May is Women’s Health Month, and this week (May 12-18, 2019) is National Women’s Health Week. This serves as reminder and encouragement for all women to take special efforts towards caring for themselves, not only this month, but year-round.
The US Dept. of Health & Human Services published a 5-step checklist for women to achieve better health. They are:
Visiting a health care provider for a well-women checkup.
This includes scheduling preventative screenings such as mammograms, and catching up on vaccines. Additionally, discuss any issues that you may have been putting off. Start making a list a week before your appointment, jotting things down as you remember them.
Increasing activity levels even a little goes a long way. Fit in an afternoon walk, join a yoga class, or choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Why not get creative and choose something you love to get involved in, such as gardening or working in the food pantry downtown? The important thing is that you are moving.
Reassess your eating habits this month. Are you getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs through diet or supplements? What about unhealthy fats and processed sugars? The foods you put in your body have a direct effect on your energy levels and thought processes. Be kind and nurturing to yourself by eating a healthy diet.
Assess your mental health
Are you getting enough sleep? How are you managing stress? Are there negative influences in your life that need to be purged, or that you need help with? Women tend to let things build up, putting others before themselves. This is never a healthy practice. Please remember that in order to take care of others, you must also take care of yourself…your mental well-being is a big part of this.
Practicing Safe Behaviors
Be honest with yourself and consider your daily habits for this one. Quit smoking, avoid your phone while driving. From bending at the knees when lifting, to practicing safe sex, this is the month for all women to remember that their health is important.