50 Ways to Women’s Wellness

By: Caitlin Hamer

Helpful Tips for a Healthier You

Wellness is an ongoing journey. Sometimes we may feel like we’ve gone off course, and it can be intimidating to try and get back on the right path. But all it really takes is just a few steps in the right direction! Since wellness encompasses everything from emotional well-being to physical health, there’s a lot to cover. But we’ve compiled a handy list of tips – some big, some small – that can lead to significant changes!

  1. Take time for yourself. Find a moment of quiet in your busy day and make it a rule to carve out just 10 minutes for yourself to clear your mind. It’s your break, so do what feels good! You can practice simple breathing techniques, meditate, or reflect on personal gratitude.
  2. Go out with your friends once a month. Adults with a strong social support network are at lower risk for many diseases, including depression and high blood pressure. So, take the time to nurture your friendships by keeping in touch and finding activities that you all love!
  3. Limit your screen time. Staring at your phone for too long causes eye strain, is bad for your posture, and can negatively affect your ability to sleep. Then there’s the impact it has on social skills, as well as your memory and even your self-esteem. Start by designating a “no phone zone” and leave your device out of sight for at least an hour.
  4. Partake in regular breast examinations. The American Cancer Society recommends that women at average risk for breast cancer start screenings at age 40, while women at high-risk begin at age 30. This will typically involve a mammogram, and in some cases, MRI scans. In addition to professional screenings, the National Breast Cancer Foundation recommends that adult women should perform self-exams at least once a month, so that they become familiar with their breasts and are able to recognize and report anything unusual.
  5. Eat clean. By cutting back on the amount of processed foods you consume, you’ll get to focus on adding fresher and healthier options to your daily meals. It’s as simple as starting with more fruits and veggies! Say goodbye to harmful preservatives and unnecessary ingredients and start reaping the benefits of more vitamins and nutrients.
  6. Exercise three times a week (or more). Experts recommend exercising no less than three times a week, as this amount of physical activity can lower your risk of depression, heart disease, excessive weight gain, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes. As always, it’s important to consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise, especially if you have health problems.
  7. Get regular Pap tests. Guidelines on Pap smears have changed in recent years, with experts recommending that women ages 21 – 29 who are at average risk for cervical cancer get a Pap smear every three years. From ages 30 – 65, the preferred way to screen is with a Pap combined with an HPV test every five years. However, you should still see your OB/GYN annually, whether or not you’re due for a Pap.
  8. Stay hydrated. Health authorities have been recommending the 8 x 8 rule for years – eight 8oz glasses of water a day. Of course, the amount of water you actually need each day will vary from person to person—but it’s a good rule of thumb to have a reusable water bottle on hand whenever you’re out and about.
  9. Get enough sleep. Sometimes it feels like this one may be easier said than done! But a lack of adequate sleep can lead to serious health problems. Make a sleep schedule and stick to it, and try to cut out anything that might negatively affect your ability to get proper shut-eye. Adults aged 18 – 64 require seven-nine hours a night, while adults 65 and older require seven – eight.
  10. Maintain proper eye health while you work. If you stare at a computer screen all day, try to look away from your computer every 20 minutes, for at least 20 seconds, at an object 20 feet away. You can also adjust your screen brightness to reduce eye strain.
  11. Never be embarrassed to ask your doctor questions. Play an active part in your health, and make sure you always know what’s going on! If something doesn’t feel right, bring it up. And if you don’t understand something, never be afraid to ask for more information or clarification.
  12. Practice healthy hobbies. A 2015 study found that participants who engaged in hobbies during their downtime were happier, less bored, less stressed, and had lower heart rates. Not sure what you want to do? Gardening, knitting, cooking, music, writing, and dancing are all fun and popular hobbies. Try a few and see what you like – you might discover hidden skills!
  13. Establish a skin care regimen. It’s important to find a skincare routine that suits you and your specific skin type. Find a skincare specialist at your favorite beauty supply store to get advice, or seek out a dermatologist if you have more serious concerns. Just remember to always cleanse and moisturize. And don’t forget to slather the SPF on your beautiful face!
  14. Reduce your plastic use. Each year, about 8.8 million tons of plastic trash flows into the ocean: endangering wildlife, polluting the water, and even putting humans at risk. You can do your part to stop this by recycling carefully, and ditching disposable plastic items such as bags, utensils, straws, and water bottles. There are plenty of reusable options available! Opt. for a quality water bottle like a Hydro Flask—it keeps liquids cool for 24 hours, or hot for 12, and seriously reduces your carbon footprint.
  15. Learn something new. With libraries, the internet, and unlimited apps available, you’re sure to find assistance in whatever you set out to study! It’s never too late to learn something new. And cultivating and pursuing different interests and hobbies brings a certain kind of wealth and excitement to life.
  16. Make your mental health as important as your physical health. One in five adults in the U.S. experience mental illness once a year. If you or a loved one are suffering, take the time to address what’s going on with a mental health professional, and remember to be honest. It’s time to destigmatize mental illness—after all, mental and physical health are closely connected.   
  17. Clean out your clutter. We’re not saying you have to adopt a minimalist lifestyle, but cleaning out the unnecessary junk from both your home and your workspace can make a huge difference in your productivity levels and your peace of mind. If some of that clutter includes books or other items that could be someone else’s ‘treasure’, make sure to donate them!
  18. Practice gratitude. Studies show that people who actively remind themselves how thankful they are tend to be happier. It can be as simple as thinking about what you’re grateful for every day, or taking the time to jot down those thoughts of gratitude in a journal. Don’t forget to tell the people in your life how much you appreciate them!
  19. Quality time with your pets. If you’ve got a furry member of the family, take time to give them plenty of love. If you don’t have a pet, but have been thinking about getting one, consider adopting from your local animal shelter. Having a pet can decrease stress, lower your blood pressure, improve your mood, and promote outdoor activity.
  20. Treat yourself to some self-care. A massage, facial, or mani-pedi are perfect plans for days when you’re in need of some pampering. But, even something as simple as staying in bed for a little longer on the weekends can do wonders! Find what’s most valuable to you and your psyche when you invest in self-love.
  21. Always wear sunscreen. Sunscreen lowers your risk of skin cancer, which is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. It can also prevent premature aging of the skin, and will result in a more even skin tone, as sun damage can cause discoloration and dark spots.
  22. Listen to your body. You know your body better than anyone else, so if something doesn’t feel right, do something about it. If that means slowing down when you’re tired, or going to a doctor about an issue that you feel could be serious, do it.
  23. Know your family history of cancer. While you can’t change your genetics, knowing this information and sharing it with your doctor can make a big difference. You might also consider genetic testing to see if you have certain cancer-causing genes. This knowledge can help you and your doctors decide which cancer screenings you need, and when.
  24. Your brain is a muscle—use it! Completing crossword puzzles, learning a new language, and playing chess are just a few examples of fun ways to keep your mind sharp at any age.
  25. Maintain good posture. Bad posture can adversely change your spine, give you digestive trouble, cause pain, and also negatively impact your lungs and heart. Stretch to lengthen and strengthen your muscles, and train yourself to sit—and walk—properly. And stop hunching over to stare at your phone! Sadly, this is a real medical condition, it’s called ‘Text Neck’ (Google it).
  26. Have a good laugh. Laughter relaxes your whole body, boosts the immune system, releases endorphins, and increases blood flow! Indulge in funny books, movies, and TV shows often.
  27. It can seem daunting at first, but there are many science-based benefits of meditation. And the best part? You can meditate anywhere, no equipment needed! Start with a few minutes a day, and watch your stress and anxiety diminish.
  28. Make essential oils a part of your life. Whether you want a soothing effect like lavender, or a midday perk-up with some peppermint, there’s bound to be an oil to match your mood (or, desired mood). Diffuse in your home or office to soothe the soul and lift the spirits! Essential oils also come in handy when fighting off colds, bacteria, and viruses.
  29. Start your day with positive affirmations. From the start, tell yourself you’re going to have a good day. And most importantly—believe it. It might feel silly at first, but with time you’ll find that replacing negative thoughts with positive ones really can have an impact on your mood and your day. Just start with “I am” and then finish with what you need to hear!
  30. Put plants in your home and work space. Indoor plants reduce carbon dioxide levels, increase humidify, and reduce pollutants and dust levels. Studies show that greenery can also reduce stress and create a feeling of well-being, while stimulating and energizing.
  31. Go outside. Just 60 seconds of sunshine on your face is enough to improve your mood and energy levels. Plus, it’ll amp up your vitamin D intake! Try taking a walk on your lunch break (or eat outside!), or consider exercising outdoors. Vitamin D deficiency can cause a host of issues including re-occurring sickness, fatigue, bone and back pain, depression, hair loss, and more.
  32. Make your home your own. A home renovation, whether it’s the whole house or just one space, can be a wonderful means of self-expression. The project will be rewarding, and you’ll be reaping the benefits for years.
  33. Wear comfortable clothes that make you feel good. Feeling good never goes out of style! And it’s no secret that when you look good, you feel better. Try to wear breathable fabrics to keep sweating to a minimum, and buy clothes that are neither too small nor too baggy.
  34. Cut back your caffeine intake. If you have frequent headaches (especially before your first cup of coffee), often feel jittery, and aren’t getting a good night’s sleep, it’s time to look at your caffeine consumption. If you find you’re dependent on coffee, try blending in some decaf, and then gradually reduce the number of cups you have each week. Consider trying coffee alternates, like tea, and cut out unhealthy afternoon soft drinks.
  35. Drink responsibly. Heavy drinking can cause a multitude of health problems, so it’s important to monitor your alcohol intake. Women should have no more than one drink a day, but if you end up overindulging on a night out, just make sure you have a ride home, and remember to drink plenty of water! Also, make sure to know when not to drink, such as when you’re pregnant, or on certain medications and common antibiotics.
  36. Join a fitness class. Participating in a class is a great way to add some social activity to your life. Plus, signing up and paying for a class means you’re less likely to skip your workouts!
  37. Don’t skip breakfast. You don’t want to end up hungry, angry, and tired mid-morning, right? If you’re short on time in the AM, consider prepping a healthy and delicious breakfast or smoothie the night before.
  38. Protect yourself from insect bites. Insect bites are more than just itchy and unsightly—they can also be the first step toward contracting a deadly illness. Mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, and ticks can carry Lyme Disease. Know when and where you’re most likely to be bit, cover yourself up when you’re outside, and don plenty of insect repellant.
  39. Wash your hands. It’s the best way to protect yourself from getting sick, especially in cold and flu season, and the best way to prevent spreading germs.
  40. Ask for help when you need it. No matter the circumstance, it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Tell your pride to step aside!
  41. Wear supportive shoes. Your feet are literally carrying you from place to place, so treat them well! Improper support can lead to knee and back pain in addition to foot problems. So, make sure to invest in high-quality shoes that give your feet the love they deserve.
  42. Create a soothing bedtime routine. Relax your body, and let it signal your mind that it’s time to fall asleep. Avoid screens for at least 30 minutes before bedtime (phone, laptop, or TV), and make your bedroom is a cool, quiet, and dark sanctuary.
  43. Take a real lunch break. Eat in the office breakroom, go out to a restaurant, or find a nice spot outdoors—just don’t eat at your desk! You already spend enough time there as it is.
  44. Set realistic goals. Start by writing your goals out and then breaking them down into manageable time frames. Getting into these details will help solidify your goals, meaning you’re more likely to stay committed to them, and achieve success in whatever you’ve set out to do!
  45. Read regularly. Reading stimulates the mind and lowers stress! If you’re struggling to find the motivation to read, consider joining a book club.
  46. Don’t compare your pace with anyone else’s. You are on your own journey, just as everyone is on theirs. Life is not a competition, so celebrate who you are, and where you are!
  47. Quit smoking. We all know the dangers of smoking cigarettes. Withdrawal can be difficult, but the rewards are lifelong.
  48. Stand up from your desk more often. We’ve all heard about the dangers of sitting for too long, and they’re 100% real. Sedentary lifestyles lead to higher risks for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more. Stand up and stretch, or walk to your colleague’s office instead of emailing them. Five to ten minutes of activity per hour is an ideal start.
  49. Do something nice for someone else. It’s amazing how one kind gesture can turn someone’s whole day around! Bring flowers to a friend for no reason, pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line, or leave a generous tip at a restaurant.
  50. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you let the little worries pile up, eventually they’ll weigh you down. Stay calm, and save your energy!

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