Happy National Women’s Health Week (NWHW)! Let’s begin a weeklong, health strong movement to celebrate wonderful women. The week of May 9-15, 2021 serves as a reminder for all women and girls, to make their health a priority, both physically and mentally. Health is an act of self care, which is not all facials and bubble baths. Self care is providing yourself with intentional activities to enhance your energy, restore health, and rejuvenate mental well-being. Self care is the practice of prioritizing emotional, physiological, and physical needs. So let this be a week to focus on YOU and celebrate all aspects of health! The time is now to take health in your hands.
Now, how can you actually better your health and overall well being? The first step is by taking care of your body AND your mind! Appreciate all they do for you, as they work together to provide optimal health.
Here are 5 easy steps to get started:
- Talk to a professional. Depending on your needs whether that be optimize your diet with the help of a dietitian, cope with mental stress through a psychologist, or get help from a physician to help your underlying health conditions, a professional can always help provide the best care!
- Find a lifestyle that is maintainable for your nutrition and activity goals. Research has found that “Yo-yo” dieting is detrimental to long term health. Implement long term success by finding healthful foods you enjoy and experiment with home-cooked meals! Try meal prepping, batch cooking, using seasonal produce, and creating healthful, nourishing meals. Seek out ways that help you stay physically active, such as walking, swimming, biking, dancing, yoga, or doing household chores more frequently. Find movement that is enjoyable and sustainable for you.
- Take care of your mental health. Stay connected to family and friends, express emotions to a professional, journal thoughts, incorporate mindfulness activities, practice gratitude.
- Find ways to manage stress. Women are human, and humans get stressed. The solution is not to eliminate stress (as that would be impossible), but finding ways to manage it! Some helpful ways include breathing exercises, stretching, writing out thoughts, getting enough sleep, talking to a loved one, helping others, getting moving, eating balanced meals, limiting alcohol and caffeine, meditating, or talking to a professional.
- Practice good sleep hygiene. Proper sleep helps cognition, mental, physical health, and immunity. Follow a night time routine to wind you down before bed. Be consistent in the times you sleep and wake up to facilitate your circadian rhythm to improve your mental and physical health, and boost. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep. Try winding down with a cup of warm tea, taking a hot shower, applying skin care products and moisturizer, reading, or writing. Avoid screen time before bed to keep you for staying up due to bluelight and mental stimulation!