Prioritising Health: Wellbeing Habits for a Busy Wonder Woman

Prioritising health_Jodie Cooper_Positive psychology coach_working with wellbeing_2023

In a world that often feels like a sh!tstorm of responsibilities, it’s easy for the modern professional woman (that’s you and me) to not be prioritising health.

Unfortunately, this week I’ve fallen into this trap. (Yes, seriously, after 18 years, you’d think I’d know better.) But we’re all learning together right. LOL.

I’d been managing a cough for a week… just working through it (as us professional women tend to do,) and thought I could do just one more day. But four hours of speaking was apparently not what my throat or lungs considered ‘taking it easy’. (Eeek – Sorry body.)

So, after completely losing my voice on Thursday afternoon, and then struggling to breath for the next 4 days, I’ve declared that while I’d like to think I’m wonder woman. It’s clear my body needs a break sometimes.

In truth, I have very much enjoyed the forced downtime (my daughter thought it was heaven to be able to watch Netflix all afternoon,) it also got me to thinking about the way we professional women prioritise health and the small things that can make a big difference.

So, wonder woman, here are some of the healthy habits I work towards. No, I don’t do all of them all the time. But yes, they do help me to prioritise health. Because, when I’m laid out sick, life get’s real tricky. Much better to take some time each day to prioritise health and make sure I don’t get sick (or manage my health) in the first place.

    1. Go to Bed at the Same Time Each Day: Consistency is key when it comes to sleep. Set a regular bedtime to ensure your getting 8 hours sleep. Your body and particularly your brain, can’t (and DON’T) function efficiently with less.
       

    1. Rise Early: Early birds catch the worm, they say. Waking up early gives you precious “me time” to start your day right. Clear your head, move your body and get the day set up just the way you like it. Walking along the beach at dawn is my favourite time of the day and gets me inspired to do my best.

    1. Drink Lots of Water: Hydration is super important for good health. Keep that water bottle handy, mix in some herbal teas and go easy on the coffee.

    1. Notice the Good Stuff: Practice gratitude daily by acknowledging the positive aspects of your life, no matter how small they may seem. “What… how’s this health?” I hear you ask. Well, when you’re mind is positive, evidence indicates it improves our immune system and we’re more likely to take positive action.

    1. Move Every Day: Even a short workout can make a big difference in your energy levels and overall health. No time, create a tiny habit of doing 10 squats each time to head to the ladies room, or set up walk and talk meetings. Take your dog to the end of the street – just stop making excuses and find little ways to move your body.

    1. Ask More Questions: Curiosity keeps your mind engaged and promotes continuous learning. Not sure what foods boost your immune system? Want to find the right exercise to improve your sore knee? Need to navigate a new medication? Google is your best mate – use your curiosity to invest a little more time in improving your health and wellbeing.

    1. Invest in Important Relationships: Nurture the people that matter most. Not only do we know that strong social ties improve health – but you need to have someone to cook you that ginger and chicken noodle soup. (Thanks Vanessa, you’re the best.)

    1. Six Second Hugs: Hugs release oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone,” promoting emotional bonds, physical healing and reducing stress. It’s simple, but it’s true.

    1. Let Go of Unimportant Sh!t: (AND MOST OF IT IS UNIMPORTANT SH!T.) Life’s too short to sweat the small stuff. Focus on what truly matters. Becoming more mindful will reduce stress and increase your overall sense of wellbeing.

    1. Relax Every Day: Take a breather, unwind, and indulge in some “you time” daily. Take a bath, read a magazine, natter away to a friend on the phone or pull out some weeds. Do something that feels good – just because it feels good.

    1. Eat the Rainbow: Not skittles (they seriously wrecked the rainbow analogy didn’t they.) but plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet. A colourful plate is a nutritious plate. Load up on fruits and veggies to boost your health and immunity.

    1. Become More Discerning: Say no before you hit the wall, not after. Creating boundaries around your personal time, energy and resources isn’t selfish, it’s essential. Push back by choosing not to go to meetings, kids birthdays or networking events. Your health is much more important than any of those things. Stress isn’t great for your health, so be sure to minimise the stressful stuff where you can.

    1. Spend Time in Nature: Nature, quite simply, provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. There’s also some brilliant research about the healing properties of nature. Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese practice with some incredible research to back it up.

    1. Breathe More Often: Find a way to bring breathing into your day (or even just the full-on moments.) Breathing deeply activates your sympathetic nervous system and helps your brain move your body from fight or flight mode, back to calm and connect. It also stimulates the lungs, promotes blood flow and boosts your immune system.

Prioritising health_Jodie Cooper_Positive psychology coach_working with wellbeing_2023
Prioritising health_Jodie Cooper_Positive psychology coach_working with wellbeing_2023

  • Have Systems That Work for You: Being organized and efficient is likely already a super-power of yours, but let’s be real, we could all do it better. Work your to-do list, tidy your desk, keep your notes together and find pieces of technology that make your life easier. By freeing up a little time, you’ll be able to prioritise your health.

  • Practice Self-Compassion: Remember that you’re just a human. (Yes, wonder woman, I’m talking to you.) Humans all stuff up. (We all do and it’s perfectly normal too.) And as a human, you deserve Kindness too. So have a cuppa, take a nap, or read that book you’re enjoying. Little kindnesses keep your confidence and motivation in tact and do wonders for your health (and happiness) too.

Remember friends, you can conquer the world and still prioritize your health and happiness. Actually, I think it’s only when we prioritise health that we can achieve everything we want. By adopting even a few of these simple habits to prioritise health, you’ll find it easier to get more done, and have more fun. That’s definitely worth a little effort.