Now that the kids are back in school, have you taken time for yourself?

  • Sports physicals … check
  • Buy school supplies … check
  • Pack lunches … check
  • Figure out the new school year routine … check
  • Time for yourself … ???

Now that the kids are back in school, have you taken time for yourself? Women (moms, especially) tend to put themselves on the back burner, neglecting themselves in order to make sure the kids are ready for school, the house is in shape, and everyone has what they need. We do so much for so many people (both the bigs and littles) that we don’t have time (or we forget) to take care of ourselves.

Taking care of yourself (physically, mentally, or otherwise) will boost your energy, your mood, and help you do what needs to be done. When making your to-do list, don’t forget to add these in order to care for yourself:

  • Know your numbers. Schedule an annual wellness exam with a primary care provider to check your blood pressure, glucose (blood sugar), cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), etc. Knowing these numbers and having a health/wellness talk with your doctor will keep you on top of any potential issues and assist you in making a wellness plan.
  • Do you need any immunizations? Maybe you’re all up-to-date, but due to the outbreak in Kentucky, you should also consider a Hep A vaccine. This might not be in your regular list of immunizations.
  • If you’re 40 or older, or if you’re at high risk for breast cancer, getting an annual screening mammogram is the best thing you can do to catch breast cancer early. Schedule a screening mammogram at the Breast Care Center at UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center. To schedule, call 502-562-4361, and select option 1.
  • Yearly gyno exam. It may not be the appointment you most look forward to, but it’s important to have a women’s health talk with your gyno every year. The team at UofL Physicians – OB/GYN & Women’s Health can address all of your gynecological health needs. Call 502-588-4400 to schedule an appointment.
  • Dental exam. One out of every two adults in the United States age 30 and over has periodontal disease, according to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Maintaining good periodontal health is important to your overall health and well-being. To schedule an appointment at the UofL School of Dentistry,call 502-852-5096. Or visit the school’s faculty practice, UofL Dental Associates, by calling 502-852-5401.
  • Vision exam. Keep the eyes in the back of your head on top of their game. Or at least find some cute new frames. Schedule an appointment with UofL Physicians – Eye Specialists by calling 502-588-0550.
  • De-stress. Find time for self-care. Take time for yourself to turn your brain off, boost your mood, and get your mental health in order. Get a massage or a pedicure. Read a book. Listen to music. Take a hot bath. Exercise. Meditate. Take up or continue to work on a hobby that brings you pleasure.
  • Minimize day-to-day stress. For me, nothing stresses me out more than being disorganized. So, at least in theory, I try to stay organized by writing to-do lists, tidying up where I can, and doing prep work ahead of time. Figure out what stresses you out on a day-to-day basis, then come up with a strategy to tackle it and keep stress to a minimum. It also helps to have a toolkit for stress. Check out these tips to help you cope with stress.
  • Check in with your emotions. How do you feel most days? Generally happy? Overwhelmed? Sad? Worried? You probably have a range of emotions. Sometimes though it may be a more serious problem that can be helped by a mental health professional. It can be hard to know when and if you need help. Talk to your doctor (or at least someone) about how you’re feeling.