Today, there are more women in the workforce than ever before. While it seems unfair that women often still have to work harder than their male peers to get equal recognition and pay, it’s not as surprising when you hear one of the main reasons- family responsibility!
There is not one society throughout history in which men have been the primary caregivers for children and the elderly. It would seem that it’s a woman’s job. Whether by design or by choice, I can’t say for sure. However, I do know that when anyone in my family is in need of help, I will drop anything I’m doing to go help. No amount of money would keep me from doing that. Most of the female caregivers I know are hardwired the same way. In fact, Claudia Goldwin, a Harvard Professor of economy states it this way:
“Women aren’t choosing to make less. Instead, they’re buying the flexibility to handle responsibilities outside of work.”
Yet the facts show that some women don’t have the luxury of dropping what they’re doing for every family crisis.
I actually believe we can do both if we must or if we choose. God gave us big brains for a reason. As women, our brains are our most powerful tool. A few years back, my husband Daniel published the largest brain imaging study of its kind, showing the differences between male and female brains.
He found that compared to men, women have increased activity in 112 out of 128 brain regions, especially the prefrontal cortex, responsible for reasoning and complex problem-solving. Also in the limbic system, which could be why women typically have more empathy. This also makes women more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.
Through this study, Daniel showed that women’s brains are perfectly hardwired for leadership. Women tend to work in community, encourage others, are highly responsible and conscientious. Those are the same qualities that make us great mothers and caregivers. I know first-hand how hard it can be juggling the responsibilities of a career you truly love with a hectic yet rewarding family life. When we have to shift quickly between being boss, mother, wife and daughter, oftentimes at the end of the day it can feel that there is just no time or energy to take care of ourselves.
Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to meet and collaborate with some of the most powerful women of our generation. These high-powered women of today’s business world are truly incredible and inspiring. While they may not be super-human, they are really super women!
Here are the top 6 tips I picked up from them on how they manage to live the passionate, rewarding lives they have chosen to design.
1. They eat brain healthy snacks, full of protein and beneficial fats.
High-Powered women are constantly on the go. They must make smart choices that help keep them razor focused., Snacking on almonds or berries throughout the day to keep themselves energized and feeling good.
2. They don’t drink their calories.
There’s a reason bartenders ask you to “pick your poison,” when you sit down for a drink. Alcoholic drinks, as well as sugary cokes and coffees will make you sluggish after a jittery sugar high. Choose water with cucumber and strawberries, or green tea to hydrate instead.
3. They know sleep is a priority.
Your brain can’t be its best when you’re sleep deprived. Without good sleep, you’ll get sick more often, make bad choices, feel grumpier and hungrier. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to be ill!
4. They love themselves.
The more responsibility you have, the more crucial it is that you take care of yourself first. If you don’t, you simply won’t be able to care for others. Also, love and appreciate your female friends and peers, and don’t compare yourself. Strong women celebrate what makes them unique instead of criticizing differences.
5. They make exercise fun!
Find unique ways to be active. Try taking the stairs, or walking during your lunch break. Go paddle boarding, hiking, or dancing. Whatever you do, enjoy yourself.
6. They know balance is they key.
While it may be tempting to go on that extreme juice cleanse or workout regimen, healthy women know building long-term happiness and health comes from habitual wellness- the everyday choices you make to support yourself and your family. You don’t have to torture yourself to be happy.
Finally, remember to celebrate each small victory! And remember, you don’t have to do it alone. We have found that the best way to start living a healthy lifestyle is with others, so we created a tribe of fit-minded individuals to help, support, and share success with each other along the way. Check it out here.