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It’s Time to Focus on Women’s Health

In the past couple of years, women have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, as caregivers to their families, as health care workers and as key parts of the essential workforce. While giving selflessly of their time, energy and compassion, many women overlooked their own health to address the needs of others. During this year’s National Women’s Health Week, let’s remind women and girls everywhere to make their own health a priority and take care of themselves with as much compassion as they do for others.

No matter where you are on your health journey or how you feel about yourself, your body and your health, it’s important to remind yourself that everyone deserves to feel good and be healthy. This National Women’s Health Week, make a commitment to improving your health and discovering what works for you.

woman doing yoga in living roomTips to Improve Your Overall Health

  • Visit your health care provider regularly. It’s important to keep up with wellness checkups, preventative screenings, such as pap smears and mammograms, as well as vaccines, such as the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Get active. Exercise is a great way to ward off health issues, decrease stress levels and boost your happiness. Ten minutes a day is a great place to start. Try to work up to 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods are full of the vitamins and nutrients women need to live longer and healthier lives.
  • Pay attention to your mental health and how you are managing stress. If you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed or depressed, talk to your health care provider. There are resources available to support you.
  • Take care of yourself. This includes getting enough sleep, taking time for yourself and giving yourself a break when you need it.
  • Listen to your body. You know your body best. If something feels off, if you notice a change or if you experience pain, make a point to share this with your health care provider.
  • Make yourself a priority. Too often, women put everyone else’s needs in front of their own, finding time to schedule appointments for everyone else, making sure loved ones are well cared for and happy, but that same amount of energy should be applied to your own needs.
  • Recognize when you need help. It’s ok if you can’t manage everything on your own. Reach out to someone you trust or your health care provider or check out the resources listed below for more information on where to turn for support.

Why It Matters

Women face unique health challenges throughout life and being aware of what they are and how to treat them can lead to healthier lives for millions of women. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women who are caregivers are at greater risk for poor physical and mental health, including depression and anxiety. Knowing this and having strategies to cope is an important step to keeping women healthy and safe.

The CDC also lists heart disease and cancer as the two leading causes of death among women.  Knowing the early signs of heart disease, keeping up with routine screenings for common cancers and understanding how to improve your overall health can make a difference in the health of women. Check out these seven facts about women’s health, including information on women with disabilities, substance abuse disorders, menstrual health and much more.

The Support You Deserve

This National Women’s Health Week, make a commitment to improving your health and discovering what works for you.

  • The Office on Women’s Health offers a wide range of helpful resources including a tool that gives you customized tips, depending on your health concerns, on exercise, mental health concerns, smoking and more.
  • Healthcare.gov offers a list of screenings covered by most insurance companies that women should make as a part of their preventative care routine.
  • Women Veterans who qualify for care can check out this overview of health services to learn how to get started with preventative care and available treatments.
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality offers resources and information about women’s health to help women manage diseases and conditions.
  • The Center for Women Veterans helps to coordinate benefits and services for women Veterans including specialized health care such as maternity care, reproductive health, fertility treatment, cancer screenings and treatment of conditions related to military sexual trauma.

Taking time to focus on yourself is not selfish. Women, it’s time to prioritize your own health and well-being and give yourselves the care and compassion you deserve.

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