Stamina for women who multitask
Article supplied by Giselle Cooke
Well, I have to say I have had copious experience at this challenge! To maintain energy levels and wellness through busy periods is the key to surviving and, let’s face it, the working woman is the best example of the person who needs high-octane fuel for her best performance!
Take my friend, Suzy. Just this year she has just “retired” from a general manager’s position of an artistic company, taken on WIRES animal rescue role and a real estate study course, whilst sitting on various advisory boards. Meanwhile she is mother to three children aged 7 to 14 (well, four, if you count her husband), most of whom have had illnesses during the year that required intensive nursing. Last week she accepted a presenter’s role on a local radio daytime program, which she does between school drop off and pick up times, then home to feed the kids, as well as the menagerie of rescued birds and possums…and eventually her poor husband.
So how do we keep going when life is so full and the demands on us physically and mentally drain our energy reserves?
When do we fit in time to nurture ourselves, to maintain our exercise and attend to our health and beauty needs? Or even a good night’s sleep?
Then there is The Menopause. It comes at a time in a woman’s life when usually she has so many responsibilities coinciding - her children have become teenagers, her own business or work demands, her husband and his business/work challenges, her ageing and ailing parents and, on top of all this, hormonal chaos!
Managing hot flushes so they do not disrupt the day too much, or especially deep and refreshing sleep, is necessary and best done naturally. Every woman wants avoid the risk of serious complications of breast cancer, heart attack and stroke which accompany the only medical solution which is offered menopausal women, conventional hormone replacement therapy. No woman wants to acquire a life-threatening condition for the sake of managing her hot flushes, when there are effective alternatives.
So, the Superwoman Formula for keeping up feminine stamina includes:
Strangely it would seem to cost more energy to exercise, but in fact fitness improves our energy production, elimination of wastes that fatigue us (and cause cellulite – yuk!) quality and length of sleep and our complexion and appearance.
Factor some activity you enjoy into most days of the week, like yoga, walking, cycling or swimming.
To recharge our batteries (and our adrenals) we need to have consistent sleep habits, getting to sleep well before midnight and waking refreshed is the goal. Exercise during the day will improve the quality of your sleep that night. Have a protein / carb. snack, like fruit with nuts and yoghurt, before bed if you have an early dinner, so your glucose levels maintain throughout the night.
Practice letting go mentally when you get into bed, either through writing a journal, meditating or enjoying sex with your partner. Herbal tonics can help calm you to switch off mentally, especially passion flower and zizyphus. Magnesium taken before bed relieves restless legs and muscle cramps from running all day.
Tthe more fresh, live and unprocessed your food is, the more life force you will derive from it to energise your cells. Raw salads, sashimi, sprouts and fresh fruits are light and envigorating foods that could make up the basis of a healthy summer diet. Organic produce also adds a turbo boost of extra nutrients to your diet, while reducing your intake of hormone disrupting chemicals, such as pesticides, which are residual on conventionally grown produce and may increase a woman’s risk for endometriosis and breast cancer.
Take a break
Plan an escape! Be selfish and arrange a weekend away somewhere remote (without mobile coverage) where you can relax and be pampered, such as an eco-health retreat. Have a massage or a hairdresser’s appointment to find a little bit of sanctuary in a busy day. Take in a live performance of music or theatre , or my favourite disappearance act is to visit an art gallery for the afternoon (so peaceful and culturally enriching for the spirit).
Go for a coastal walk, a surf, a cycle around the parklands, a salsa dance class or a game of golf to feel alive again.
The overcommitted woman really needs to supplement her hectic lifestyle and erratic meal routine with vitamins, minerals and herbs, to ensure that there are no gaps in her nutrition and that she has all the necessary nutritional tools for systems maintenance, hormone balancing and energy production.
Important supplements for her are
- antioxidants (Vitamins A,C,E , coenzyme Q10, astaxanthin and pomegranate);
- B-complex vitamins for adrenal recovery and neurochemical balance;
- iodine for thyroid health;
- magnesium to relieve muscle tension;
- chromium to stabilise glucose levels;
- Krill oil and Vitamin D for prevention of diseases of ageing, such as cardiovascular disease, dementia and arthritis.
I could not manage to function with the level of stamina for which I am reknowned without these herbs in my morning cocktail:
- panax ginseng
- cordyceps sinensis
- green tea
I feel stronger when I have had some vegetarian protein in a smoothie with fresh mango or berries each day, usually with coconut cream to sustain my energy.
The most important thing to remember
The most important thing to remember when you are accused of attempting to be a Superwoman is that stress, mental overwhelm and physical exhaustion are messages from your system to slow down. Make sure you read the signs and act swiftly to avoid collapse.
© Copyright Giselle Cooke