National Women’s Health Week, May 9 -14, serves as a reminder to women to make their health a top priority. Major women’s health issues include heart disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, and mental health concerns.
Every year, the week starts just after Mother’s Day, as a way to remind women to take care of themselves.
It is never too late to be the healthiest you and understands the importance of your health. Women’s daily habits and lifestyle can affect their mental clarity. Don’t let your day-to-day life get in the way of your mental health.
Five Common Habits Harming Your Mental Health
- Sleep deprivation. Your body needs time everyday to rest and heal. If you have trouble falling asleep, sleeping in, or waking up during the night, there are some simple steps you can take to make a change. Try going to sleep at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning, avoid caffeine after 5pm or alcohol before bed, establish a bedtime ritual, drink a cup of decaffinated herbal tea, and unplug. Put your phone or computer away at least an hour before you go to sleep. Check out Ariana Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution to find out how our sleep crisis is wreaking profound havoc– “on our health, our job performance, our relationships and our happiness”.
- Stress. Stress can arise for a number of reasons – from traumatic events to problems in everyday life. And for many of us, it’s becoming our new normal. Women are known for our heroic multi-tasking. As a rockstar professional, to spouse, mother, caregiver, friend, daughter. And what it we want to have a hobby? Trying to find the time to paint and hike, and garden can be stressful. We can take it upon ourselves to turn a fun indulgence into an instagram or pinterest contest for the best project. Its important to find time to de-stress. Ask yourself the question: “What helps you relax and clear your mind?” Whether it be exercise, reading a light-hearted book, taking a bath, getting a massage, or walking the dog. Find a way to turn that into an every day activity, just as important as eating.
- Comparisons. Comparing yourself to your friends, and even TV personalities or movie starts can be harmful to your mental health. Once we start comparing ourselves to people around us, it is hard to stop. The tendency can be done without even knowing it. It’s invisible, yet can be destructive to one’s joy and happiness. This kind of thinking results in resentment, discontent, and a lower sense of self. To stop comparing, work to compete less and become aware of your own success and talents. Remember “not to compare your day-to-day with someone else’s highlight reel”. Have gratitude for the good in your life.
- Poor Nutrition. Your diet and nutrition has a direct effect on your energy level and mood. While occasionally splurging on your favorite treats is fine, find the balance. A “healthy diet” includes eating foods with essential nutrients that do not contain excess fat, sugar, or salt. Choose foods that will give you energy throughout the day. The same foods and eating plans don’t work for everyone, so take the time to figure out what foods make you feel good.
- Lack of exercise. Exercise has been shown to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Endorphins released from exercise help relieves stress and improve mood. Any form of activity is great for mental clarity. If exercise isn’t your thing, then try getting out doors, go for a walk and enjoy nature. Don’t let the term confine you – try tennis, rock climbing, yoga, water aerobics. Find your niche and have fun!
Take the time this week to focus on your health and get into the healthy habits for both your mental and physical health.
How will you celebrate the week? Comment below and share with friends.