It’s Women’s Health Week – a time for the women of Australia to look at themselves in the mirror, tell themselves that they’re worth it and make a promise to do something to look after their health.
Ladies, we know that sometimes it can be hard to put yourself first. If you’re looking after family (maybe children and parents), running a house and working or looking for work we know that it can be difficult to make the time to think about your own physical and mental health.
Women’s Health Week (2-6 September) is the perfect time for you to think about small and positive changes you can make that will last a lifetime. Organisers of Women’s Health Week hope that it will encourage women to take a moment to press pause and tackle issues such as physical health, stress, and mental wellbeing
The good news is that putting your own health first doesn’t have to mean dropping everything else. We’ve put together a list of small changes you can make to build healthy habits into your busy lifestyle this Women’s Health Week.
If you don’t have the time, money or desire to join a gym there are still plenty of free activities you can do to move more. If you’re interested in finding new ways to get physical this Women’s Health Week, try these top tips to build more movement into your day:
- Bust a move while you bust the housework. Put on some energetic music and boogie while you mop or vacuum the floors. Or carry the grocery bags from the car to the kitchen the long way around.
- Try and get out of the house at least once a day. If it’s a sunny day why not take the kids, grandkids or the neighbour’s dog to the playground (just check with the neighbours first!). Don’t let an overcast day put you off, you can walk laps of your local shopping centre.
- Park and walk. Need to go out somewhere? Why not park a little further away or get off a stop earlier than you need to? It will help get your heart rate up and costs nothing more than a little bit of time.
- Get your friends in on the action. If you’re catching up with friends, why not arrange to do something active? Perhaps you could go for a walk around your local botanical gardens (make sure you pack a picnic blanket and thermos of tea), along a river, or along the foreshore if you’re lucky enough to live by the sea. Organising active social get-togethers can also help with your mental wellbeing.
Nourish your body
Your body is a temple – and while it might have some bumps and flaws it’s worth looking after from the inside out.
This Women’s Health Week why not think about small changes you can make to improve your diet and nurture your body.
When the 3pm energy slump hits, it’s tempting to reach for the sugary snacks or coffee for a quick fix. While sugary snacks are delicious and oh-so-tempting, the problem with these quick fixes is just that – they are only short-term solutions.
The good news is, you don’t need caffeine or sugar to make it through the foggy afternoon blues. When your snack game is on point, both your body and mind feel better.
Think about keeping a snack box handy so you can reach for the right snacks when you need them. Some healthier snack options might include mixed nuts, tea, and high-fibre snacks such as hummus with carrot sticks. These foods deliver a slower release of energy that will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
A simple way to deter overeating is by serving your snacks on a plate. Try to avoid eating straight from a packet – before you know it, your fingers will be grazing the bottom of the bag and you’ll have demolished an entire week’s worth of snacks in an hour.
Most importantly – don’t forget to stay hydrated. Your body can easily mistake being thirsty for being hungry. Set yourself a goal and try to drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day every day over Women’s Health Week.
Nourish your mind: why it’s important for women to maintain their mental health.
It’s just as important to look after your mental health as your physical health. Having good mental health will help you cope with the normal stresses of life, feel connected to people and your community and feel generally positive about the future.
It’s important to prioritise self-care to keep your life in balance and to make sure you don’t become overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, and all the ill-health effects that come along with them.
One of EPIC’s mental health consultants explains that self-care is about understanding that every one of us is responsible for our own well-being. It is something that needs commitment, rather than being something that we can do one day and not the next.
Here are some of our favourite ways to build more self-care into your day:
- Sing to yourself. You don’t have to have the best singing voice, turn up your favourite happy song and let your voice soar. Extra points if you add in some dance steps to get your heart rate up.
- Watch the sun rise or set. Don’t take any pictures of it. Don’t post about it on social media. Just sit and enjoy it.
- It might be a space in your house, or your social media friends list.
- Make yourself a bottle of infused water to sip on through the day.
- Light a candle, diffuse some oils or burn an incense stick. Breathe deeply and enjoy the scent.
If you try any of these tips during Women’s Health Week and love them – why not do them regularly.
Make a date with your doctor
Next time you have a GP appointment, why not make it a double and have a general health check-up? Having regular check-ups with your GP is a time to examine your lifestyle to see what improvements can be made, and it may also help identify possible health issues at an early stage. There are several specific tests that women should make part of their regular health check routine, including breast cancer screening and cervical screening test.
Establishing a relationship with your GP will mean that as your age, health, family history and lifestyle choices change your doctor can make sure you have the screening checks you need when you need them. If it has been a while since your last check-up, why not make it a priority this Women’s Health Week.
Connect with a provider that will put you first
We know how hard it can be for women to put themselves and their health first. When you choose EPIC as your disability employment service provider, we will put your employment goals first and help you find a job that is right for you.
If you are not already connected with EPIC Assist, contact us today to find out how we can help you.