As women, we seem to have this unique gift of a multi-tasking brain. We can juggle our job, our family, and our home needs like nobody’s business. But the one thing so many of us put on the back burner is our own health. We power through when we have a cold or the flu, and we tend to ignore something that hurts or just doesn’t feel right because we feel like there isn’t time to slow down to take care of ourselves. What’s even worse is remembering annual wellness check-ups because if we’re feeling fine, we don’t think to do those things.
About 15 years ago, when I was in the thick of raising two very active kids and working long hours at my job, I decided to make May “me month” so I would remember to take care of myself, even if I was feeling healthy. I knew staying healthy was important for my family so making my health a priority became important to me. I would take the time to schedule an annual physical and a gynecologist visit, and eventually added getting a mammogram, as well as seeing a dermatologist for a full body mole check. As careful as I was about sunscreen by the time I was 30 years old, I wasn’t as careful as a teen or in my 20s, so those mole checks have been a necessary part of my adulthood to monitor anything new or suspicious on my skin.
It’s an unfortunate reality that not everyone has health insurance and for some, they do have health insurance but the deductible is so high they just avoid going to the doctor. I was in that same situation for a very long time so I can completely relate. If this is a concern for you, there are so many low-cost or free clinics you can go to for these wellness exams. I took advantage of these services as a single mom who couldn’t afford anything extra in life, and I’m really glad I did. And if you’re feeling like you need to talk to someone about your mental health and your health insurance doesn’t cover it, there are some wonderful free services available to assist you with that as well. A healthy brain is just as important as the rest of your body so if you’ve been putting off talking to a professional about it, now is the perfect time to do something about it.
If you haven’t already scheduled your annual wellness exams, please take the time to do so. This week, May 8-14, is National Women’s Health Week. It’s a reminder to take care of you because you are worth it. By making good choices with your diet, getting regular exercise and adding those annual exams to your routine, you are on the right path to a long and healthy life!