Advice from our women’s health experts.
A new year can be full of fresh energy, new routines and revived perspectives. Alternatively, it can create pressure and anxiety to suddenly and productively achieve your goals. With this delicate balance in mind, our mental health and medical experts have created a small and digestible list of health advice for your 2024, designed to make your life a little easier and a little lighter.
- Make time for yourself. I know, it’s cliche, but hear me out. How often do you create time for the version of you that’s not mum, employee, partner, carer? Many women are busy running households, fulfilling tasks at work, caring for children or parents, preparing meals, planning a social life, running errands, the list goes on. When you aren’t run off your feet or helping others, connect with that version of yourself, and carve out time for just her.
- Identify a safe person and place. Whether you are healthy or struggling, we can all benefit from having a safe person and/or place to regularly retreat when big feelings arise and we need to re-coup. It could be taking a bath, a friend’s house, a call with your mum; somewhere and/or someone that gives you comfort.
- If something is bothering you; a mental struggle, a pain in your stomach, a niggle in your knee – see a specialist. Women (in particular) are conditioned to suffer in silence and wait until problems are urgent to prioritise seeing a specialist.
- Make time for your personal self-care activity. It doesn’t have to be a massage or bubble bath. Perhaps it’s pottering in the garden, going for a long walk, a cup of warm tea on your balcony. Choose one small thing that brings you some joy, relief, and peace. Schedule it in and commit regularly.
- Cull your social media. Unfollow pages that could damage your mental health and ensure what you absorb online is planting positive seeds in your mind. Particularly when it comes to body image, social media can either be helpful or toxic; we recommend following on Instagram: @thebodypositive @bodyimagemovement, and @thenutritiontea.
- Schedule regular health checks. Every woman should be regularly screening for Cervical Screening Tests, STI screening, pelvic floor health checks (especially while pregnant), breast screenings after 45 years of age, and after menopause: screening for heart and vascular screenings, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
- When life becomes overwhelming, a simple grounding activity to have in your pocket is to notice and name:
- 5 things you can see
- 4 things you can touch
- 3 things you can hear
- 2 things you can smell
- 1 thing you can taste