Why women’s health matters, and the reason self-care must be a priority

International Women's Day Dr. Marita Schauch

In my naturopathic practice, one of the areas I’m most passionate about is women’s health. I love helping women feel empowered to take action to better their mind and body wellness, and it’s so rewarding to support them throughout the process.

As women, we often feel burdened by the demands of life, and with our nurturing nature, it’s easy for us to take care of everyone else before ourselves. International Women’s Day serves as a reminder that women’s health is a priority, and we must create an actionable plan in order to ensure that we are putting ourselves first and taking charge of our health.

I constantly see women in my naturopathic practice who struggle with slowing down and making time for self-care. Contrary to popular belief, self-care does not just mean face masks and bubble baths (which are always encouraged, but not always practical). The self care I’m talking about is saying no to plans, not over-committing oneself, taking extra time to cook your own food, being creative, having healthy sleep habits and taking the time to exercise.

I believe that each patient is unique and deserves an individualized treatment plan, and treatment can differ greatly between men and women due to biological differences, the way in which women experience pain compared to men, and the fact that women are twice as likely to develop certain health issues, such as depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder.

Here are my top self-care tips for women to incorporate as often as possible:

  1. Maintain a regular exercise routine: intentionally schedule in your workouts, find an exercise buddy, and treat your workouts as an important meeting that can’t be missed!

  2. Cook your own food: not only is cooking grounding for the nervous system, it’s also much healthier than buying food out. Try taking a couple hours every Sunday to prepare food for the week and notice the way it takes the stress off when Monday morning rolls around!

  3. Schedule in breaks: instead of overloading your week with plans and social commitments, schedule in nights for yourself to rest and recharge.

  4. Practice saying no: check in with yourself when you’re faced with a decision, and if you have hesitation or a gut feeling that you don’t want to do something, say no! Give yourself the luxury of taking care of yourself versus pleasing someone others.

  5. Visit your naturopathic doctor: having regular visits with your naturopathic doctor can provide you with insightful diet and lifestyle guidance, as well as get your overall wellness back on track.

Riley Webster