Health Tips for Women’s Health Week — and Beyond!
Often, women do too much for others and not enough for themselves. They dedicate themselves to family, friends and work throughout their lives, and their habit of putting others before their own needs often extends into their elder years. This was especially true during COVID. Many women, especially those in health care positions and elders, ignored their own health, mental as well as physical.
So the US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health is focusing this year’s National Women’s Health Week on encouraging women to prioritize their own health, to make time for themselves and to practice self-care.
Self-care of course involves taking one’s medication, eating right and exercising regularly. But it’s much more than that. It’s about pausing and making time to celebrate life.
As we observe National Women’s Health Week, here are some tips from the Department of Health and Human Services that may help all of us — women as well as men — to focus on our health and wellbeing.
Continue to Protect Yourself from COVID-19 — On April 28th, Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to President Biden, said in an interview that “We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase.” This doesn’t man, however, that we can let up on taking precautions. The recommendation is to still wear a mask, especially indoors, washing your hands diligently and avoiding crowded areas with poor ventilation.
Schedule Annual Screenings — Prevention is now the mantra for healthcare, so don’t forget to schedule annual screenings with your physician. What you screen for will differ depending on your age. Screenings can detect potential issues early and prevent serious illness. Your doctor can determine if you will need further testing, exams or a referral to a specialist. Your physician can also keep you up to date with vaccinations and medications.
Maintain a Healthy Weight — In addition to lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight can lower the risk of different cancers.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep — A good night’s sleep helps your body and brain function properly. Sleeping soundly every night can help improve your learning, memory and decision-making. Getting insufficient sleep has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity, among other ailments.
Move Your Body — The health benefits of regular exercise cannot be overstated. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. If you want to lose weight, you’ll probably need to exercise more. Avoid sitting time too. The more you sit everyday, the greater the risk that you’ll develop metabolic issues.
Spend Time with Family and Friends — It’s often said that isolation is as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes. Studies have indicated that social activity among the elderly has numerous health benefits, both physical and mental. This doesn’t mean you should go to parties. It means you should maintain meaningful relationships with family and friends. So, stay connected!
Develop a List of Self-care Activities — Self-care can mean different things to different people. In addition to doing the basics — namely eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, sleeping well and maintaining meaningful relationships — make a list of things that you like to do and bring you joy. This could be reading, going to the movies or gardening.
Be Grateful — Be grateful for what you have. Be in the present and try to enjoy every moment. Say thank you for acts of kindness. A positive outlook can do wonders for your health.
Wilma’s Words of Wisdom
CiminoCare was founded by an incredibly strong woman, Wilma Cimino, who has been a champion of women’s health for over 50 years. At CiminoCare over 80 percent of our residents are women and over 70 percent of our team members are women. We care for each other. And we encourage each other to care for ourselves.
In closing, here are a few words of wisdom from Wilma on self-care:
“Focus on what you can do, not what isn’t working.” Don’t get frustrated by what you can’t do or what isn’t working. Focus on what you can do and celebrate small accomplishments, everyday.
“Enjoy the gifts of your life.” Life is not easy. Growing old is not easy. But there’s still so much to be grateful for and enjoy — family, work, a good book and serving others come to mind. Can you think of things that bring you joy? We’re pretty sure you can.
“Keep moving.” This is another way of saying exercise regularly. But it means more than that. It means keep busy and keep challenging yourself. Stay informed about what’s going on in the world. Try to learn new things. Make an effort to meet new people. Stay positive. Keep your glass half full. Keep moving!
“Remember to laugh.” They say laughter is the best medicine. And you know what? It really is. Laughter strengthens your immune system, improves your mood and relieves stress, among many other things. Put simply, laughter puts things into perspective. It makes the difficult things in life easier to deal with. So make sure to put laughter on your list of self-care items.
“Eat well.” Eat healthfully, of course, but also eat well. Everything in moderation. Eat things that bring you joy. And try to eat with other people. Food is always more enjoyable that way. So make it point to break bread with family and friends. Celebrate with them. Bon appétit!