How many of you can really listen to your body and recognise when something is wrong? If you lead a busy life, it is easy to shrug off health concerns or not even notice them in the first place. Especially if you’re a perimenopausal woman; there are so many symptoms it is easy to put it all down to your fluctuating hormones when it could be something else.
Here in the UK, it is getting increasingly hard to see a doctor, and in other countries, you have to pay for your healthcare meaning that people often continue with symptoms untreated for a long period of time which is not good for anyone. Taking control of your health can be a daunting task, but it is essential for leading a happy and fulfilling life. By understanding and managing your body’s health, you can improve your overall well-being and prevent future health issues.
Ideally, we’d all get a regular health MOT (like our cars do!) to be able to have the space and time to talk through any worries, get an early diagnosis, and remove the need to search out our symptoms on the internet. Day Lewis Pharmacy has created a campaign to help with this, called the Head To Toe Health MOT, to support highlighting symptoms that should not be left, and that need to be shared with a doctor. They have an interactive infographic that asks key questions to highlight the symptoms that should not be ignored such as:
- Do you have difficulty gripping objects?
- Do you often drop things?
- Do your hands shake uncontrollably?
- Can you feel numbness or tingling in your hands?
- Do you often experience a stiff neck?
- Have your lymph nodes felt hard and swollen for two weeks or more?
- Do you have a radiating pain in your neck?
Simply hover over the area that you are worried about and answer the questions. If it is a yes, then book yourself a doctor’s appointment.
(Read on for tips to understand your body better and support it too)
How to understand your body better and listen out to what it’s telling you, especially when you’re busy:
Keep a health journal
Write down any symptoms you experience, such as headaches, fatigue, or digestive issues, along with what you eat, how much you sleep, and your stress levels. Over time, patterns may emerge that can help you identify triggers or issues that require further investigation.
There are several health and fitness apps that can help you track various aspects of your health, from sleep and exercise to menstrual cycles and blood pressure. Some apps even use artificial intelligence to provide personalized insights and recommendations.
Listen to your body
Take a few minutes throughout the day to check in with your body. Are you feeling tense or relaxed? Do you have any pain or discomfort? Paying attention to these cues can help you identify when something isn’t quite right.
Schedule regular health check-ups
Even if you’re busy, it’s important to schedule regular appointments with your healthcare provider. This doesn’t need to be a doctor; for example, it may be a women’s health practitioner, popping into the pharmacy to measure your blood pressure. This can help identify any issues before they become more serious and give you peace of mind about your health.
There are also things you can do to better manage your health too. Of course, not all of this will work for everyone but a few simple swaps may help.
Make healthy choices
While it can be challenging to find time for exercise or healthy eating, making small choices throughout the day can add up to significant improvements in your overall health. For example, choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator or packing a healthy lunch instead of eating fast food can help you feel more energised and better able to manage your busy schedule.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for your physical and mental well-being. Try to establish a regular sleep routine, even if your schedule is unpredictable. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, cool, and dark, and avoid using electronic devices for at least an hour before bedtime to promote restful sleep.
Practice stress management
When you’re busy, stress can easily take over. However, chronic stress can have negative effects on your body’s health, including increasing the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions. Find ways to manage stress, such as practicing mindfulness, deep breathing, or yoga, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.
It’s important to give your body and mind a break throughout the day. Even a short walk or stretch break can help reduce stress and improve circulation, which can have positive effects on your overall health.
By incorporating these tips into your routine, you can stay informed about your body’s health and take steps to maintain your well-being, even when you’re busy.
This is a collaborative post with Day Lewis