Finding the right balance in everything women do is often a challenge, but it is possible.
Three speakers focused on sharing their viewpoints about mental health, social media and nutrition during the fifth Women in Commerce Fall Conference on Friday at Texas Woman’s University.
Authors Julie Hersh and Cindy Kleckner, as well as Elizabeth Lions — a speaker, author and trainer — shared their stories during the event titled “Finding Your Center.”
Focusing on the importance of dealing with mental health, Hersh began the conference by talking about her struggle with clinical depression. In September 2001, Hersh, a business owner, wife and mother of two children, who where 5 and 7 years of age at that time, attempted to take her life.
“I landed in a psychiatric ward awaiting my first round of electroconvulsive therapy,” she said. “I was certain I would never recover. I was certain I had nothing to offer my children at the time.”
Hersh said her struggle with depression was not easy. She said support from her family and friends, as well as visits with a psychiatrist, helped her recovery. From her struggle with the disease, Hersh wrote a book titled Struck by Living and now shares her mental health brain steps to help others. Among the top of her 10 steps are sleep, nutrition and exercise.
Lions, author of the book Recession Proof Yourself, said people needed to create a social media plan and review it at least once per year. She said social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are unique and serve different purposes. For that reason, they should be evaluated for use and content.
“Ninety-seven percent of recruiters look at social media profiles,” Lions said, cautioning people to be aware of what they post online and who they bring along to their networks.
“Always remember, there is a real, live person at the other end of the computer,” she said.
Kleckner, the third speaker, is a registered and license dietician and culinary specialist for Cooper Fitness Center Craig Ranch in McKinney, and she provided tips on how to take care of their bodies and to focus on becoming healthy.
“It is not about giving up,” Kleckner said about people’s food intake and their choices. “It is about what I can add to make it healthier.”
Paula Hughes, director of the Texas Woman’s University School of Management and a member of the event’s organizing committee, said the upcoming holiday season inspired some of this year’s topics.
“We thought, with the holidays coming, people could benefit from being more positive,” Hughes said about the topics selected. “We thought if you felt depressed during the holidays, that [information] would be useful. … The social media is also good professional activity.”
The conference had 125 people in attendance, including seven students from Mujeres Con Sueños, a student group from Ryan High School.
One of the students, Andrea Pinales, 17, said she enjoyed the conference, especially because she could relate to one of the speakers.
“I am going through that as well,” Pinales said about dealing with issues of depression. “She [Hersh] was very inspiring.”
The conference, sponsored by the Denton Chamber of Commerce, Texas Woman’s University School of Management and Sally Beauty Holdings Inc., also featured a marketplace where local businesses could market and sell their products.
During the day event, Libby Spears — serving as mistress of ceremonies — asked attendees to share their contact information with each other and to build their networks.
“The conference is not only a place to meet other women but a place to meet women in business and support one another,” Spears said.
KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.