Each May is recognized as National Women’s Health Month. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services kicks things off this year with a focus on achieving healthier futures together. At Mercy Grace, we’d like to follow their lead by providing our readers with our favorite tips for empowering women with the skills they need to live a thriving and healthy life. Let’s dive in!
Where are your priorities?
Prioritizing mental and physical health is essential to a healthy you! Sometimes, with the hustle and bustle of life – and world pandemics – this can be hard to do. We’re going to shed some light on each.
What is preventive care? Also known as routine care, are health services that help to prevent and detect serious diseases and medical problems.
Wellness Exams and Health Checks
Schedule your annual wellness exams and other medical appointments. Many people have had their routine visits thrown off due to the pandemic and the desire to stay safe. However, we cannot encourage you enough to follow up and reschedule your health appointments.
Some routine visits include pap smears, mammograms, bone density scans, stress tests, cholesterol screenings, blood pressure screenings, and physical exams.
The National Library of Medicine recommends health screenings by age:
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Every woman’s body is uniquely different. That is why a “healthy weight” is not a generalized number. Healthy weight varies based on biological and mental factors specific to your age and medical history.
By maintaining your ideal body weight, you become less at risk for:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
When you schedule appointments for your routine health checks, your provider at Mercy Grace will be able to help you find your ideal body weight. We offer weight-management programs that can help you achieve your goals.
Stay in Motion!
Movement is an integral part of overall health and wellness – regardless of age. You might just be surprised at what “movement” really is, too! Often, we make it harder on ourselves by thinking we need to go to the gym or spend an hour running. Bite-size amounts of exercise count! Go on a 15-minute walk or do some stretching; both are excellent for your body.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans explain healthy movement appropriate to your age. This guide covers ages three and up.
Preventive care is also a part of mental health. People constantly face stress in various aspects of life. Stress, anxiety, and depression can get in the way of your daily activities and affect your well-being.
Here are some areas of life for you to address to optimize your mental health.
Self-care takes many forms and is both an internal and external practice.
Put Good In
Eating nourishing foods plays a direct role in how you feel physically and mentally. Eat well-balanced, whole-food meals and snacks. Although it can feel hard to accomplish this when you’re on the go, you can find tips and ideas here. Put good in, and you will feel the lasting effects.
Humans are wired for connection as we are a social species. Many argue that the desire to belong to something and feel love is a part of our basic human needs.
With this in mind, it is essential to find a community you can connect with. This might be a community of common faith, hobbies, interests, or experiences.
Stay connected with friends and family. If you feel like isolating yourself, we encourage you to pay attention to changes in your mood and thinking. Know that there is always help, just a phone call away. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers confidential support 24/7.
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- SAMHSA’s Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Acts of Self-Care
Making the time to unwind and care for oneself is absolutely essential. Of course, when life is at its most stressful, this is often the last thing we want to do. Make a list of small things that bring you joy—for example, calling your grandchildren, going for a walk, taking a bath, or reading a book. Reference this list daily and try to incorporate at least one thing.
See additional self-care ideas here.
Having the tools to manage stress effectively and healthily can be challenging – especially when you are in the midst of chaos. Often, we overthink it.
Some effective coping strategies are:
- Avoid excess caffeine (soft drinks and coffee)
The National Institute of Mental Health created this helpful guide to help you identify stress and anxiety along with additional coping techniques.
Quality Sleep Habits
Roughly 1 in 3 adults do not get enough sleep. We often think about sleep routines to be essential for children, but the truth is that everyone benefits from a routine for sleep. This includes waking up and going to sleep at the same time each day. Aiming for 7 hours of sleep is desirable.
Toxic relationships can take various forms. Sometimes they are romantic, friends, or familial. If you or someone you know may be in an abusive relationship, help and support are available.
You can learn to recognize the symptoms of abuse. Fortunately, there are easy-to-access resources.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is for victims and survivors of domestic violence and can be reached in three ways:
- By phone: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
- By text: Text LOVEIS to 22522
- By online chat: thehotline.org
The birth of a baby, whether it be your first or your third, can trigger various emotions. Sometimes, these feelings cause depression, anxiety, or rage. While “baby blues” is a relatively common experience that can include difficulty sleeping, mood swings, and crying spells, this experience typically dissipates after a few weeks.
If you still struggle with some of these symptoms beyond two weeks, always mention this to your provider. Prompt treatment will help you bond with your baby and manage your mood.
Essential care tailored for you.
At Mercy Grace, we look forward to creating a trusting relationship as we partner with you in your health. Here’s to a future of thriving women.
Call or text us today to set up an appointment: (480)745-3702
You can also request an appointment online.