National Women’s Health Week Encourages Women to Get and Stay Well
It’s National Women’s Health Week! For 2021, National Women’s Health Week is from May 9 to 15, fittingly kicked off by Mother’s Day! This weeklong event, led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, is dedicated to helping women and girls make their health a priority. What does that mean?
First, it means learning to be your own advocate. Too many people write off women’s health complaints and pain as “just part of being a woman.” But you know your body. You know what’s normal for you and what’s not. Tell your doctor – honestly – about what is going on with you. Don’t worry about what other people in your life say and keep in mind that your health care professional can’t be helpful if you’re not honest. It’s hard, but it’s more important than ever that women and girls get over any embarrassment so that doctors can help them.
Second, it means scheduling annual checkups appropriately and consistently. Depending on age and other factors, that may mean mammograms, PAP tests, skin cancer checks, EKGs, STD testing, blood pressure testing, bloodwork and other cancer screenings and tests. (At Urgent Care 24/7, we understand that some of these tests are uncomfortable and even scary, which is why we are dedicated to having understanding, compassionate professionals work with you when you need them!)
Third, it means managing chronic conditions to the best of your ability. Do you have arthritis? Allergies? Do you worry about shingles every year? Are you sleeping well? Managing these conditions is key to overall good health. A good primary healthcare plan can help you keep an eye on their progression and manage the condition.
When talking about your health, don’t forget the importance of good mental health too. Depression and anxiety don’t have to rule your daily life. Mental health care can be hard to get these days as providers have cut appointments and been faced with greater demand, both due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. But your mental health shouldn’t wait, especially if you feel like a crisis is coming on. T
Good mental health care includes managing stress. Stress is such a problem in the United States that employers lose billions of dollars in productivity every year due to stress-related illnesses; up to 42% of American workers report feeling chronically stressed. The pandemic has increased stress for everyone, especially women who are trying to juggle childcare with schools and daycares restricted, working (from home or outside it), and caring for aging parents. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death among American women and unmanaged stress can contribute greatly to the risk of heart attack, stroke and debilitating heart disease.
Making your health a priority also means the everyday things that keep you well:
- Are you eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and veggies, lean protein and healthy grains?
- Are you getting meaningful activity on a regular basis? Aim for 30 minutes a day.
- Is your weight at a healthy level for your wellbeing? Do you take a good multivitamin? Are your vaccinations up to date?
- Do you smoke? (STOP!)
- Do you consume alcohol safely?
- Do you get an annual flu shot or other age-appropriate vaccines such as shingles and pneumonia?
On their own, these may not seem like a lot, but when added up, they are a critical part of managing great health and longevity.
Don’t forget about COVID-19 precautions! There’s definitely light on the horizon of the pandemic, but we all still need to be cautious. That means wearing masks, especially indoors; frequent and thorough hand-washing; social distancing when possible and getting tested if you’re concerned about exposure or don’t feel well. General good health practices, such as taking Vitamin D to boost your immune system and eating healthily, may also help your body battle the coronavirus.
Women are known for putting others first, especially their families. But no one can pour from an empty cup! Taking care of your own health is critical to being able to take care of the ones you love, as well as to live your best life!
At Urgent Care 24/7, we can help you and your family stay healthy with a variety of wellness exams and testing. Our concierge and primary healthcare plans offer affordable alternatives to insurance coverage that provide the essential care you need in an empathetic, compassionate environment that’s available when you need it, not just when your doctor’s office is open. Contact us today to learn more!