In the age of COVID-19, it is critical for everyone to stay healthy. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease put everyone at greater risk for hospitalization and complications. While many conditions are outside of a person’s control, there are certain measures we can take to maintain our health. Women in particular have a specific set of needs and concerns that are relevant during this trying time. However, health is about much more than diet and exercise. It is a holistic practice to improve the mind, body, and spirit. Here is what to know about Women’s Health Week.
What is Women’s Health Month?
National Women’s Health Week is led by the United States Department of Health and Human Services along with the Human Service’s Office on Women’s Health. It runs during the second week of May each year, which places it on May 9-15 this year. It serves as a reminder for women and girls to prioritize self-care and take whatever actions necessary to improve one’s health.
The National Cervical Cancer Coalition recognizes each May as Women’s Health Month. It begins in accordance with Women’s Health Week.
The biggest health issues facing women include heart disease, obesity, breast cancer, ovarian and cervical cancer, gynecological health, pregnancy issues, autoimmune diseases, depression, and anxiety disorders. This month brings awareness to all of these conditions through social media campaigns, education, and enabling health care providers with the proper tools.
Health Problems and the Vaccine
During Women’s Health Week and Month, the Department of Health and Human Services is prioritizing vaccine availability and information. While most individuals benefit from receiving the vaccine, women with pre-existing health conditions or those who struggle with obesity should understand its importance.
The government also recommends wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth, practicing social distancing, and maintaining good hygiene. While the vaccine has helped to decrease the number of new cases and deaths, high-risk individuals should still be especially careful.
Taking Control of Your Health
Here are the best ways to take control of your health today –
· Receive all vaccinations, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Look for locations to schedule an appointment by visiting vaccinefinder.org. For more information on vaccine appointments, please visit go.usa.gov/xHRDu
· Talk to a doctor about preventative care such as pap smears, mammograms, stress tests, cholesterol screenings, and more.
· Develop a plan to keep stress and anxiety under control
· Talk to a health provider about a weight-loss and nutrition plan, if necessary
· Spend at least 30 minutes per day, 3 days per week exercising
· Strength training is particularly useful for women. This will help build up any muscle loss and improve the immune system
· Connect with family and friends and the community
· Find health ways to manage stress, such as meditation or yoga
· Get better sleep by minimizing phone usage and setting up a sleep schedule
· Monitor drug and alcohol usage. Try to quit smoking, particularly if at high-risk of COVID-19
How to Get Involved in National Women’s Health Week/Month
There are many ways to get involved in National Women’s Health Week. Share tips on social media about how to manage stress and get active. Use the hashtag #NWHHW to spread awareness. There are also plenty of promotional tools available for social media posts. Find them at www.womenshealth.gov/nwhw/tools.
Employers and public health professionals may want to incorporate breaks to take walks, or offer a health cooking class. A team activity is another great way to improve morale and get people moving. Employers can also offer a wellness initiative or gym membership as part of their benefits package. Studies have shown that businesses who do this have happier and more productive employees.
Do you struggle with poor health, anxiety, or depression? If so, please contact Straight Talk Counseling at 714-828-2000 or visit our website at straighttalkcounseling.org. One of our professional counselors would be happy to speak with you.