Berny Unruh: Take care of your health

Berny Unruh
Berny Unruh

I missed writing about Mother’s Day in last week’s column and I also missed National Women’s Health Week which was celebrated May 9-15. I decided to make up for it in this week’s column. It is never too late to take steps to better health.

I would like to speak to all mothers and women and ask, “Are you taking good care of yourself?” If we think about all the important things that women in the family take care of, what would happen if they were not around to get those details taken care of? The purpose of Women’s Health Week is a reminder for women and girls to make their health a priority and take care of themselves.

Some offices were closed during the pandemic and appointments were cancelled or postponed. If you or any member of your family missed important preventive health care appointments during the last year, now is the time to get those rescheduled.

It is recommended that all women get a well-woman check every year. Although not everything can be taken care of in one appointment, your physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant will discuss a schedule for PAP smears, mammograms, and colon screenings. If you have health concerns such as high blood pressure, asthma, or diabetes it is even more important to get to appointments on a regular basis.

It is important for all women to choose heart-healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. A great place to get assistance planning meals for the family is at www.myplate.gov Another option is to download the app Start Simple with MyPlate. Information for the life stages from infants through older adults is available for the public to use.

Most importantly don’t forget to take care of your mental health. Stay connected with family and friends. Set aside some time to focus on your needs and participate in some activity that you enjoy. Taking care of yourself will allow you to continue to take care of your family and others who depend on you. More information can be found at www.womenshealth.gov  

If you are experiencing extreme stress and need help, reach out to your primary care physician or call SAMHSA’s National helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year information service and treatment referral for individuals and families facing mental health and/or substance use disorders.

Berny Unruh is the Family and Community Wellness Agent for the Cottonwood Extension District.  She can be reached at 785-628-9430 or at bunruh@ksu.edu