Women today are busy: juggling a career, household responsibilities, errands, and taking care of their children. That can make it difficult to find time to be proactive about health, let alone keep up with healthy habits.
But that doesn’t mean you should skip out on following a healthy lifestyle. Small, actionable steps can make a big difference, such as focusing on the following 9 essential health habits for busy women.
1. Balance food and drink
It’s important to maintain healthy food and drink habits to keep your energy levels up and concentrate better in all of your day-to-day activities.
- Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and healthy fats. This will provide your body with all the necessary nutrients it needs to function effectively.
- Drink lots of water. Water helps your body flush out toxins and perform optimally.
- Limit your intake of processed and sugary foods. These provide little nutritional value for your body and can make you feel lethargic and groggy.
- Pay attention to portion sizes. Eating too much can slow your metabolism, making it harder to maintain a healthy weight.
2. Get enough sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for keeping your body and mind healthy.
- Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. This will ensure your body is fully rested and your mind is functioning at its best.
- Keep to a consistent sleep schedule. This will help to promote better sleep quality.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine before bed. These can all interfere with sleep quality and make it harder to stay asleep throughout the night.
- Turn off electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted by these devices is distracting and can interfere with your body’s natural production of melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate your sleep cycles.
3. Move your body
Exercise not only keeps your body fit, it also has a positive effect on your mental and emotional wellbeing.
- Break it up. Finding time to exercise can be difficult, so break it up into smaller pieces during the day. Try walking for 15-30 minutes during your lunch hour or doing a quick 10-minute yoga workout in the evening.
- Focus on movements that you enjoy. Choose activities that bring you joy and make it easier to stay motivated to exercise regularly.
- Incorporate activities that are both cardio and strength-building. Studies have found that these types of activities can help to boost your energy levels and improve your mood.
- Make exercise part of your daily routine. Setting aside time each day to move your body can help to make it a habit that you can stick with in the long run.
4. Monitor your stress levels
Stress can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health, so it is important to take the time to manage it proactively.
- Pay attention to your feelings. Recognize when you are feeling overwhelmed and take the time to process and release your emotions.
- Develop stress-reducing habits. Take up yoga, meditation, journaling, or any other activity that helps you to relax and unwind.
- Set boundaries. Prioritize tasks to focus on the most important ones and let go of less essential demands.
- Take breaks. Schedule in time for yourself each day to do something enjoyable and relaxing.
5. Connect with loved ones
Having meaningful relationships with loved ones helps to reduce stress and promote overall health.
- Stay connected. Make sure to stay in touch with friends and family, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day.
- Take time for yourself. Spend time alone doing something you enjoy and don’t feel bad about taking some time for yourself.
- Build supportive networks. Lean on the people around you who can offer emotional and practical support in your daily life.
- Help others. Volunteering can be a great way to contribute to your community while also connecting with people who share similar values and interests.
6. Give yourself permission to rest
Taking time out to recharge is essential for your physical and mental wellbeing.
- Know your limits. Pay attention to how you’re feeling and listen to your body when it needs rest.
- Schedule time for rest. Make sure to take time to relax and replenish your energy levels.
- Avoid tackling too much at once. Don’t try to do too many things at once as this can lead to burnout.
- Create a clutter-free space. Minimize the clutter in your home and workspace so that you can focus on taking care of yourself.
7. Supplement with medicines
A healthy lifestyle should include access to reliable, affordable, and safe medicines.
- Know your medications. Become familiar with the medications you are taking, the potential side effects, and how to properly take them.
- Make sure you’re up to date on vaccines. Stay current on the necessary vaccines for your age group and talk to your doctor about any additional vaccines you may need.
- Use safe and reliable sources for supplements. Many vitamins, minerals, and herbs can be beneficial if used correctly, but make sure you are getting them from a trustworthy source.
- Keep up with regular check-ups. These can help to identify any potential issues before they become serious health problems.
8. Practice good hygiene
Good hygiene habits are essential both for personal comfort and to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
- Wash your hands often. This is especially important after using the restroom, changing diapers, or handling food.
- Brush and floss your teeth. This helps to maintain oral health and protect your body from bacteria that can lead to other health problems.
- Bathe regularly. Taking a daily shower can help to keep your skin clean and free of bacteria.
- Cover cuts and scrapes. Make sure to keep any open wounds covered to prevent infection.
9. Develop healthy mental habits
Developing healthy mental habits helps to cultivate feelings of optimism and promote physical wellbeing.
- Manage your thoughts. Be aware of how you’re thinking and take steps to replace any negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Stay present. Focus on the moment rather than worrying about the future or ruminating over the past.
- Practice gratitude. Practicing gratitude is a great way to think more positively and focus on the good in your life.
- Get help if needed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed or are struggling with mental health issues.
By incorporating these 9 essential health habits into your daily routine, you can help ensure that you stay healthy and energized as you move through your busy day.