Self-care tips: Managing your health
This International Women's Day, take charge of your own health by becoming more familiar with your body and monitoring it regularly.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure your health stays on track:
Check your movement
Ensure you’re moving your body adequately throughout the day - extended periods of time sitting can cause long term health issues. Stand and stretch at least once every hour, and try to exercise for 30 minutes each day.
Check your exposure
Use sun protection when you’re outside, and monitor any freckles, moles or skin blemishes for anything unusual. Things to look for are changes in shape or colour or any pain or itchiness from skin marks.
Taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health - take a few minutes each day to ground yourself in the present, be honest with how you’re feeling, and practise some deep breathing exercises.
Check your bones
Bone health is important at every stage of life, particularly for women. Make sure you’re including enough calcium in your diet and getting essential Vitamin D, as well as including regular weight-bearing exercises in your daily routine.
Check your pelvic floor
Strengthening your pelvic floor is important for everyone, no matter what gender or age. Pelvic muscle training, or Kegels, should be done daily. Tighten the muscles in your pelvic area (the ones you would use to stop urination midstream), hold for five seconds, release for five seconds, and repeat.
Check your breasts
It’s important to be aware of what your breasts look and feel like normally in case there are any changes. Note any concerning lumps, swelling, sensitivity or pain and discuss any concerns with your doctor.
Advocate for your body
No one knows your body the way you do - being involved in your health increases your likelihood of ongoing, sustained wellbeing. Know your preventative health checks, like mammograms, skin cancer checks, and cervical cancer screening and schedule them regularly. Note any symptoms to discuss with a healthcare professional.
While these self-care tips have been developed with a medical professional, your own self-care needs will depend on your individual medical history. Always consult with your general practitioner about any health concerns.