With the percentage of high-power women CEOs dropping to barely 4%, women today still face amazing challenges in the business world. Hope is not lost for the fairer sex, however, as the following five women clearly demonstrate. These ladies prove that “a man’s world” has plenty of room for the ladies.

Marissa Mayer

In 2012 at just 37-years old, Marissa Mayer, who Forbes claims to have a net worth of $540 million, become the youngest CEO in Yahoo’s history. This after a long career at Google – Mayer was actually one of the first Google employees and the search engine’s first female engineer. Upon her appointment with Yahoo, Mayer shook Silicon Valley’s foundation by announcing that she was also pregnant. Career lesson: Don’t be afraid to go after what you want, even if it means going against the grain.

Meg Whitman

Former gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is a Harvard Business School graduate with a net worth of more than $2.5 billion dollars. At 60-years of age, she is the CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprises and been on the forefront of the global tech giant’s cloud computing revolution. When Whitman joined HPE in 2011, the company was in financial turmoil and filled with a boardroom of executives who simply couldn’t get along. Career lesson: Embrace challenges and don’t be afraid to succeed in the face of adversity.

Denise Morrison

Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Company, comes from a long line of successful women, including her sister Maggie Wilderotter. According to the Wall Street Journal, Wilderotter is a former executive with Frontier Communications who currently works alongside the aforementioned Meg Whitman at HPE in Palo Alto, California. Morrison has held high-ranking positions at Nestlé, Nabisco, and Kraft Foods and became the first female CEO of Campbell after serving the company for a number of years. An advocate for change, Morrison has made Campbell Soup a household name once again by introducing innovative products to appeal to millennials. Career lesson: Face an ever-changing marketplace with optimism and new ideas.

Sarah Blakely

You might not know her name, but chances are you know her pet project and billion-dollar company intimately. Blakely is the founder of Spanx, which is recognizable as an essential piece of shapewear touted by celebrities on nearly every red carpet event for the last decade. Sarah’s undergarment company was swept under the rug numerous times before her passion finally paid off. Blakely is a shining example of how a small business can upend the market and drive demand for a new kind of product. She reinforces the fact that passion is more important than financial gain in the world of women entrepreneurship. Career lesson: Find a niche and be the best at what you do.

Madam C.J. Walker

Sarah Breedlove was born shortly after the Emancipation Proclamation and was the first generation of her African-American family that wasn’t shackled by the chains of slavery. This doesn’t mean she didn’t face adversity; being a black woman in post-Civil War America made it all the more difficult for Breedlove to make a name in the beauty industry. But, that’s just what she did when she rebranded herself as the exotic French coiffure maven Madam C.J. Walker. The Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, founded in 1910, helped Breedlove break two notable boundaries as the first self-made female millionaire and also the first black millionaire in America. Career lesson: Find a way to make yourself stand out in a competitive environment and market yourself accordingly.

Though historically women have been expected to manage nothing more than the home, these ladies prove that women have more to bring to the table than just dinner.

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As your child transitions into a teenager, you may find that communication becomes a struggle or even non-existent. However, as your child matures, they experience an increased desire for autonomy and privacy, a need to try out different identities, greater investment in their peers, and physiological changes. This period of transition is vital, and it is important that you know how to effectively talk with your child about issues such as school, friends, or relationships without adding to their anxiety.

Things to Avoid

As you seek to build a positive relationship with your teenager, it is important to keep the channels of communication open and avoid unhelpful ways of communicating such as nagging, lecturing, or criticizing. Avoid closed questions, which stops the conversation before it even starts by requiring only a short, simple answer without the opportunity to elaborate further. For example, asking, ‘Did you have a good day?’ may imply that you expect them to have good day and can be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Instead, opt for an opener such as ‘Tell me more about your day’ or ‘You seem happy/stressed, tell me about it.’

As your teenager talks with you, practice listening without judgment or criticism, and realize that they will sometimes have to find their own solutions to problems and may not take your advice or suggestions. Keep a listening ear and continue making efforts to facilitate conversation, demonstrating that you are someone they can trust and confide in.

Be wary of talk-blockers such as negative body language like crossed arms or facial expressions such as scowling, raised eyebrows, eye rolling, or smirking. Non-verbal sounds such as sighs or groans and the tone of your voice need to be kept in check as well. If you find that the conversation is making you or your child angry or upset, consider stepping away for a bit to let everyone cool down and return to the conversation later when the tension has subsided. Disagreements will happen, but don’t let them be a wedge in your communication with your teenager.

Keys to Effective Communication

When it comes to communicating with your teenager, a good rule of thumb is to be a good listener and simply talk with them. Every conversation you have doesn’t have to be about serious issues such as relationships or academics. Start off by telling them about your day and asking specific questions about theirs. As they talk, remember everything they say and ask questions to demonstrate that you are actively listening and care about what they have to say.

Sometimes teenagers are reluctant to talk, even if you are trying to help, so take it a step further by taking an interest in their interests. Help them with a school project or play a video game together. Consider finding a hobby to do together such as cooking, sewing, or a new sport. Communicating with your teenager is important in order to learn about what issues they are having, but you should be paying attention to nonverbal cues as well. It is normal for children to change as they age and mature, but pay close attention to changes in your child’s mood, behavior, energy level, or appetite.

If you notice that your teenager has stopped wanting to do things they once enjoyed, or see a change in their ability to function daily due to anxiety, talk with your teen about it and be supportive. You may be able to talk them through the anxieties they are feeling, but if the anxiety persists or they are suffering from depression, consider seeking the help of a professional.

Strive to have a meaningful conversation with your teenager every day, rather than just when you want to talk about issues or concerns. Effective communication is important in being able to identify areas your child may be struggling, and offering advice, guidance, and support without adding to the anxiety of growing up.

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It may seem overwhelming to think about changing your daily habits to include healthier ones, but there are actually several small ways you can achieve this. The key is not to focus on one area, such as eating better, but break it up into many different tasks that cover the needs of your mind, body, and soul.

It also helps to get creative when thinking about the best ways to incorporate healthy habits into your everyday activities. Here are a few of the best ways to get started.

Invest in some good appliances

If you’re like most Americans, you work long hours and can’t seem to find much free time; many families feel rushed at the end of the workday to get dinner ready, which results in a lot of fast food dinners. Not only is this not the healthiest option, it also gets expensive. Instead of relying on the drive-thru, find some good crock-pot recipes, prepare the pot the night before and set it in the fridge. Then, set it to cook before leaving for work in the morning. This way, you’ll have a nice pot roast with veggies ready to eat when you get home.

It’s also a good idea to have a blender and food processor on hand, as these are great tools for making smoothies and chopping up salads, respectively. You can also make homemade guacamole and salsa, which have a whole lot of healthy ingredients and can be taken to work for a snack.

Get some rest

Ensuring you get enough good sleep is imperative, no matter how busy your schedule is. It can be tempting to stay up late in order to get in some extra free time once the kids go to bed, but if you have to get up early you’ll be burnt out by the end of the week. Set a bedtime and stick to it, and do something relaxing before you lie down to make sure you won’t have trouble falling asleep.

Drink more water

Most of us don’t drink the recommended amount of water every day, which (depending on your body type and activities) can be anywhere from 64 to 70 ounces, so it’s important to keep a water bottle with you all day long. That way, you can continuously drink water and keep track of how much you’re taking in.

Make things easier on yourself

If you want to get up earlier in the morning in order to go for a run before work, set out your workout clothes, shoes, phone, and earbuds to make it easier to get ready.

Set small, achievable goals

If you want to start cooking healthy meals but don’t currently cook at all, don’t come out of the gate expecting to suddenly begin cooking 7 nights a week. Instead, create a goal you’re likely to achieve: start with 1 or 2 nights a week and increase from there. Similarly, if you want to start working out, but don’t currently get any exercise, start small: stick to at-home workouts where you can focus on proper form and build a healthy foundation. Master the basic push-up, plank, lunge and squat, then build upon that and consider joining a gym where you can incorporate more fitness equipment into your routine.

Create obligations around your workouts

If motivation is a problem area for you, one way to overcome that hurdle is to tie an obligation to your fitness time. There are a few relatively easy ways you might do that. For example, you could start a physically active side gig, perhaps as a mover. Or become a workout buddy with a friend. When you have plans to go on a Saturday morning hike with your friend, it will be a lot harder to let yourself sleep in. You won’t want to let them down and you’ll look forward to hanging out with them. You could also sign up to participate in an upcoming 5K or fun run. Don’t make it too intimidating, but knowing you have a deadline for getting in shape will give you a boost when you’d rather sit on the couch.

Take your lunch

You’ve likely seen those weekly meal prep videos online, and maybe you liked the idea but didn’t think it would work for you. It’s easy to whip up a meal on Sunday night, however, and freeze portions for the entire week. Chicken and rice with veggies, homemade vegetable soup, and vegetable curry are just a few of the tasty options you have to choose from, and it will save you money if you’re not eating fast food on your lunch break. Don’t forget to pack healthy snacks, too, such as fruit, nuts, and whole grain crackers or pretzels.

Reduce stress

Stress can make or break even the best efforts to improve one’s health and can cause physical issues, such as headaches and fatigue. Do your best to identify and eliminate areas of your life that may be contributing to increased stress levels.

Making strides to improve your health can be easy if you break off small pieces at a time and set reasonable goals. You can do this!

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Tips to Help You Practice Self-Care During Your Workout

Too often self-care is mistaken for self-indulgence. Instead, self-care and mindfulness are about self-awareness and the ability to address your mental health needs. While many people can justify prioritizing exercise, for some reason, the same logic cannot be applied to self-care when emotional health is equally as important as physical health.

Not that much time is required to practice effective self-care on a daily basis. In fact, there are many ways that you can incorporate mindfulness into your routine.

During Your Workout

If you are someone who is serious about their health, you may already hit the gym or take workout classes. Health.com says that the gym is one of the best places to practice self-care and mindfulness.

Limiting distractions is a great place to start. Turn off your phone and stay present in what you are doing. This allows you to fully pay attention to your body so you can keep from overexerting yourself. Knowing that you need to allow yourself some recovery time after an intense workout is an excellent example of self-awareness.

Be sure to take advantage of your warm-up and cool down, too. Use this time to practice breathing exercises and work on emptying your mind.

Making Time in Your Day

If you do not have an established weekly workout routine, it may seem like an impossible task to create one. However, building a well-rounded exercise and self-care routine will help increase your physical and mental health. You should be aiming to exercise for about 20-60 minutes a day about 3-6 days a week.

In fact, there are plenty of opportunities in your schedule to carve out time to work out. You can set your alarm an hour early and hit the gym before you start your day, which has the added bonus of not having to worry about it later. Or, take advantage of an hour lunch break by going for a walk in a nearby park, working out at a local gym, or attending an exercise class. Stepping out of the office will also help clear your head and mentally prepare you for the second half of the day. Or, if you live in an area with good weather, consider turning your commute into a workout by biking or jogging.

Mark It on Your Calendar

After establishing how much extra time you have in a day, pick a few days and times of the week that work best for you, and add them as repeating appointments. This will reduce the risk of over-scheduling and help you visualize and mentally prepare for the workouts.

This may mean learning to say no to your friends or telling your boss that you cannot take on any extra work. Remember, there is nothing wrong with prioritizing yourself. Use your “you” time to do something you enjoy. Indulge in a long bath, insist on taking your full lunch break, eat that delicious slice of cake, or take that exercise class you’ve been dying to take.

Self-Care Sprints

Self-care should be a daily practice. If you cannot make it to the gym one day or if you take a down day to rest your body, this does not mean you should take a day off from mindfulness as well. No matter how busy your day, you can step away from what you are doing for 15, 10, or even 5 minutes to check in with your emotional well-being.

The Huffington Post recommends doing self-care sprints for busy schedules. This can be taking a 10-minute walk to clear your head, using 15 minutes to declutter your desk, or spending 5 minutes before you go to bed to meditate.

Putting Yourself First

There is nothing selfish about taking time during your day to practice self-care. It is necessary for creating a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle. Make it a priority to carve out time in your daily routine to practice. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Photo courtesy of Pexels.