If there’s one thing working moms know, it’s that motherhood is a full-time job. Add on another full-time job and they’ve got quite the workload. It’s no wonder 60 percent of working moms believe balance between work and family is difficult to create and maintain. As a result, self-care tends to fall to the bottom of the to-do list. While it can feel overwhelming to add more to an already lengthy workload, it’s important for working mothers to understand that maintaining their holistic well-being – including their mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health – is a vital investment that will save time and energy in the long run. “We now talk about improving your overall state of well-being which adds mindfulness training to the current physical health focus,” says Cindy Bjorkquist, Director of Well-being at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Well-being is a measure of a person’s perception of their life - whether it’s fulfilling and satisfying, whether they feel their best emotionally, and where their life is headed in the future. This helps make people resilient throughout the day and more productive and focused at home and at work." According to Bjorkquist, the key to making well-being a reality is for working moms to focus on their daily mindfulness as much as their physical health. “It’s about training your mind to be more present and focused in your daily activities and includes the ability to bounce back from stress along the way,” says Bjorkquist. “This mindfulness training can also help change the ‘default settings’ of your brain leading to improved happiness, gratitude, empathy and resilience.” This control can be strengthened through things like morning meditation, which can put the mind in a positive space at the beginning of the day, or ending the day on a happy note by keeping a gratitude journal. Through mindfulness, working moms can increase their focus, feel greater satisfaction and decrease stress. “Working moms are asked to juggle so many things between family and work that an improved sense of well-being helps them be more present in the moment leading to improved productivity,” says Bjorkquist. This can be achieved a number of ways, like by sprinkling in mindfulness minutes, timed breathing exercises where the focus is solely on breathing, throughout the day. While mental, emotional and spiritual health are all important to achieving well-being, physical health can’t be ignored. “Moms should continue to focus on their physical health trying to incorporate activity and proper nutrition into their day to lead by example for their families,” says Bjorkquist. Before feeling overwhelmed at the thought of working out for an hour, or cooking every meal from scratch, know that it’s the little decisions made throughout the day that are most important. Whether choosing a healthy snack in the breakroom, drinking water instead of pop, or going for a walk during lunch, it’s important moms celebrate their dedication to physical health. Blue Cross also offers a variety of well-being programs specifically designed to help working mothers. One of those programs, Premium Wellness, is a benefits package that includes Blue Cross expert-led classes on topics such as meditation, happiness and thoughtfulness. There is also the free Digital Health and Wellness platform, which contains a device integration system that pulls together the results of health tracking devices in one place, a health assessment that shows potential risks and lots of helpful resources for staying healthy. In addition, launching in January 2019, the Virtual Well-Being program will stream live weekly webinars to build viewers’ understanding of what goes into being healthy and creating an improved sense of well-being. Watch June’s “From Wellness to Well-being – Trends in Supporting Employee Health and Happiness” Master Class webinar for more about this topic. And get even more information from these blogs:
- Physical Well-Being is a Three-Legged Stool
- From Wellness to Well-being: Employers Moving Beyond Physical Health
- What Does Physical Well-being Mean?
Photo Credit: Tirachard Kumtanom