Ways women can care for their health

Published 3:14 pm Friday, May 7, 2021

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Sunday, May 9, is Mother’s Day but also the kick-off of National Women’s Health Week. Although not all women are mothers most women are caregivers in some capacity and often put their health on the back burner.

Particularly during the global pandemic of COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health leads National Women’s Health Week to encourage all women to be as healthy as possible. Some basic suggestions include:

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• Visiting a health care provider for well-woman visit, preventive screenings, and vaccines

• Get active

• Eat healthy

• Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress

• Practice safe behaviors, such as quitting smoking, no texting while driving, and taking steps to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections.

Celebrate the week by focusing daily on a health element.

MONDAY:  How active are you? Small changes such as walking more throughout the day, taking the steps instead of the elevator, and parking further away from the store are just a few. Walking is an excellent form of exercise and doesn’t require anything other than appropriate shoes, and can be done while social distancing.

TUESDAY:  Make sure your preventive tests are up to date such as mammograms, pap smears, skin checks for skin cancer, and colonoscopies depending on your age and family history.  As of April 27, 2020, Gov. Andy Beshear lifted the ban on non-emergent health services. Take this opportunity to assess what tests you are due for and schedule appropriately.

WEDNESDAY:  Are you feeling connected with those around you? How much time are you spending on social media throughout the day as opposed to truly participating in your community? Scrolling through Facebook isn’t the only way to feel a part of things.

THURSDAY:  Take a few minutes to assess your drinking habits. Talk to your health provider if you have concerns on how much alcohol you may be drinking and the effects on your body.

FRIDAY:  Are you happy with your current birth control? If your current method isn’t working for you, there are plenty of other options. If you are considering getting pregnant now is the time to focus on your health and get plenty of folic acid BEFORE you get pregnant to help prevent certain birth defects.

SATURDAY:  The weekends are an excellent time to meal plan for the next week, and even prepare some meals that can easily be warmed up on busy weeknights. The extra time allows for thinking about healthier options and can counter the urge to grab unhealthy fast-food throughout the week.

SUNDAY:  Managing stress is always an important part of women’s health, but maybe now more than ever. Families have been spending extra time together, often in close quarters, as people telecommute and some children are still learning remotely. Remember to assess how you are handling the increased stress associated with these unprecedented times. If you feel you are not handling stress well, please contact Clark County Health Department for local mental health assistance options.

As women, we need to remember we have specific health needs and that our loved ones need us to be healthy and strong. Take time this week to make yourself a priority!

Submitted by Jennifer Burchett, RN, BSN

Information taken from:  https://www.womenshealth.gov/nwhw