For many women, Work Life Balance seems to be more of an ideal than a reality. Our children, our partner, our work often take priority to ourselves — and while that is okay, we must prioritize basic self-nurturing “ME” time. It allows us to be in the best mental and physical state to help not only ourselves but those we care about, too. Carving out this time can be hard, but do it! Maybe it’s an hour to read a book, time at the gym, a nail appointment AND don’t forget the importance of regular doctor appointments —lifesaving exams and early warning signs often get missed because we “bump” these appointments. What could be a higher priority for our loved ones than making sure that we are healthy ourselves?
And while no one ever truly feels like they’ve got the Work Life Balance thing down completely, here are three simple reminders that I try to live by:
• Put down the phone and be present. I must admit, I am not always good at this. I am known for some of the quickest response times around, but it can be a big life distraction. Establish phone free activities, like at the dinner table or when you’re doing activities with your children, where that time is just simply about something else.
• Understand what is important to your family. This often requires a discussion, as I have at times found that what my children consider to be a priority may differ from my thinking. No one can be present 100% of the time, but know what you absolutely cannot miss. And give yourself a break on those that you can.
• There is nothing wrong with your career being an important part of who you are. Lead by example and be a role model and mentor. In my case, at Nutrisystem, it’s rewarding to know that, every day, we are helping people reach their goals and live healthier lives. Their stories inspire me.
Dawn Zier is CEO of Nutrisystem, Chair of AHA Philadelphia Go Red initiative and a 2016 Power Woman.