National Women’s Health Week is upon us, serving “as a reminder for women to make their health a priority and build positive health habits for life” - a core part of what LUV is all about.
At a time when preventative healthcare is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, National Women’s Health Week is a timely reminder of the fact that self-care is not selfish, but necessary. That as mothers, daughters, partners and friends, we all too often take on the burden of caring for others - but sometimes forget that being there for others requires us to be there for ourselves, first.
Being forced to be at home is a strange and unique time, but it is also a great opportunity to form new habits. And although it’s important to be kind to ourselves, to accept that things aren’t always as easy as they seem and not to beat ourselves up when things don’t go as planned, when it comes to our health, it’s also important to find a way.
To help inspire you to find small changes where possible, we spoke to LUV Founder, Emma, to find out how she’s been prioritizing her health during quarantine while juggling two daughters and a business. Here are some of her top tips:
Wake up early to exercise
"I’m a morning person so I find it much easier to get up really early and do my exercise when the rest of the family is still asleep. It sets me on the right path for the rest of the day - I have more energy and I feel mentally ready to take things on."
If you have small children and early mornings aren’t right for you, then try a shorter bout of evening exercise followed by a relaxing stretch or yoga session to cool and calm your nervous system before bed. There are plenty of online exercise options to help you find what suits your circumstances best - check out online fitness Friday Favorites for inspiration.
Keep food simple and healthy
"We’ve been eating a lot of simple but nutritious food such as salads and soups. Things that are easy to throw together rather than taking a huge amount of prep, with lots of vegetables to make sure we’re all getting a big hit of nutrients with each meal."
Meals that don’t need supervision while cooking are a game-changer for those of us who are time-poor but want to eat healthily. Try roasting vegetables in the oven and keeping them in the fridge to add to salads, on top of couscous or even to a simple omelette. A slow cooker is also a great investment as you can throw things in it in the morning and have a delicious meal come dinner time. If you eat meat, a simple roast chicken is a great way of creating multiple meals, as you can use the leftovers to throw in pasta or a soup - plus the bones can go into the slow cooker to make a gut-healthy bone broth!
Get enough sleep
“I have to avoid the temptation to treat the kids’ post-bed hours as a time to get lots of stuff done. Instead, I take half an hour each night to wind down in time for a bedtime that gives me 7 hours’ sleep, minimum. I love listening to audio books or meditating in my infrared sauna. It’s just a great opportunity for some me-time. My evening routine always includes my skincare ritual and taking our UNWIND tincture, but might also include a bath or reading in bed.”
It’s hard to overstate the importance of sleep. There is plentiful research showing its importance for our physical and mental wellbeing, and especially in stressful times, we cope best when we are well rested. If you struggle with sleep, routine is key. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day (including weekends), avoid screen time for an hour before bed, and dim the lights to signal to your body that it’s bedtime. Many people take CBD to help them with sleep - try LUV UNWIND CBD Tincture as part of your wind-down routine.
"Since my diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer, supplements are an important part of my diet. Some of my favorites are mushroom blends (such as turkey tail, cordyceps and reishi) and collagen - both of which I buy in powder form and add to smoothies. Obviously, CBD and CBG are a huge part of my health regimen now. From better sleep to reduced stress and quicker muscle recovery after working out, I honestly feel the difference every day. We developed the RISE, SHINE and UNWIND Tinctures because they fit so neatly into morning, day and night routines, but I also take the CBG Tincture and also use it topically on my skin a lot - especially with all the hand washing at the moment."
Smoothies are a great way of incorporating supplements into your diet, especially if they don’t taste great on their own! So-called ‘superfoods’ such as maca, goji berries, matcha green tea and cacao are also great for adding to smoothies and will give your diet a supercharged boost.
Find a silver lining
“Stress and mental health are things that are not always talked about and it’s easy to underestimate how important minimizing stress is to our overall health and wellness.
I find that particularly during these times, it’s hard not to over-think or worry about everything that’s on my to-do list. I’ve been trying to prioritize constantly, so it’s possible to be okay with letting go of some things. Being more efficient and effective (but knowing it’s never going to be perfect!) allows me to balance self-care with running a company, looking after others and home-schooling at the same time.
Even in such uncertain times, when someone throws you a curve ball I’ve found it helpful to stop, breathe and look for a silver lining. I practiced doing this during chemo, when my hair started falling out and I realized that the silver lining was no shaving! This change of perspective can help me laugh, and keep things moving forward so I don’t get stuck in a rut or caught in negative thought patterns.
Calling a friend to talk things through, or stopping with a cup of tea to look out of the window for five minutes can also help. I also take RISE Capsules in the morning and SHINE Tincture in the afternoon to balance my mood, keep me calm and maintain my energy levels without coffee jitters.”
Make One Change
If you start to think of these changes as a complete lifestyle overhaul, then you’re likely to be overwhelmed and not make any changes at all. We believe that making one small change is the first step to bigger things; so start small and take it from there. Every step towards a healthier you, is an important and necessary one. For more information about National Women’s Health Week and for more ideas, take a look at these resources from the Office on Women’s Health.