Every year, Mother’s Day kicks off National Women’s Health Week. The observance is a reminder to women to make their health a priority and take better care of themselves.
Women often have a tendency to put others’ needs first, whether that be their spouse, children, aging parents, friends, or coworkers. If you’ve ever flown on an airplane, you’ve heard the announcement about putting on your own mask before helping someone else in the event of a loss of cabin pressure. This is because if you don’t, both you and the person you’re trying to help can end up suffering. The same holds true in life.
By not prioritizing our own health and making time for good nutrition, physical activity, adequate sleep, stress relief and time to recharge, those around us are not going to receive our best.
Some tips for Women’s Health Week:
- If you haven’t already, schedule your annual physical with your doctor. It’s an important time to check in on your health and assess any potential health concerns.
- Feeling stressed? Take a look at how you are spending your time with a very critical eye. Are you wasting hours watching television in the evening? Or spending time checking emails at night that you could easily save for the morning? Maybe you’re easily sucked into spending 15 minutes or more on social media during your day. Recognize these times and replace activities that are unnecessary and unfulfilling with something that actually nourishes you. Maybe it’s reading a good book, taking a 15-minute walk outside, or using that extra time to get your kids in the kitchen to help you with dinner.
- Aim for at least two hours and 30 minutes of exercise over the course of the week. It does not have to be done all at once, in fact, as little as 10 minutes at a time is beneficial!
- Avoid unhealthy behaviors that put not only you, but also those around you at risk, such as smoking, texting while driving, not wearing a seatbelt, and not wearing a bicycle helmet. Set an example for those around you and protect yourself.
- Take time for yourself to indulge in a favorite hobby or find a new one! Take advantage of the start of spring and go for a walk at a local park to enjoy the blooming flowers; gather your colored pencils and dive into in an adult coloring book on a rainy day; spend time planting some new flowers or vegetables in your garden; or wander around a farmer’s market for some fresh local produce to inspire a fresh dinner.
No matter how you decide to observe women’s health week, do your best to put yourself and your health first all year long in order to benefit yourself and everyone around you.