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Why 'me' time is vital for working women
Poonam Vaswani

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Do you feel like you are on an express train that doesn't make any station stops, or worse yet, that the train is going too fast for you to jump off?

Well if you are a young woman burning the candle at both ends, you must be on that train -- you just don't know it yet!

Samira, a 26-year-old marketing executive, has been hyper-stressed lately. She's always whining to her friend Shayla about 'going over the edge'. Even though she has a perfect life with a job she loves, a successful banker husband and an adorable three-year-old son, she still feels lost. She is as efficient as her male coworkers, sharing similar responsibilities and pressures, yet, she always seems far more stressed than them, since she has the dual responsibility of managing her home and work.

Rarely hitting the sack before midnight, Samira's day begins at 6 am with a whirlwind of activities, like pulling her son out of bed, prodding him to eat a wholesome breakfast, sprucing him up for school, preparing breakfast for her husband (but only occasionally having some herself), dressing correctly for work and finally making it to the office by 9.30 am. Her day at work is an endless stream of calls, emails and meetings. Once home, the evenings are spent playing the perfect mother and wife.

The weekend is packed with a visit to the supermarket and catching up on socialising with family and friends. Samira's 'to-do' list is longer then her arm -- phew! It's tiring to even read her schedule, let alone live her hectic life!

Fulfilling multiple roles coupled with a lack of time leads young women to neglect their own diet and health. The fairer sex in particular is predisposed to developing iron deficiency anaemia, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Early lifestyle and dietary changes mentioned below can go a long way in preserving the working woman's health and protecting her from these preventable diseases:

So tell yourself to 'I need to start making time for myself and I need to start today, because I'm worth it.'

Poonam Vaswani is a dietician working with -- visit their website for more health-related features.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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