You’re Mom, and you’re also an entrepreneur. Any one of these things can prove a colossal challenge to any woman. But trying to take on both at the same time is a task that only the fearless (or at least the supremely confident) dare brave. Yet, while it has its challenges, you simply can’t imagine living any other way!
You have the autonomy to plan your life and work around what really matters. As busy as your days can get, you never need to worry about missing your son’s school play, or your daughter’s soccer game. You’re making a living on your own terms, building a brand that resonates with your target audience and blazes a trail for enterprising young women and girls who are inspired by your example.
You’re basically a boardroom Wonder Woman. And that’s both a blessing and a curse.
It’s okay to admit it. There’s a lot of pressure on all women that our male counterparts simply never contemplate. We’re expected to juggle the demands of our businesses with the inevitable pressures of parenthood. And while both can be sources of great joy, it can be extremely difficult to squeeze enough hours out of every day to be able to do both justice. Oh, and we’re expected to look effortlessly beautiful, calm and graceful under pressure while doing it.
It may seem as though stress, anxiety, worry and distraction bounce off you as effortlessly as bullets bouncing off Wonder Woman’s bracelets, but internalizing your worry, stress and anxiety combined with coping with the demands of being a business woman and a Mom in the 21st century can prove a recipe for ill health. And when your health is at risk, your business is potentially at risk, too. Here we’ll look at some of the health risks that could throw you off your game and prove detrimental to the business that is your livelihood…
As a Momtrepreneur, you thrive under adversity. Stressful situations can bring out the best in you. They can awaken an instinctive ability to take control, and draw upon reserves of energy, ingenuity and creativity that you never knew were possible.
And while this is very admirable, when the working day ends and crises have been averted, your body can still carry the effects of your stressful day with you. What’s more, stress can be cumulative, and when we don’t take steps to mitigate it, it can become chronic. Chronic stress can lead to a huge variety of physical and mental health risks, including (but not limited to);
- Lack of concentration / focus
- Digestive trouble
- Loss of appetite and libido
- Weight gain
- Frequent infections and illnesses (colds etc.)
- Increased risk of a number of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
Chronic stress triggers the body’s inflammation response, and inflammation has been linked to many of our deadliest chronic diseases. As well as taking steps to mitigate stress such as regular exercise, mindfulness meditation and spending time with friends and family, it’s important to avoid inflammatory triggers which can increase your health risks.
Which brings us neatly to…
Over-Reliance on Processed Convenience Foods
When you’re a busy Momtrepreneur, it can be really hard to get the nutrition you need to be at your best. The realities of juggling a business and a family don’t leave much time for meal planning and preparation. Nonetheless, even the most resilient of us can’t get by on espresso and willpower alone. But when our blood sugar plummets and vending machines and convenience stores are our only mode of recourse, getting access to good nutrition is virtually impossible.
What’s more, when we’re reliant on heavily processed convenience foods, we can risk introducing a lot of salt, sugar and trans fats into our systems. Processed foods are known to trigger the body’s inflammatory response, as well as exacerbating weight gain and making us feel bloated and sluggish rather than refreshed and revivified. As well as triggering inflammation, processed meats like ham, sausage, pepperoni and pastrami are also classified by the World Health Organization as Group 1 carcinogens… that’s the same group as cigarettes!
Spending a little time planning and preparing your meals can help you to avoid the blood sugar peaks and valleys that can distract you at work. Not to mention saving you from the risk of some of our nations most prolific killer diseases.
As a business owner and a parent, every day is a battle for productivity. To wring as much as you can out of every hour of every day and avoid the myriad distractions that can throw you off your game. But when you’re itching, coughing, sneezing, short of breath or disproportionately fatigued, it can be virtually impossible to stay at the top of your game.
And these are all things that can happen when you have allergies that you’ve hitherto been unaware of. By the time we reach adulthood, we assume that our allergies are all known to us, but that’s not necessarily the case. We can come into contact with allergens at any time. Changes to our diet and lifestyle, or even using a new brand of washing powder can trigger allergies that you may never have known you had.
An allergy test from Allergy Insider helps you to better understand your allergenic triggers, making you better able to avoid and mitigate them. At best, allergic reactions can result in irritation and discomfort. At worst, they can be debilitating and potentially life-threatening if you find yourself experiencing a severe anaphylactic shock.
Like many hardworking, hard-living entrepreneurs, you may adopt an “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” attitude to life. However, the more you sacrifice your sleep, the more you risk sacrificing your health. That said, the busy and stressful life of a Momtrepreneur rarely lends itself to restful sleep. Aside from the stressful adrenaline high of the average working day, there’s the constant exposure to blue light from your smartphone, tablet and laptop screens. Light at this frequency can disrupt the brain’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin, keeping you up late at night no matter how much your body needs sleep.
Without sleep, we can find it harder to concentrate and retain information, impeding us from being at our best while working. But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Sleep deprivation is also linked to weakened immune function (definitely something to avoid in the current climate), reduced libido, short temper, high blood pressure, weight gain and even an increased risk of heart disease.
Realistically, you should be getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night, so make sure you end your days in a way that’s conducive to restful sleep. Turn off the TV, have a soothing cup of chamomile tea, take a bath with some lavender oil, and leave the window open just a little so that your room doesn’t get too hot or stuffy.
Rushing Through Your Workouts
You’re a smart woman. You know how important exercise is in maintaining your overall physical and mental health. Not to mention helping to improve concentration and memory throughout your day. Working out after a long, stressful day is the perfect wat to relieve stress and keep your mind and body in peak condition. Still, a fitness regimen can be difficult to fit into your jam packed working days. As such, you wouldn’t be the first working Mom to try and power through her workouts in record time to shave some precious minutes off her day.
The trouble with this is that not only is it a false economy, it can do much more harm than good. Especially if strength training is part of your regimen (which it really should be for a number of reasons). Rushing through your workouts can give rise to improper technique, meaning that you don’t get the muscle engagement (and, hence, the benefit) from your workout. What’s more, if you sacrifice your warmup and cool down on either side of a gruelling workout, you’re not only likely to wake up stiff and sore (which can be distracting), you are more vulnerable to an injury that could see you unable to work for days, or even weeks.
Poor Digestive Health
Finally, you may not have considered your digestive health all that much. But the complex array of flora and microorganisms in your gut is like a mini rainforest living inside you. In fact, the complex system within the gut is often referred to as the “second brain” as it can have a profound impact on your mood and your cognitive prowess.
The good news is that improving digestive health is relatively straightforward. If you’re eating nutritious foods, getting plenty of sleep and taking active steps to manage stress, your gut health pretty much takes care of itself. However, eating probiotic and fermented foods can also help in restoring balance to your digestive system.
As a parent, it’s in your nature to put yourself last- to sacrifice your wellbeing for the sake of your babies (both literal and metaphorical). But if you’re not looking after yourself, you can’t possibly hope to give either the love, care and attention they deserve. Protect your business and your family by protecting your body!