It’s Mothers Day here in the United States. A day where we women bask in the attention of our loved ones, and get treated to a meal, mani-pedi, facial, massage and chocolate. Just because we are moms, grandmothers, stepmothers, aunts and godmothers. And it feels good, doesn’t it?
This holiday just happens to coincide with National Women’s Health Week, May 9 through May 15. A proclamation came out of the White House yesterday stating that the theme of this year’s National Women’s Health Week is “Ending the Pandemic and Elevating Women’s Health.” Yes, that means more women vaccinated and more attention to women’s health disparities in general.
It’s a great initiative, but what exactly does this mean for women’s’ own concerns regarding their health? I am curious as to what women prioritize for themselves when it comes to their health. Or maybe the question is “Do women prioritize their own health?”
I say this with affection, ladies. You are not unaware of what you are doing, you just are too busy with taking care of everyone and everything else in your world, and you will get to it. It is just way down at the bottom of the list. Two out of every three caregivers in the USA are women, supporting children, aged parents, and the disabled. That leads to poor physical and mental health, including anxiety and depression.
You know you need to see your GYN, get a mammogram, get a bone density scan, upper GI, lower GI, colonoscopy, and a physical, including blood and cholesterol tests. And let’s not talk about regular dental cleanings.
But how many of you do this with regularity. That is, until there is a problem?
We all know the airplane drill “put your oxygen mask on first and then see to your child”. Yet, we do not apply this commonsense approach to our daily lives.
I am not intending to browbeat you. I am curious about why it is not a priority in your life. And what steps you can take today to take care of yourself. What would help you pay attention to yourself? More importantly, when are you going to put your needs first or at least close to the top of the pile? Hopefully, not a medical emergency.
Many women that I coach are at a point where they are desperate for change, yet as we unravel what has been affecting them, most of the time it is sheer neglect. Of their needs - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Once we start the process of nurturing all these aspects that have lain dormant, and feed the body with nutrient-dense food, we are well on our way to creating a more healthy, vibrant, and energized woman. And more importantly, a woman who is aware of and assertive about taking care of herself, for the long-term.
Because let’s face it. We are going to be around a lot longer than our husbands or partners. And we need to know how to take care of ourselves. And support each other. So this week, especially all you moms out there, please take one step towards self-care.
Self-care tips: Pick One (or all)
Get enough sleep – settle down with a book about 30 minutes before bed, in a bed that has clean sheets, in a room that is a cooler temperature, and no tv, laptops, phones or other devices that distract. Rub a little lavender on your temples and breathe in this soothing scent.
Take a walk – 30 minutes of brisk walking a day helps to relieve anxiety, keeps us flexible and strong, and burns a few calories to boot. You may want to carry some hand weights as a bonus.
Make yourself a healthy meal and enjoy it. Take the time to eat your food mindfully and more slowly than you usually do. No time? If you need some 30 minute recipes I have them. Contact me.
Turn on some music and dance! When is the last time you put on some music you enjoy and really rocked out?
Give yourself a pedicure and show some love to those tootsies of yours. They take a lot a punishment day in, day out. Cut your nails, soak in Epsom salts, smooth the rough spots and slather some lotion on them. I like to put Vaseline all over my feet, put socks on and go to sleep. The next morning my feet are soft again.
I am sure you have your special things you like to do to treat yourself. So, in honor of National Women's Health Week, please do just that. And have a great week!