It’s Women’s Health Week 2019 and we thought it was a great time to reflect on the state of women’s health in Australia and here at Employment Hero HQ. If you’re unfamiliar with what this week is all about, let’s go over the basics quickly.
Women’s Health Week was started in 2013 by Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (an Australian NFP organisation dedicated to improving women’s health). This year the week is running between 2-6 September and is all about raising awareness for the two biggest barriers to women not maintaining good health: ‘lack of time’ and ‘health not being a priority’.
Some quick health status facts of Australian women:
- 1 in 2 Australian women have a chronic disease
- 1 in 2 Australian women have experienced a mental health problem
- 1 in 6 Australian women will experience depression
- 1 in 3 Australian women will experience anxiety
- 1 in 5 Australian women report having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- 1 in 4 Australian women can not afford to see a health professional when they needed to
- 1 in 5 Australian women reported that there were issues/questions that they avoided discussing with their doctor
With statistics like this, it can be easy to feel a bit sad about the whole thing. We believe that prevention and focusing on what you CAN control to be the best way to approach health.
We asked the women of Employment Hero what their top health tips were and what good health meant to them.
- What is one health ‘tip’ your mother/sister/aunt/grandma taught you growing up?
- What is one thing you try to do every day for your health?
- What does ‘good health’ mean to you?
Esther Mitchell (Office Manager and Fairy Godmother)
The no.#1 health tip from my mother, Isabel San Miguel, was to include physical activity each day. I get all my motivation and energy from the exercise in my daily routine. As a migrant, we enjoyed home-cooked ‘Spanish’ meals made from fresh ingredients and recipes from scratch. Fast food/take-away and processed foods weren’t ever a consideration.
I make sure I include physical activity for my body and mind ‘health’. I enjoy a glass of wine a day – all in moderation and well received.
To me, good health means eating and sleeping well and Including exercise each day.
I ensure my family and I do a form of exercise each day. My husband and I have encouraged our 3 children to exercise/train from a young age. This means they wake up motivated and fall asleep exhausted at the end of the day!
*Editor’s note: we asked Esther to fill us in on her exercise routine!
During the week:
I usually go to the gym (F45) and the circuits involve a healthy mix of cardio and weight training.
On the weekend:
On Sunday mornings, Ross (my partner) and I enjoy cycling. In the warmer months, Ross and I enjoy long rides to Bondi and back. We usually ride in a small group – leave early in the morning and return in time for park time with Digby (our very cute dog). Our weekends are also occupied with Water Polo, both Club and National League.
I walk Digby during the week, this is a shared task for the entire family. If I’m honest, he should go out once a day but we are pretty hopeless with this Monday to Friday. We nail it on the weekends, he’s usually exhausted come Monday! My kids keep me busy too. 🐶
Megan Bonnett (SEO Specialist and Banter Baroness)
My mum told me that you should do at least one thing every day that makes you laugh or smile, as it’ll help you be in a better and happier mood for the rest of the day. She also told me not to smoke and to get a pap test when I hit 25.
Personally, I always try to get outside for some fresh air for at least an hour a day and good health to me means that both my mind and body happy! 👌
Caoimhe McMullan (Management Accountant and Lady of the Dance)
My mummy always told me never to go to bed angry with anyone and it’s something I’ve always had in mind just before going to bed.
For a few months now I’ve actually had a list of 5 things I try to do every day to help with my health and I’ve done well at sticking to them:
- Meditate in the morning (using the calm app)
- Walk to and from work (this takes an hour to and from Rosebery but I get my steps up for the day, the fresh air is amazing, I don’t have to sit/stand on a crowded bus/train, saves me money and it gives me plenty of time for no 3. (I know this isn’t possible for most people but even getting off your bus/train a few stops early leaving yourself a 20-30 min walk does all the good in the world)
- Listen to a podcast (I’ve nearly listened to almost all of Oprah’s Supersoul and Jay Shetty On Purpose)
- Go to the gym on my lunch – it gets me out of the office clears my head from work and makes me feel good
- I’ve stopped buying meat and really believe this makes feel so much better and means I’ve become a lot more creative with my meals. Plus I get a good 10 fruit and veggies in a day!
I believe ‘Good Health’ starts with the mind. You could be as fit, wealthy, successful as you want, but your mind and your thoughts are the most important thing. 🧘♀️
Sam Myers (Marketing Team Lead and Kickass Lady Boss)
I learnt don’t be a hero – if you’re suffering either mentally or physically, there’s no need to ‘be a hero’ and fight through the pain. Go get help asap! Early intervention is the best prevention.
For me, I TRY to avoid inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy. There’s a remarkable difference when I don’t eat foods that upset my body.
Good health to me means having a body that physically and mentally supports me in everything I want to do and achieve. 💪
Julia Merrick (Content Marketing Manager and G&T Connoisseur)
Mum’s Italian and her mantra has always been about homemade food! Nothing beats good, wholesome food. Make sure to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. She also stressed the importance of loading up on vitamin c and getting lots of rest the minute you feel a tingle in your throat.
I try to move every day, whether that’s a simple lunchtime walk or an evening run/soccer match with friends. I also love winding down at the end of a busy day with a hot shower and by turning on my lavender oil diffuser.
Good health to me is feeling balanced and aligned both mentally and physically. If one feels unbalanced, it affects the other and it can create a negative cycle. 🙏
Kerryn McIntyre (Implementation Project Manager and Book Aficionado)
My mum taught me that Google is not a substitute for an actual medical professional. One thing I do every day is to take probiotics. This has changed my digestive life!!! Good health to me is holistic, but mostly it just means feeling happy and energetic. 🤸♀️
Charlotte Shaw (Talent Acquisition Specialist and British Lacrosse Champion)
To moisturise every day, and that it is always 5 o’clock somewhere in the world. 🍷
Kama Rak (Customer Success Manager and Multi-tasking Mumma Bear)
Water is not only good for staying hydrated, but it’s also important for staying clean and fresh. 💧
Annabel Thompson (Senior Customer Marketing Executive and Grammar Queen)
Mother always said, “Frowning gives you wrinkles, but so does smiling. Best to maintain a reserved level of emotion at all times. That way, no one will ever know what you’re thinking! For everything, else there’s botox.”
I try to exercise every day. Even if it’s just a 30-minute walk, exercise to me is more about self-love than physical goals. Reframe exercise as an investment in your physical and mental health, instead of as a chore that you have to get done. Endorphins are the spice of life!
I prioritise being mentally well over everything else; you can’t make anyone else happy without being happy in yourself. Exercise, a healthy diet and being mindful are essential to a healthy mind. Remember, emotions are like the weather – they’ll pass! And everyone feels better after a little bit of exercise. ❤️
Becky Wilson (Customer Success Manager and Expert Marathon Runner)
Mum always said “Wash your feet every day in the shower…” not really because you need clean feet (although that is very important too) but so that you will grow old always being able to touch your toes… Mum could still put her legs behind her head at 50!
Bonus tip: You should always have a bottle of champagne in the fridge – you never know when you might need to celebrate. 🍾🥂