This month, we’ll be hearing from inspiring women in our network and sharing their stories. We’re passionate about supporting women, especially in their health and wellness journeys. Read on to get top tips for living, working, and playing optimally from women trailblazers.
Profile: Namrata Peri
Tell us about yourself.
As Marketing Manager for the MS Society of Canada, no two days are ever the same but every moment is spent strategizing how we can maintain and increase our engagement with people affected by MS. Whether it be through our signature fundraising events or well-established programs and services, I love being a part of a team that is connecting and empowering the MS community.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
Even though it may feel like it, you are not determining the rest of your life with the education decisions you’re making.
At 18 I was told that I had to go to university. I was told that I should study science and work toward becoming a doctor. I pretended that I wanted that too because I had absolutely no idea what I wanted and that was terrifying. As an Indian-Canadian and an immigrant, this life path is highly encouraged by everyone but the cultural weight of that can be a burden when you’re just dipping your toe into the “real world”.
It turned out that my traditional education was only the beginning. Learning doesn’t only happen in the four walls of a classroom. It happens in conversations with colleagues, in failed projects, and in the communities we serve. My career today has benefitted from my university degree but it is not defined by it.
How do you stay productive and be your best self at work?
I am incredibly organized and love a good list. When I have too many things to do, I don’t know where to start and end up not doing anything at all. The lists (I have a few that all work together) help me prioritize and focus through my to-do’s, keeping my productivity high.
Plus, the act of checking something off (even if it’s online) feels so satisfying and keeps me motivated.
What’s your top mental health tip for when the going gets tough?
Ah stress – the ever present, always uninvited, guest. My best tip for managing stress is to set very clear boundaries. My lunch is blocked off in my calendar every day. I do not have Outlook or Microsoft Teams on my phone. When I’m in focus time, I don’t receive desktop notifications.
So often stress can result from not feeling like you have control of your own time. Setting boundaries (and enforcing them) helps you maintain control, but also teaches your colleagues how to work with you. I have learned that people are willing to respect your boundaries, they just need to be taught what they are.
What are your top health hacks?
I won’t pretend to have tips for staying physically active. I’m always attempting to establish an exercise routine (have never actually successfully established one) so if anyone has tips for me, I’m open to them!
Food on the other hand is my passion. I spend 85% of my free time thinking about it, consuming content about it, cooking and eating things. My one suggestion for establishing healthy food habits is to redefine what healthy is for you. Maybe it’s introducing more vegetables to your diet or reducing your sugar intake. This helps you make one change at a time and as you do so, you’ll continue to change your perspective on what “healthy” is. Honestly, as long as you feel good, you’re doing good.
What’s your favorite fun activity?
I will research recipes for hours, watch YouTube food content, plan what I want to eat and cook that week, make grocery shopping lists, scroll through all the food posts I’ve saved on Instagram, and once a day I’ll actually cook something. Honestly, I’m thinking about my next meal right now.
Who are your female role models and why?
My mom. She taught me to not be afraid of asking for what I want. Women are often taught to be demure and not demanding – no way! My mom is the reason I am so confident and have ascended into the roles that I have. Her mantra of “It doesn’t hurt to ask” taught me that the worst thing that could happen was hearing “no”. So I always ask – I ask for raises, I ask questions, I ask for more – and so far, “no” has been an uncommon reply.
My other role model is my boss, Pam Seto. She is who I want to be when I “grow up”. She leads with empathy and brings out the best in people – I couldn’t ask for a better mentor.
This month, we’re sharing inspiring women’s stories. Who inspires you? Leave their name and social media link in the comments below!
Read more Women Inspiring Women profiles here.