Personal advice is impossible to give because we are each so different. So this section is a series of questions for you to ask yourself. A terrific resource for general women's health information is www.healthywomen.org.
- What are my goals and am I on track to achieve them in some form?
- Do I feel empowered with choices to achieve my goals?
The answers to these questions should be “yes”. But “getting to yes” is not always easy. Think about your answers based on the contentment map. The PRIMARY DILEMMA™ is about minimizing discontent and finding greater satisfaction in your situation. Recognize that you have choices to change your world.
The Personal Checklist
In the mad rush of our working motherhood, we often put ourselves last. Don’t forget to take care of the following basics for you:
Health: Top of the list for a reason. Only a healthy woman can handle all the crazy demands of working motherhood.
- Exercise. Do I get enough? Make it happen in any way you can! Dr. Mehmet Oz offers a great, realistic approach in his book YOU: The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger.
- Stress Management. How am I managing mine? Not easy in the pressure cooker of working motherhood. Be sensitive to your personal capacity and keep the world in perspective. Stay true to your core values. Be willing to say “no” to things that you don’t choose. By saying “no”, you can minimize feeling overwhelmed. A wonderful quote from the PRIMARY DILEMMA™ research says “You don’t have to be President of the PTA…One woman can only handle so much! When you do get overwhelmed, stop and take stock, look at the non-essentials and reorder priorities.” Your child will not be scarred for life because you missed a baseball game. And every once in a while, a work deadline gets missed too.
- Sleep. Do I get enough? Get it! At least 8 hours 2 nights during the work week and more on the weekends. Everyone will suffer if you are not rested.
- The Doctor. When was my last visit? Go! Get a regular physical and gynecologic exam. If you are over 40, get your mammogram. Too many people are relying on you for you to neglect your health. Find a doctor that you like and respect. Make your doctor visit more of an occasion than a burden.
- Emotional Health. Have I done anything for me lately? Find an outlet that brings you joy – your friends, a hobby, exercise. Commit to this as an outlet for your sanity. My outlet is running. I run for sanity as much as I do for fitness. It is my time to decompress and find mental calm. My entire WORLD benefits because of that simple act.
- When was the last time that I engaged in an activity that did not involve my kids or work? Everyone needs a social outlet. Make time for friends and your husband. Enjoy the social side of your personality. Sometimes it can feel like life is only work and parenting. Believe it or not there is more out there. Put on some lipstick and hit the town.
- What is my budget? Avoid taking on debt whenever possible. Know your budget and stick to it.
- Do I have a plan for the future? Even if you are in a relationship with someone who is financially savvy, be accountable for your own plan. Be involved in securing your future and the future of your family (College, 401K, etc).