Program helps women
handle juggling act
If you're a woman, odds are you're adept at juggling. Work. Children. Elderly relatives. Household responsibilities. Everybody's list is different but the common denominator is this: Lots of pulling and tugging.
What often happens is that the daily "To Do" list gets done, but it rarely includes time for yourself.
To help balance life's scales, MU Human Environmental Extension specialists developed a program called Challenges & Choices. The series of publications and instructor's guidelines are designed to help women gain more control of their time and life by making the right choices.
"We designed an information packet with practical ideas on a variety of issues affecting today's woman," said Jan Clark, HES Extension associate program leader. The issues touch every woman's life: stress management, emotional well-being, time effectiveness, health and wellness, family relationships and nutrition.
The program is flexible. Specialists can teach any or all of the segments. Many specialists drop a portion into an existing program.
For example, during a meeting of hospital and nursing home employees in Cape Girardeau specialists taught the difference between time effectiveness and time efficiency during a workshop sponsored by the State Hospital Association and the State Health Department.
"Participants developed a list of priority areas in their life, identified skills necessary to effective time use and shared strategies to overcome those barriers," said Linda Murphy, regional specialist in consumer and family economics.
In Chillicothe, the Division of Family Services requested extension specialists teach several segments during regularly scheduled meetings of the agency's income maintenance personnel, all of whom are women.
Susan Mitchell, a regional specialist in Livingston County, taught the group segments on stress management, self-esteem and time management.
The program's emphasis on the practical means participants walk away with tools they can use immediately. The segment on stress management includes a Daily Stress Record where women are encouraged to chronicle stressful events and how they react.
The nutrition segment, "Fit for Life" is packed with tips on introducing healthful habits into your daily routine. The information covers everything from recipe conversions to exercise hints.