According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women. In fact, 1 in 4 women will die from heart disease in the United States. Yes, you heard me right, count 4 women that you know and one of them will die from heart disease. I know this is harsh to say, but it’s the current reality. Moreover, this is a reality that can be changed with SIMPLE yet effective interventions. We all know the benefits of diet and exercise and how they can significantly decrease our chances of having heart disease. However, I want to talk to you from a different vantage point. Other contributing factors that lead to heart disease include stress & depression. And guess who suffers from these two ailments the most…….WOMEN! Women carry so many roles and responsibilities such as being wife, mom, employee, employer, community advocate, chef, counselor, chauffeur, and the list could go on and on. The bottom line is that we as women have big hearts and want to save the world while sacrificing our own lives to do so.
Here are 4 simple interventions that you as a woman can start doing now so that you don’t fall into the statistics:
- Say “NO”- You can’t be everything for everyone! We have big hearts as women and feel if we tell someone no that we are going to hurt them or they will suffer if we don’t say “yes” to them. The reality is you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you have worked all week and your body is telling you to rest, but your BFF calls and ask you to babysit then you need to take a “NO” on that offer.
- Meditate- One of our roles include being a counselor and that may be a counselor for our significant others, kids, family, friends, co-workers, etc. So we take on everyone else’s problems that they dump in our lap and it somehow becomes ours. We always consider ourselves ‘fixers’. Listen to the things they want to share with you but don’t take them on as your own and to release those toxins by MEDITATING.
- Do Nothing- Sometimes we as women just need to sit on the couch and do NOTHING. This allows us to just relax, relate, and release in a sense and more importantly allows our bodies to rejuvenate.
- Delegate- You do not have to take on ALL the responsibilities alone. One thing that I learned in my as a nurse executive is the art of delegation because I am only as strong as the team behind me. The same concept applies to our personal lives. Allow the kids to help with laundry. Teach your son how to pull the trash cans in from the street. Let your significant other help with being the taxi for the day. We as women feel that is we don’t do it then it won’t get done or done the way we would like it. But we have to build a team to help us. Yes we are movements by ourselves, but we are forces when we join a team.
In Health On Purpose,
Nicole Thomas, MSN, RN, CCM