On Friday, October 20, 2017, I had a wonderful opportunity to attend the 27th Annual University System of Maryland (USM) Women’s Forum Conference. Their theme was about work-life balance. As a full-time employee and a graduate student with multiple responsibilities, I wanted to know more about how be effective and efficient without burning out. There were three different sessions with four options for the type of workshop we wanted to attend for each session.
Session One: “The Dinner Scramble: or Why Dinner is the Most Hated Meal in My Family”
I decided to attend a workshop about meal planning. I have been doing my research about it since I moved out and started working full time. I did not want to keep ordering unhealthy foods, but it is always tough during dinner. When I get home, I feel exhausted and I still have to do some schoolwork that I do not have enough energy to prepare dinner each night. In the workshop, USG Celebrity Chef, Susan Callahan, talked about the importance of meal planning and provided different strategies to help plan meals. Below are some suggestions that I thought were very useful especially if you have a busy schedule during the week.
- Meal Kit – if you do not like grocery shopping, but love cooking, try using a meal kit. The meal kit will typically provide all of the ingredients that you need to cook the dish and easy-to-follow cooking instructions.
- Blue Apron was one of the meal kit that I tried in the past. The foods were delicious and the cooking directions were really easy. You get the amount of ingredients enough for each dish. I enjoy grocery shopping and saving money so I opt out of this. However, if you prefer the option of having your ingredients sent to you directly, I definitely recommend this option.
- Shopping List – use a shopping list and stick to it when you go grocery shopping.
- I started using a shopping list when I go grocery shopping because I tend to buy things that are not in my shopping list. I HIGHLY recommend using a list avoid unnecessary purchases.
- Cook with significant other
- I love cooking, but it gets tiring especially when I am the only one in my house who cooks. However, when my fiancé and I started cooking together, it was not as tiring and it became our time to spend together.
Session Two: “Creating Your Sounding Board, Kitchen Cabinet or Personal Board of Directors”
This session was about having multiple mentors who can provide you “critical information and support.”
Session Three: “Confessions of Two “Super” women in Recovery”
I enjoyed this session because I had the chance to hear about other professional women who work within USM. They shared the importance of knowing what you need and asking for help. One of the take away that I would say that everyone should keep in mind is that you do not have to do things alone. I thought it was a powerful statement especially for those who has an inhibition to take on too many things. We just need to take a moment to breathe and do something that make us happy. If we take care of ourselves first, then everything will fall into place.