By Nette Stokes, Executive & Community Engagement Director, JustLiving Advocacy, Inc.
The month of May is when we kick start the warm weather and the Spring and Summer season. Notably, May is also when we recognize and celebrate Moms for Mother’s Day and this presents an opportunity for us to celebrate women and motherhood, as well as a reminder about your Heart Health.
While social outreach takes time, emphasizing a whole-body approach to wellness and personal awareness may be a start to changing the narrative around women’s’ health in the United States.
However, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. A woman suffers a heart attack every 90 seconds in the United States. The good news is that if you seek help quickly, treatment can save your life and prevent permanent damage to your heart muscle. Women and heart health, equals overall wellness.
Self-Care = Health Care, especially when it comes to coping with stress. Self-care for mothers, especially single moms can be broken down into three areas of focus: physical, mental, and spiritual. The important thing to note is that each of these areas can be done in a personal mix of daily, monthly, and annual self-care measures to improve the overall health outlook for mothers.
- Physical– It may seem obvious, but tending to basic needs like adequate water, decent rest, and balanced meals are things busy single mothers may neglect. Adding in a few days of 35 minutes of exercise such as walking, playing tag with the kids, or an at-home workout routine can lower incidences of cardiovascular disease and diabetes while relieving stress.
- Mental– It’s okay not to be okay! Reaching out to family and friends in your support system or creating one by chatting with other moms like you can be the first step in a healthy mental balance. Mental self-care can be extended to learning more about your personal interests or expressing yourself creatively through journaling, art, or hobbies as well. Look for positive ways to cope with mental stress and/or trauma such as exercise and consulting with a mental health professional. Prioritize healthy interpersonal relationships and reevaluate any that drain you emotionally.
- Spiritual– This area is a personal way to connect with your inner self, be it through meditation, prayer, church, or personal time to reflect, such as a nature walk or long bath.
Unfortunately, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is highest among low-income and minority families. Furthermore, the disproportionate rate of African American and Hispanic women with CVD.
Despite the inequity, there are plenty of resources to improve the heart health outlook for all women, especially for minority women, who are at risk of CVD. Resources include education and ensuring fair access to health improvement opportunities, such as access to affordable health care.
Go Red for Women: https://www.goredforwomen.org/
“If you hadn’t done so yet – please schedule to get your heart health check-up today!”