Last week we payed homage to herbs; this week we’re celebrating women’s health. The 13th annual National Women’s Health Week started yesterday (appropriately on Mother’s Day) and continues until Saturday May 19th. This year’s theme is “It’s Your Time” – and ladies, what better time than now to start taking care of your health?!
Now, I hope you don’t mind if I get a little sentimental here…
Most of the women in my life don’t take time for themselves. They give everything they have to their family, friends, community organizations, professional responsibilities, and whatever else falls on their plate. Now that I’m a mom, I recognize more than ever how challenging it is to take care of yourself when you have so many obligations and people who rely on you for every single need (as babies do). I play many different roles in my life – daughter, sister, wife, friend, dietitian – but lately my most important role is mother. I love this job. I think it’s the most challenging job I have ever had, especially since it’s 24/7. This job certainly keeps me on my toes (as a good job should). But it’s also extremely rewarding. I have never felt as much excitement and happiness as I do when my daughters smile back at me or laugh with their sweet little giggles. Every time they do something new I am in awe of how well they are growing and how quickly they are blossoming. They make me laugh and smile from ear to ear. I can’t say too many things in life get that kind of reaction.
What does my role as mother and love of my daughters have to do with National Women’s Health Week? Well, for one, it reminds me that as much as I may not have the time to take care of myself, I must do so – staying healthy is of upmost importance to be able to take care of my girls. What’s more, I want my daughters to continue growing into healthy young women both physically and mentally. I want them to remember to put themselves first every once in a while, and that means I need to be a good role model and lead by example (something I have advised other parents to do when it comes to what their children eat). So this week I’m going to try to take the steps the Department of Health and Human Services recommends to improve my physical and mental health: get active, eat healthy, get enough sleep, manage stress, and avoid unhealthy behaviors. Some of these are easier said than done (getting enough sleep isn’t exactly in my control these days!), but I will try my best to do them. Even though my daughters are only 4 months old, they’re smart; that means I need to pave the way now.
What are you doing to honor yourself and your health this week? If you’re a mom, how do you take time for yourself?
Disclaimer: I was not paid to promote National Women’s Health Week. All opinions are my own.