10+ Ways for Women to Stay Healthy and Maintain Work-Life Balance07 Mar, 2023
Working women are at risk of lifestyle diseases due to stress and anxiety. Read this article for simple tips on how to maintain a healthy-work life balance.
Health tips for Working Women
The saying ‘a woman’s work is never done’ stands true for all working women in these modern times. Immense societal pressure to prove themselves by becoming ‘Superwomen’ both at home and at work causes a lot of stress and anxiety. Juggling between responsibilities at home and the workplace makes it hard to catch a breath and take care of their well-being. This often leads to women compromising their health and getting affected by lifestyle disorders such as Obesity, Infertility, Hypertension, Cardiovascular diseases, and Diabetes.
Quick Read Section
- Obesity, depression, and PCOD are some of the common health problems faced by working women in the UAE
- In order to maintain a healthy work-life balance, it's crucial to manage your time between personal and professional obligations
- Eating a healthy breakfast, getting at least eight hours of sleep each night, and taking breaks is essential to stay healthy and recover from burnouts.
- Sleep deprivation is linked to chronic lifestyle disorders like obesity, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and depression.
- Health insurance plans in UAE offer coverage against all lifestyle diseases and psychological treatments.
What are the leading lifestyle diseases affecting working women in UAE?
These are three of the most common health issues faced by working women in the UAE:
- Obesity- It is a contributing factor towards diabetes and PCOS which further lead to heart problems and infertility in women. As per WHO’s report, 67 percent of the female population in UAE is overweight according to recent numbers.
- Depression- Signs of depression and anxiety are higher among working women as they struggle between chores at home and work duties. This is especially true for women who simultaneously manage both without the support of domestic help.
- PCOD- Continuous stress, obesity and imbalance of hormones cause PCOD in women which eventually leads to infertility.
How to maintain a healthy work-life balance?
With new technology and other external factors drastically affecting work cultures, employees are left with no choice but to adapt to changing environments. The fear of unemployment adds extra pressure on employees to perform and work throughout the day, even past working hours. However, working under extreme pressure can have an adverse effect on your health.
It is important to manage time between your personal and work life. Remember that you do not live to work but work to live. Manage to spend time with your family and friends after work hours. Also, plan vacations periodically to recover from stress and burnout. These are necessary steps towards maintaining a healthy equilibrium between your work and personal life.
Follow these tips to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
1. Avoid skipping the most important meal of the day–Breakfast.
Between rushing for work and managing morning chores at home, most working women skip breakfast to save time.
However, there are several reasons why you should not skip eating breakfast. Cutting back on breakfast can affect metabolism, heighten stress, raise blood sugar levels, and increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Missing your breakfast can also drain the energy you need for work quicker than usual.
Eat your breakfast like a king, as the saying goes. This means that your breakfast should include more than just bread and jam. A healthy and nutritious meal in the morning with the right proportions of protein, carbs, and fiber is important for your body. Therefore no matter how hard-pressed for time you are in the morning, make sure you eat breakfast before leaving for work.
2. Sleep is the best medicine for all ailments.
Sleeping for at least 8 hours is crucial to a woman’s health. Lack of sleep can lead to lethargy and poor concentration at the workplace. Though it may seem impossible to ‘sleep like a baby’ on workdays, it is still important to give your body the rest it needs.
Sleep deprivation is linked to chronic lifestyle diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, blood pressure, and depression. Take a conscious effort to improve your sleep habits. Plan your daily routine in a way that your body gets enough time to rest and reset for the next day.
3. Tend to your mental health
Amidst all the duties and responsibilities at home and work, women tend to compromise on their health in many ways. But often, it is mental health that gets neglected the most.
Be aware of your psychological needs and keep an eye out for symptoms of depression, mood disorders, and anxiety. When things get overwhelming, make sure to give yourself a break. Seek professional help when you feel things are different than usual. It is important to respect and know what your mind wants. Take proper care of your mental well-being despite all the tantrums and mood swings it throws your way!
Which insurance companies in UAE offer coverage for mental health?
The basic health insurance plan or Essential Benefits Plan (EBP) of most insurance companies in the UAE offer coverage for mental health issues.
The health insurance companies that offer mental health treatment coverage in UAE include-
- Gulf Insurance Company (GIG)- Previously AXA
- Ras Al Khaimah National Insurance Company (RAK)
- Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC)
- Union Insurance
- Daman Insurance
4. Monitor your health through regular checkups.
Getting regular checkups helps in the early detection of illnesses. Women should especially be on the lookout for signs of breast cancer and cervical cancer. Make sure to get yourself examined by a doctor at least once a year to avoid suffering from critical illnesses.
Enroll yourself in a health insurance plan which will provide comprehensive coverage for all the medical treatment you need. Having health insurance coverage will give you financial protection during unexpected medical emergencies. You can also avail of a free annual health checkup as an added benefit to your health insurance plan if you haven’t made any claims throughout the year.
5. Shield yourself from too much exposure to the Sun.
Vitamin D is much needed for our body, as it helps our body retain calcium and phosphorus. And the sun, as we know, is one of the richest sources of Vitamin D.
However, too much exposure to the sun can affect your body more than it can benefit you. UV rays from the sun can cause skin cancer and degradation of elastin, a fibre present in the skin. This can lead to wrinkling and bruising of the skin. Therefore, it is essential to limit exposure to UV rays. If you do go out in the sun, make sure to protect your skin by applying a layer of sunscreen.
6. Stress less by exercising daily.
Stress and anxiety can have drastic effects on your physical as well as mental health. Stress is one of the leading factors for most lifestyle diseases. It is important to practice stress-reducing habits in your daily life. Detach yourself from work pressures once you reach home. Find out tools that help to calm you down when you get stressed like listening to slow music, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, and exercise.
Exercising daily helps reduce stress through the release of the happy hormone- Endorphin and lowers the release of stress hormones such as Cortisol. It also helps you sleep better and draws focus away from your work problems.
7. Drink at least 3 litres of water every day
Staying hydrated is extremely important to keep ourselves healthy. Drinking plenty of water helps in removing toxins and other harmful substances from our organs. It also helps in boosting metabolism and helps reduce calorie intake.
If you have experienced that biting pain of a headache in between work, it is probably just a sign from your body to drink more water. Next time, make sure to take a step back from work and replenish your body with enough water it needs.
If you are a coffee lover, make sure to drink enough water in between your coffee breaks. Drinking too much coffee or tea and less water can result in dehydration.
Dehydration is a very common issue among working women, which causes indigestion and other problems in the body. Carry a flask or bottle of water as you commute to and from work to ensure that you stay hydrated all the time.
8. Balance work, life and your diet too!
Making freshly prepared home-cooked meals on workdays can be difficult. However, continuous intake of instant foods and canned ingredients can result in nutritional deficiencies. Though junk food is accessible easily and satisfies hunger cravings when you have not eaten a full meal, eating snacks on a regular basis is bad for your health. Snacks contain many unhealthy substances that do not have any nutritional value.
The food you eat should provide all the nutrients required by your body- carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and protein. Avoid foods that are highly rich in saturated fats and sugar. Include lots of fruits, vegetables, pulses, grains, and legumes in your diet.
9. Try to maintain the right Body Mass Index as per age
Body Mass Index is a term used to refer to the percentage of fat content in the body. It is calculated as per the height and age of an individual. Maintaining BMI requires exercise, a balanced diet, and consistent effort. Including natural foods and decreasing calorie intake also helps in achieving the ideal BMI as per age. Visit a dietician for a clear plan on how to reach the right weight by controlling your food intake.
How to calculate BMI for women?
To calculate a person’s BMI in kilograms, divide the individual’s weight in kg by the square of height in meters.
10. Yoga and meditation for improving your mental health
Yoga exercises encompass meditation, breathing exercises and poses that aim to reduce stress and improve overall health. Yoga has several benefits including improved heart health, reduced anxiety and better sleep quality. Practice basic yoga exercises before heading out to work or just before sleep to clear your mind. It helps put your mind in a positive headspace and improves productivity at work.
11. Catch a few breaks between work to improve productivity
Working on laptop or PC requires sitting for a long period of time at your desk every day. And sitting for too long can affect your body negatively. Get up from your seat every now and then to keep your body active. This will also help increase focus and improve productivity at work. Go for walks if possible between work or practice desk exercises that you can manage to do in your work space.
The risks of lifestyle diseases among working women can be reduced to a certain extent by controlling our food habits and practicing a good exercise regime daily. Lack of medical intervention is most often what leads to lifestyle diseases being undiagnosed at an early stage. To prevent this, women must do half-yearly or annual health checkups to monitor and be aware of their health conditions.
Opting for a health insurance plan can help secure your future and finances from the medical bills and costs for treatment. There are various health insurance plans in UAE that offer coverage for psychiatric treatment and offer free consultations as part of their policy. Reach out to your insurance broker or provider to know more about the benefits and inclusions in your health insurance plan.
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