The past year has been undeniably unusual.
Change and uncertainty have pervaded our lives and it is important — now more than ever — to prioritize our health and well-being.
In honor of National Women’s Health Month, which is officially celebrated each year in May to raise awareness for women’s health-related issues, we offer 10 ideas for ways in which you can focus on yourself year-round.
- Practice gratitude.
Write three things you are grateful for every single day. Keeping a gratitude journal has been found to increase happiness, improve sleep, boost resiliency, encourage patience and humility, reduce burnout, and even improve physical health.
Related: Staying Grateful All Year Long
- Stay hydrated.
We have all heard the phrase “drink more water” and it has likely figured in our New Year’s resolutions one too many times, but the benefits of staying hydrated are numerable. According to Harvard Health, drinking enough water aids digestion, regulates body temperature, stabilizes blood pressure, protects organs and cushions joints. It is, in other words, essential for our bodies to function properly. Getting a water bottle that tracks your water intake by the hour is an excellent way to stay actively hydrated throughout the day.
Related: How Hydrated Are You: Top 5 Benefits of Drinking Water
Incorporating meditation into our daily routines can have a myriad of positive effects on our health and well-being. It can help us manage stress and anxiety, increase mindfulness and awareness, boost patience and creativity and ameliorate symptoms of several medical conditions including anxiety, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, and more.
Related: Mini Meditations to Center and Calm
- Stay active.
Physical activity is crucial to our health, both physical and mental. Ensuring we get at least 30 minutes of movement during the day can help us in just about every aspect of our lives! Yoga, gym workouts, dancing, or even lunchtime walks incorporated into our daily routine can be remarkably beneficial.
Related: Walking My Worries Away
- Eat balanced meals.
Nourishing our bodies is vital to taking a holistic approach to health. There are, fortunately, many ways in which we can develop healthier eating patterns. Check out Harvard Health’s list of “Six simple ways to smarter, healthier eating” for ideas on how to incorporate a nutritious diet into your daily life!
- Practice mindful eating.
Eating well is not only about what we eat, but how we eat. Practice mindful eating by being fully present during each meal. Set your phone aside and become aware of every sensation experienced while eating. According to Mindful, it is about using “all our senses to eat food that is both satisfying to us and nourishing to our bodies.” It is also about consciously acknowledging that food connects us to the earth, to other living things, and to different cultural habits, and being aware of how our food choices impact our surroundings.
Related: Cooking as the Ultimate Stress Relieving and Anxiety Reducing Experience
Sleeping well is good for our immune system, our hearts, our moods, our productivity, our performance, our memory, our relationships, and our overall well-being. An active decision to prioritize sleep is an active decision to prioritize ourselves and those around us.
Related: Know Your Chronotype: Help Increase Your Productivity
- Do something for another person.
As per the U.K.’s Mental Health Foundation, studies have found that engaging in acts of kindness can help “reduce stress and improve emotional well-being and happiness.” Regularly volunteering for a cause or simply doing random acts of kindness can not only help others but ultimately help ourselves, too.
Related: Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day with a Prompt
- Make time for friends and family.
In our hurried, overly scheduled lives, it’s often hard to find time for others, but there’s nothing like spending time with loved ones to boost our overall well-being. At a time when gathering may be harder than usual, phone calls and virtual meet-ups can work wonders!
Her Nexx Chapter invites you to join our free Community where women are connecting with each other’s stories, exploring different experiences, and transforming ideas.
- Set aside time for yourself.
Cliché as it may sound, there is nothing quite like setting aside a moment to do something you love. It is vital to acknowledge that there is beauty in doing something for sheer enjoyment without it fitting society’s definition of what is deemed “productive.” Sometimes, sitting down and having a cup of coffee with no other distractions around, for instance, is enough to turn a bad day around.
This year, let us see June as a signal of re-birth. As summer rolls in and days get warmer and longer, let us honor our collective resilience by putting our mental and physical health first. Let us prepare for the better times ahead by working on being the best version of ourselves.
The Future of Connection for Women