It’s not selfish to take care of yourself point of blue static electricity review worksheet

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Ladies – here’s an important message for us: It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. In fact, it is an act of love. A healthier, stronger, happier you is better able to care for those depending on you. As author Parker Palmer notes, “Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.”

When a client, Anna (not her real name), a mother and retired schoolteacher in her 50s, came to me she was over 100 pounds overweight, stressed and in tears. In addition to the challenges of living with obesity, she was beginning to suffer other health complications, too. Putting herself last her whole adult life had taken an emotional and physical toll.

Sadly, Anna’s story is not unique. As a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I see this all too often – women who don’t come to class because they let other things take priority. Or she’s distracted with texts from family, rather than turning off the phone during this time. Unfortunately, my observation has been that the women who do this are often also struggling with obesity or other health issues.

As a caring woman who loves her family, what should you do? Just tell them no? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting. Make your exercise time a non-negotiable calendar item, except in the case of an emergency. This is your me time. Keep your fitness and healthcare appointments —and turn off your phone while you’re there. At home, make the healthy meal you know you need, even if the kids suggest fast food. It’s okay to say “no” or “not right now.”

Heart disease is a killer that strikes more women than men and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. And North Carolina has the 20th highest death rate from cardiovascular disease in the country according to the American Heart Association.

It’s a myth that heart disease is just for older people. Heart disease affects women of all ages. And while the risks do increase with age, things like overeating and a sedentary lifestyle can cause plaque to accumulate and lead to clogged arteries later in life.

People tend to believe that the telltale sign of a heart attack is extreme chest pain. But in reality, women are somewhat more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. Other symptoms women should be aware of are dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen and extreme fatigue.

Quit smoking. Cigarette smokers are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop heart disease than non-smokers. Blue Cross NC offers assistance to help you quit. Members can receive free tobacco cessation counseling (1-844-8NCQUIT), or register on BlueConnect for our Healthy Outcomes smoking cessation resources. In addition, QuitlineNC provides free cessation services to any North Carolina resident who needs help quitting tobacco use.

Researchers Stewart D. Friedman and Jeffrey H. Greenhaus studied the lives and careers of over 800 business professionals and discovered this compelling finding: The more time that working mothers spent taking care of themselves, the better were the emotional and physical health of their children.