome them?
The key is to be kind to yourself, sleep, keep your mind active, and enjoy the opportunities life places in front of you. Promise yourself to take time each day to do one thing you want to do. No excuses, no if’s, no but’s. Just do it!
Don’t wait until you have burned out to look after your mind and body!
Laura Staley – Co-Founder Natural Distilling Co