As caregivers by nature, women often do not prioritize their physical and mental health—and that was before the outbreak of a global pandemic. It’s more important than ever for women of all ages to make their wellbeing a priority and adopt positive health habits.
- See your doctor every year, and get regular cancer screenings. Don’t wait and visit your provider’s office only when you’re sick. Women should make annual appointments with both their gynecologist and their primary care physician for regular wellness checks. Your provider will make sure you follow the Department of Health’s recommendations on Pap tests and colonoscopies, and offer advice on skin health and sun protection. Especially with diseases like cancer, preventative care is incredibly important.
And don’t let the COVID-19 pandemic deter you from keeping a previously-scheduled appointment. In response to potential concerns from our patients, all providers within the Saratoga Hospital Medical Group now offer telehealth options for routine and/or non-emergent visits. We encourage you to call the office for more information.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Good nutrition is critical for a strong immune system. Eat a heart healthy diet by limiting foods with added sugars and saturated fats. Add some color to each of your meals with a variety of fruits and vegetables, and focus on consuming whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Don’t forget to drink lots of water, too—it fills you up and helps you avoid unnecessary snacking.
Are you struggling with staying healthy during quarantine? The Registered Dietitians at Saratoga Hospital provide video appointments, temporarily covered by most insurance plans, to walk you through the process. Please call 518-886-5121 for more information.
- Stay active. Along with good nutrition comes physical activity. Nicer weather is on the horizon. Take advantage of it and move your treadmill run to the bike path, or enjoy a long walk with your family. The Mayo Clinic recommends all healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week. If you’re short on time, or picking up the habit again after some time away, try to squeeze in a few five minute walks throughout the day, rather than a single 30-minute one. Small bouts of activity are better than no activity at all.
- Take care of your mental health. Regular physical activity also helps to relieve stress and feel more positive about yourself and your life. 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition, so make your mental wellbeing a priority, just as you do your physical wellbeing. Along with regular exercise, the University of Michigan suggests practicing mindfulness to quiet your mind, or lean into a bit of “me time” by finding a hobby you really enjoy. In this technical age, with news at our fingertips, make a conscious effort to disengage and put your phone down. Cultivate a strong support system, and stay connected with friends and loved ones. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to get help if you need it. Knowing your limits is always a sign of strength—not a weakness.
Recently, we’ve integrated behavioral health services into all of our primary care practices. If you’re a patient within Saratoga Hospital Medical Group, call your provider to discuss any of your concerns. A licensed behavioral health professional will get back to you within 24 hours.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Sleep is an essential component of physical and mental health. We’ve all trudged through days where lack of sleep leaves us foggy, unable to focus, and impacts how we view the smallest of setbacks. The Sleep Foundation recommends sticking to a schedule, even on the weekends, and investing in a comfortable, supportive mattress. Avoid using your phone, tablet, or watching television an hour before you’re going to bed, and don’t be afraid to use earplugs or a sound machine to drown out noises or distractions.
If you’re still struggling to fall asleep, or to stay asleep, ask your primary care provider for a referral to the sleep lab at Saratoga Hospital Center for Sleep Disorders.
Saratoga Hospital Medical Group offers women’s primary care services, as well as obstetrics and gynecology in Saratoga and in Malta. For more information, please call Women’s Primary Care at 518-363-8815, or Saratoga OBGYN at 518-587-2400.