Four Ways to Bolster Women’s Health in 2024

Two healthy women enjoy coffee

Did you know that health related New Year’s Resolutions are typically the most or second-most popular “wishes” for Australians at this time of year?

It’s true, but planning and wishing is the easy part, it’s putting these ideas into permanent practice that’s the hard part.

Well On Bay are proud advocates of women’s health

At Well On Bay, we have a strong interest in the health and wellbeing of girls and women in our community.

To us, women’s health encompasses physical and mental wellbeing issues specific to women, from reproductive health and mental stressors to cancer screenings and preventive approaches.

Our health professionals aim to address both the unique conditions and overall wellness of women through proper diagnosis, caring consultations and management in promoting women’s health.

It’s this advocacy that’s prompted us to list four ways women bolster their health in 2024

The beginning of the year is a perfect time to add these simple techniques to your physical and mental routine – and reap the rewards.

1. Make sun protection part of your morning routine.

Although this one isn’t specific to women only, it’s extremely important nonetheless.

Australia has a dangerous combination when it comes to sun damage:

  • A love of the outdoors
  • Holidays and time off in summer
  • A general want of tanned skin, and
  • Some of the harshest UV radiation in the world

The result: almost the highest – if not the highest – skin cancer rates on earth.

👉 Add sun protection to your morning routine and if possible, to your family’s routine.

This means sunscreen even on cloudy days. Hint: UV rays, the ones that cause skin damage, are not blocked out by clouds.

Think about hats, sunglasses, long sleeves and shade when you have an outdoor event planned too.

2. Acknowledge the importance of mental health support

This doesn’t only mean seeking help after you begin feeling you need it. Mental health support also includes preventative measures.

Mental health support for women involves supportive environments where women feel comfortable discussing their mental wellbeing without stigma and access to professional resources, such as therapists or counsellors.

It means guidance for coping with stressors and emotional challenges when they arise, and importantly before they arise.

How: Make a mental note, or a note on your phone is even clearer, of the things in your life that make you stressed and another list of those that make you happy.

For example, you might list:

  • Certain pressures or people at work
  • Financial problems
  • Strained personal relationships

As for things that might make you happy:

  • Planning and going on a holiday
  • Dollars in bank accounts
  • A calm, clean home

What can you do to minimise the stressor list and maximise the happy list? Probably multiple things per listed item.

Small changes can – and usually do – go a long way.

3. Make 2024 the year for preventative measures

Regular health check-ups that include screenings for breast and cervical cancer, high blood pressure and cholesterol help detect potential issues early.

This massively improves the chances of successful treatment and recovery.

Most screenings in women’s health are quick and simple, and some can be performed at home too. Make sure to speak to your doctor for specifics relating to your circumstances.

More information can be found here.

The benefits of preventative measures are huge and can often include:

  • Simpler, lower-cost and more effective recovery/treatments compared to finding issues at later stages
  • Encouragement to make healthier choices should something be found
  • Reduced risk of serious health issues
  • Greatly improved chances of successful treatment

If you haven’t had a check-up or recommended screening in a while, get in touch with us.

4. Increase your hours of sleep

That’s proper, natural sleep seven nights a week, not just a little extra on a Sunday morning.

Setting an earlier bedtime and having more quiet, calm time before bed can offer many health benefits for women.

Adequate sleep is crucial for hormonal balance and immune function, promoting overall resilience against illnesses and supporting mental health.

It plays a fundamental role in hormonal regulation, affecting menstrual cycles, fertility and menopausal transitions.

Quality and consistent sleep supports your body’s ability to repair and regenerate which contributes to overall well being.

On the other hand, a lack of sufficient sleep can disrupt hormonal balance, potentially leading to irregular menstrual cycles and increased stress on the reproductive system.

Sleep deficiency has been associated with increased risk of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity, all of which are significant health concerns for women.

So how do you get more sleep? It can be tough as we all know.

1. Enforce a consistent sleep schedule: Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, helps regulate your body’s internal clock. Consistency reinforces a healthy sleep-wake cycle, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally.

2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Develop calming pre-sleep habits, such as reading a book, watching a nature documentary (not on your phone) or practising relaxation exercises. These activities signal to your body that it’s time to wind down, making it easier to fall asleep.

3. Optimise your sleep environment: Ensure your bedroom promotes sleep by keeping it clean, cool, dark and quiet. A comfortable mattress and pillows make a big difference. Try to minimise disruptions such as noise and electronic devices. Creating a peaceful sleep environment enhances the quality of your rest. Some people find avoiding entering their bedroom unless for cleaning or sleeping is a good idea too.

4. Avoid stimulants and sleep preventers: Stay away from caffeine, sugary food and drinks, nicotine, social media (ideally your phone all together) and high-energy media like action movies and controversial talk shows in the lead up to bedtime. Avoiding confrontations with other people is also very important before sleeping.

Women's health expert and patient

Wrapping up

“Women’s health” is a wide paint brush that incorporates a huge range of conditions, concerns, screenings, management and choices.

It’s also something that can easily be improved, even with small steps.

Make 2024 the year you better your health and wellbeing, you might be surprised by the benefits.

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