Being a working mother can be overwhelming at times. Balancing the demands of work and family can leave you feeling VERY drained and stressed. However, one simple and effective way to combat stress is by taking a walk. Walking not only helps you stay physically fit, but it also provides mental clarity and much-needed relaxation. So, let’s discuss how YOU can incorporate it into your busy schedule.
The Benefits of Walking
Walking is a fantastic stress reliever for several reasons. Firstly, it promotes the release of endorphins, also known as the “feel-good” hormones, in your body. These endorphins boost your mood and reduce anxiety and stress levels. Secondly, walking outdoors exposes you to fresh air and sunlight, which can improve your overall well-being. Additionally, walking increases blood circulation, leading to increased energy levels and better focus. All of these benefits make walking an ideal stress-relieving activity for working mothers (like me).
Time Management Tips
When you’re a parent, finding time for yourself can be REALLY challenging. However, with proper time management skills, you can carve out a few minutes for a walk. Here are some tips to help you incorporate walking into your busy schedule:
- Morning Routine: Wake up a few minutes earlier and go for a brisk walk before starting your day. This will not only energize you for the day ahead but also clear your mind and help you prioritize your tasks.
- Lunch Breaks: Instead of spending your entire lunch break at your desk, use a portion of it to take a walk. Make sure you have a comfortable pair of sneakers nearby so you can go and explore nearby parks or streets. This will break up your day, refresh your mind, and provide a much-needed break from work stress.
- Family Time: Involve your family in your walking routine. Plan walks with your children or partner after dinner or on weekends. This way, you can spend quality time together while also taking care of your health and well-being. KJ really enjoys our weekend walks (BEFORE it gets too hot in the day).
- Multitasking: If you have chores to complete, consider combining them with walking. For example, walk to the grocery store instead of driving, or take your dog for a longer walk than usual. This way, you accomplish your tasks while staying active and reducing stress.
- Walking Meetings: Whenever feasible, suggest taking walking meetings instead of sitting in a conference room. This not only allows you to have a productive discussion but also gets your body moving and relieves stress.
Tips for Effective Walking
Here are some easy tips to make the most out of your walking routine:
- Set Goals: Start small and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your walks. Setting achievable goals will keep you motivated and give you a sense of accomplishment.
- Mindful Walking: Instead of letting your thoughts wander, try practicing mindfulness while walking. Focus on your breath, notice your surroundings, and allow yourself to be present in the moment. This can enhance the relaxing and stress-reducing effects of your walk.
- Engage Your Senses: Pay attention to the sights, sounds, and smells around you as you walk. This sensory experience can help shift your focus away from stress and create a more enjoyable walking experience.
- Listen to Music, Audiobooks, or Podcasts: If you find it difficult to disconnect from your thoughts, listen to soothing music, educational audiobooks, or a thought-provoking podcast while walking. This can provide an additional relaxation layer and make your walks more enjoyable.
My commitment to my health and wellness journey has been GREATLY improved with my daily walking routine. It isn’t easy, but my body and mind feel SO MUCH BETTER since I started.
By incorporating walking into your routine and following the time management tips provided, YOU can walk your stress away and achieve a better work-life balance. So, put on your walking shoes and take the first step towards a healthier, happier you!