Women’s Health Week
National Women’s Health Week is a weeklong health observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. This year, May 9-15, 2021 serves as a reminder for women and girls, especially during the outbreak of COVID-19, to make their health a priority and take care of themselves.
It is extremely important for all women and girls, especially those with underlying health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, and women 65 years and older, to take care of your health now.
It’s not always easy to take steps for better health but we have tools and resources that can help you create a plan that works for you. A great way to get started is to reflect on your health goals, and the things that can help you be your healthiest you, especially during the pandemic. Then, speak with your HealthCore Clinic provider to make a plan.
Self-Care During COVID-19
Continue to protect yourself from COVID-19 by wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth, watching your distance (stay 6 feet apart), washing your hands often, and getting a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are available to everyone age 16+ at this time.
Get Caught Up
Talk to your doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, and/or physician assistant about the COVID-19 vaccine and any vaccines that you may have missed during the pandemic.
Ensure you are up to date on preventive care such as PAP smears, mammograms, bone density scans, stress tests, cholesterol screenings, blood pressure screenings, physical exams, and other preventive health screenings that you may have missed during the pandemic. If stress, anxiety, or depression is getting in the way of your daily activities, you should also speak with your provider.
Get your child up to date if they have missed any recommended check-ups (such as a Kan Be Healthy screening or annual wellness check-up) or vaccinations during COVID-19. COVID-19 has caused many disruptions in families’ lives – and in some cases, it has meant that children have missed or delayed their wellness checkups and vaccination, which are a critical part of ensuring children stay healthy. Talk to your child’s doctor or medical provider to make sure they are on track with routinely recommended vaccinations. If they have missed any vaccinations due to COVID-19, work with your child’s provider to develop a plan to get caught up.
Eat Well-Balanced Meals
Heart-healthy eating involves choosing certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables, while limiting others, such as saturated and trans fats and added sugars. It’s important to ensure you are getting enough vitamins in your diet, like vitamin D. Good dietary sources of Vitamin D include fortified foods such as milk, yogurt, orange juice, and cereals; oily fish such as salmon, rainbow trout, canned tuna, and sardines; and eggs. Calcium is an important nutrient for your bone health throughout your life.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
A healthy weight is different for everyone but it’s important to know what a healthy weight is for you. Talk to your health provider about what a healthy weight is for you. Set realistic goals. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your health goals and ways to achieve them.
May is a great time to go outdoors in the sunshine and be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day. Incorporate exercises that build and strengthen your muscles. This is important if you experienced reduced movement or physical activity or if you were hospitalized during the pandemic. All of these may contribute to muscle loss. If you are pregnant, there are ways that you can exercise safely but it is important to talk to your doctor before starting or changing your physical activity. There is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to physical activity. Find a routine to fit your needs based on your age, stage of life, and abilities.
Take Care Of Your Mental Health
Stay connected with family and friends. Connect with your community or faith-based organizations. Make time to unwind and focus on activities you enjoy. Pay attention to changes in your mood.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing changes in thinking, mood, behavior, and/or thoughts of self-harm, reach out for help: SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Find Healthy Ways To Manage Stress
Taking care of yourself and getting the help you need are important. Taking care includes maintaining healthy behaviors, managing stress, and seeking extra support, especially during COVID-19.
Practice Good Sleep Habits
Good sleep habits will improve your mental and physical health and boost your immune system: Follow a routine for going to sleep – be consistent going to bed and getting up – even on weekends. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
Monitor Alcohol & Tobacco Intake
Ensure you are not consuming too much alcohol and avoid illicit drugs, including drugs that are not prescribed to you. Quit smoking and vaping: Smoking weakens your lungs and puts you at a much higher risk of having serious health complications, especially if you have COVID-19. For help with alcohol, addiction, and quitting smoking, speak with a member of our behavioral health team.
Seek Help If You Or Someone You Know Is Experiencing Domestic Violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline is a 24/7 confidential service that supports victims and survivors of domestic violence. The hotline can be reached: By phone: 1-800-799-7233(SAFE) or by text: Text LOVEIS to 22522. There is also an online chat: https://www.thehotline.org and select “Chat Now.” Highly trained, experienced advocates offer support, crisis intervention information, educational services and referral services in more than 200 languages. The website provides information about domestic violence, online instructional materials, safety planning, and local resources.