May is Women’s Health Month, but it is more important than ever for women and girls to be more empowered to make informed decisions about their health in order to create a strong foundation for a happy, healthy, long life. With so much news and social media flooding us in every direction, it is easy to get off track with everything else going on in the world – aka “the new normal,” especially when it comes to taking time for our own self -care.
Here are a few things to help you take charge of your wellness journey. Remember: start small, keep going, and no matter what – be kind to you.
Move every day. Find the time of day that works best for you. Schedule it! Think of it like you would an appointment you just can’t miss. Hone in on your kind of movement – is it yoga, dance, running, biking, stretching, swimming? If you don’t know try a class or an online video. Keep trying until you find your groove!
A daily mindfulness practice. Our minds are flooded daily with extraneous information. It is imperative to our health to quiet the chatter. There are so many ways to do this, such as yoga, mindfulness meditations, journaling, going for a walk or a run, sitting in nature, or my favorite: three deep belly breaths to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, creating a relaxation response in your body.
Hydrate! It is critical for proper body and brain function. Sip half your body’s weight in ounces throughout the day. Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go. Don’t like water? Flavor with a squeeze of lemon, lime or infuse with your favorite fruit. You will feel more energized and focused throughout your day. Want better digestion? Don’t drink when you are eating. It dilutes your digestive juices, making it harder for you to break down your food.
Eat a more plant-based diet, and of course, organic local produce is best. At least three quarters of your plate should be filled up with a variety of colorful veggies. If that just seems impossible, juice or make smoothies by pureeing your fruits and vegetables. Eating more consciously by making better food choices is not only better for us, but better for the planet.
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Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Make “Me” time a priority. What does it take for you to replenish? Get really clear on what nourishes you. For some, it is having time alone, and for others it is connecting with like-minded individuals, seeking out a professional or confidant to talk to. Whatever that is for you, carve out time for you, because there is only one of you and you are so very worth it!