Image Alt

Blog

Honoring National Women’s Health Week

By Rachel Parodneck, LCSW

This week is National Women’s Health Week. According to a World Health Organization analysis, Women Represent Close to 70% of the Global Healthcare Workforce. Healthcare workers this year have seen unprecedented challenges to say the least. Not only that, there are many aspects of being a self-identified woman that are absolutely exhausting. It seems there are battles we are constantly fighting. We have to deal with adversity in the workplace–according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, in 2020, women’s annual earnings were 82.3% of men’s, and the gap is even wider for many women of color. We have to deal with adversity in the world outside of work as well–the #MeToo movement gained a lot of traction but we still have a long way to go!

With these and more battles to face on a daily basis, it’s more important than ever to take time to address all aspects of your health. In honoring the many women healthcare workers and in the name of Women’s Health Week:

When was the last time you had a mammogram? What about your last pap smear? Are you getting your annual physical? When was the last time you went to the dentist? If the answer to any of these questions is longer than 1 year ago, it’s especially time for you to refocus your attention on your health and wellbeing.

As an adult, we don’t have a parent or guardian overseeing our care. It becomes our responsibility to care for ourselves and some of us are better at it than others. In general, a daily checklist of wellbeing items can be helpful to keep track of how well you are taking care of yourself. An example of questions to use in order to check in with yourself can look like this:

    1. How has my sleep schedule been?
    2. Have I been eating regular meals?
    3. Have I practiced self-care recently?
    4. Have I been getting regular exercise?
    5. Have I been keeping up with my social and emotional support system?

In terms of mental health,

Have you checked in with yourself lately about the status of your mental health? If you’ve been feeling the negative effects of being a woman living in a global pandemic, you’re certainly not alone. Ever been to therapy? Now is a better time than ever to book an appointment with one of Refresh’s amazing clinicians.

In addition to therapy, self-care activities are essential. Self-care is touted as gospel these days. Here are some tips on how to practice self-care:

-Call a loved one: catch up with a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a good long while. The one that always wishes you would call more often!

-Get outside: with the weather warming up and the days getting longer, your vitamin D fix is easier than ever to come by!

-Journal: whether you’re feeling happy or some type of way, writing it out is a great way to express yourself and is cathartic to boot!

-Listen to a happy song: have your own dance party and dance like nobody’s watching!

-Meditate: if you are able to sit in zen for hours on end, more power to you! If you get itchy at the thought of meditation, try a beginner’s course in meditation on the Headspace or Calm app!

-Cook your favorite meal: Ask for that recipe from mom or Grandma (maybe after giving them a call) and get to cookin’!

-Watch a series that’s been recommended to you: everyone has a friend who has a show they absolutely love and can’t stop talking about. Tune in to your friend’s favorite show–it will give you a lot to talk about!

-Read that book on your bookshelf you’ve been meaning to get to: you know the one. Maybe you’ve had it since college or even high school and it’s been sitting on your bookshelf collecting dust for years. Crack it open and try reading outside in the sunshine!

Use one of our tips above or come up with your own to make sure self-care is part of your regular routine. It will boost your overall health and honor being a woman this week!

References:

Boniol, M., et. al., (March 2019). World Health Organization: Health Workforce. Gender equity in the health workforce: Analysis of 104 countries

Catalyst, Quick Take: Women in Healthcare (April 24, 2020).

Jones, J., (March 19, 2021). US Department of Labor Blog. 5 Facts About the State of the Gender Pay Gap.

X