How to be a Well Woman
By Georgia Hartmann
Busy, stressed and longing for that holiday to Bora Bora? Well you’re in luck.
To get the absolute most out of your life, including that well deserved tropical getaway, you need to make yourself and your health a priority. That does not mean exercising two hours a day, meditating for the rest and snacking on kale in between, but rather creating healthy, sustainable habits.
Habits are defined as actions that are triggered automatically in response to contextual clues. For example, putting on your seatbelt after getting into the car is a habit. So too is brushing your teeth before you leave home. If you want to a make change in your life, create a habit and repeat that habit every single day.
In a time where we are all juggling numerous activities – kids, home, work, relationships, sanity – creating healthy habits is important. Here are some habits that you can implement into your daily life to help you become, and stay, a Well Woman.
Wake up early
Rising early improves memory, attention, productivity and general wellbeing. You can relate to this. Recall the morning that you woke early to watch the sun rise. You felt energized, full of gratitude and ready for the day. So, make this a habit. Set an early alarm every day and create a morning routine that works for you.
Create a morning routine
If you love to exercise with the rising sun, the easiest way to keep motivated is to have your workout gear ready to go. Whether it is joggers, goggles or a yoga mat, have your workout gear in sight and start your day right! This is particularly important in the cooler months where your bed seems somewhat more inviting than a 5:30am rise. If you are a busy mum, perhaps a morning routine looks more like a gentle stretch in the lounge-room before the kids rise. Whatever it may be, just make it work for you.
Incorporating just 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine boosts energy, increases concentration and memory, assists in weight maintenance and clears the mind. The key to maintaining motivation is to partake in exercise that you actually enjoy, be it high-intensity interval training, yoga, pilates, fast-paced walking, running, swimming or weight training. What is your favourite exercise? Do it for at least 30 minutes every day.
Do something you love each and every week
What is life if you can’t enjoy it? In such a busy day and age, self-care has never been so important. Do something you love each and every week. This may be a relaxing massage, acupuncture, sauna session, reading a book, painting, meeting up with girlfriends, simply walking somewhere beautiful or having a bath. Whatever it may be, make a time, put it in your dairy and don’t change it for anything. As previously mentioned, you must make yourself and your health a priority in order to live your best life.
Eat lunch outside every day
Research highlights the importance of getting out in the sunshine each day. It increases vitamin D levels, which plays an important role in supporting the immune system, maintaining bone health and improving mood and depressive states. Research also shows that partaking in ‘earthing’ or ‘grounding’, which is the contact of the human body with the surface of the Earth (sand, ocean, grass, etc.) reduces inflammation, improves immune responses, increases wound healing and prevents and assists in the management of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. So eat lunch outside every day, in the sunshine, with your shoes kicked off.
Instill a healthy dietary regime
When it comes to diet, one size does not fit all. Following a low carbohydrate diet may be beneficial for one, whilst severely detrimental to the health of another. This said for any diet. It’s all about finding what works for you, what makes you feel rejuvenated and free of symptoms associated with food sensitivities including bloating, gas, diarrhoea or constipation, exhaustion, ‘foggy mind’ and joint pain. An easy way to see if your diet is agreeing with your body is to record everything you eat over the next 7 days. Note what you have for each meal and if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms. For further nutritional advice, it is best to seek the guidance of a nutritionist or naturopath who can tailor a diet suited to your individual needs.
Limit caffeine intake
Anyone who knows me knows I have a strong (double-shot) love for coffee. I enjoy 1 cup in the morning and stand by that recommendation. However, if you experience digestive upset when you drink coffee, are stressed or anxious, have trouble sleeping, want to conceive, are pregnant or breastfeeding, avoiding coffee is crucial. In these cases, it can do more harm than good. So opt for alternatives. Herbal teas such as green tea, peppermint and dandelion root are great. So too is adding lemon or cucumber to your filtered or sparkling water.
BY GEORGIA HARTMANN
Georgia Hartmann is a final semester Naturopathy student based in Sydney, Australia. She has a strong passion for helping women overcome their health challenges including menstrual irregularities, reproductive conditions including endometriosis, PCOS and infertility, and the heightened stress and anxiety that accompany such conditions.