Before You Burn Out – Tips for Balance & Stress Relief

The “To-Do List”….we all have one!  My list includes everything from household chores to work and family responsibilities. Throw in running a small business and pretty soon your list is long  is enough to wear anyone out! As women and moms, we do have a lot of responsibilities but the truth is we really need to start taking better care of ourselves.  Being tired and overworked makes us more forgetful, make make us get sick more often, and can affect the quality of life we have. So how can we tame our To Do Lists?  Lesley Spencer Pyle, the founder and president of the, Inc. Network, has some great advice an tips on how we can balance our to-do lists so that they don’t overpower us.

 Give Up Perfection

The dirty little secret that happy women know is that it is impossible to do it all perfectly.  They cost a bit more, but when you are in a pinch pre-packaged lunches are perfectly acceptable, as are bakery cupcakes for birthday parties and deli chicken for dinner.  In business, savvy women know they can’t do everything, so they ask for and get help when they need it.

Get Moving

We all know that exercise is good for us.  What else can we do that reduces our risk of developing cardiovascular disease, non-insulin dependent diabetes, helps us sleep, relieve stress, and increases energy, confidence, camaraderie, pride, relaxation, sense of achievement?  The same basic guidelines are true for all women.  We should get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, or preferably, all days.   Look for ways to increase your activity level daily.  Examples include taking the stairs rather than the elevator, parking further away from your destination, and buying (and using) a pedometer – aiming for 10,000 steps a day.

Consider taking up a new activity that you may not have tried such as Martial Arts, Belly Dancing, Salsa, Swimming, Cycling, Yoga, or a Team Sports. One of the best reasons to exercise is that it is thought to have a positive effect on mood. During exercise, hormones called endorphins are released in the brain. They are “feel good” hormones involved in the body’s positive response to stress. The mood-heightening effect can last for several hours, according to some endocrinologists. Regular exercise benefits the heart and bones, helps regulate weight, and contributes to a sense of overall well-being and improvement in mood. I recently started going to the local YMCA for a Cycling class and a Dance class and even though I struggle to get there sometimes, afterwards I always feels so much better!

Eat Well

Remember how your mama said you are what you eat?  Well, if all you eat is over processed, tired food that bears no resemblance to its origin, you won’t look or feel as good as you want.  Take a good multivitamin, eat lots of fruits and veggies and ditches  no-nos from your diet including sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, enriched flour, and bleached flour.

Play Often

When was the last time you blew bubbles, went for a swing or played jacks?  We need to laugh, to be light-hearted and to enjoy ourselves and people we care about.  Whether it’s a corny movie night, or an afternoon at the playground, look for ways to add some silliness to your day.

Take Care of the Details

When was the last time you had a massage, a pedicure, or a ladies’ night out?  For that matter, how about your annual Pap and mammogram (don’t forget that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month so take a few minutes to make sure you schedule your mammagram and do self-examination of your breasts)?  Let go of any inner voice telling you not to “waste” time, energy or money on yourself.  Don’t neglect to take care yourself. You’re worth it.

Lesley Spencer Pyle is the founder and president of the, Inc. Network which includes Home-Based Working Moms ( and ( Pyle has been featured in numerous publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Parenting, Dr. Laura’s Perspectives, Family PC and many others. She has 4 children ages 2 to 14 years and has been working from home since the first baby was born!

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