On March 10, WiFA and Women in Technology hosted a virtual panel discussion on Building a Sustainable You. Fani Ku, Vice President, Morgan Stanley hosted the engaging panel discussion with speakers, Beth Wright, WiFA Advisory Board member and transformation coach, Dr. Laurena Law, medical doctor and co-founder of Ananta Well-being, and Elizabeth Rowlinson, mental health counsellor and corporate wellness consultant. Ultimately what makes a sustainable you includes engaging in healthy relationships, maintaining a supportive network, and focusing every day on your mental and physical wellbeing.

So how do you start that transformation? How can we age in a healthier manner? Here are some tips shared by our speakers:

·       Create a plan to change your daily routine – look for the low hanging fruit (what is the easiest thing to change)– modify your diet, drink more water, eat, 5-minute meditation, 5 minutes of physical activity – take small steps that are sustainable to start a healthier lifestyle.

·       Don’t label your feelings –there is no normal way to feel.

·       Have empathy for ourselves and each other – maintain a positive relationship with yourself as this strengthens your resiliency – reframe negative thoughts to positive actions.

·       Journal your thoughts and feelings to release your stress.

·       Find a shared activity with a colleague, friend or family member – build different levels of relationships and emotional connections (work-related, fitness, religious, neighbourhood).

·       Reach out to a supportive colleague, friend, family member, clinician to discuss your feelings. Ask for help when needed.

·       Set priorities and boundaries; find what energizes you.

Take away messages included:

Ultimately, we should be thriving, not just surviving! It is the quality of life, not just how long we live. No one solution fits all women. Be your authentic self. Create a strategy that includes time to think about yourself (self-reflection) and set goals that will lead to self- improvement. Reflect on your health (mental and physical) and what it means to you. And, if possible: take one thing away from your life and add one new thing to improve your lifestyle.

Many thanks to Morgan Stanley and their multi-media team for hosting this event. And a big thank you to our moderator and speakers for providing us with information and tips to build a sustainable you. WiFA hopes to continue this conversation on healthy aging in the months ahead as we cope with the current pandemic situation.