Wednesday 8 March is International Woman’s Day. In light of this, our health challenge for this coming month is to…

Take care of yourself first…

How often do we hear the expression, ‘take care of yourself first because you can’t pour from an empty cup’? But as women, we are so busy juggling our kids, spouses, parents, friends and careers that we ask ourselves “how it is that I can possibly find the time or energy to ‘take care’ of me!”

We are advised to give ourselves ‘me time’. Yet how often do we as women, often the back bone of the family, just stop and truly think about our physical health?

For many of us, sending our spouses for check-ups and taking our kids to doctors, dentists and specialists at the first sign of discomfort is second nature to us. We often put our own aches and pain and health concerns on the back burner telling ourselves that they’ll resolve themselves over time or that we’re just too busy to worry about them right now or that we’d rather save the money of a doctor’s appointment in case one of our kids may need it…

Often this is to our own detriment as women. We forget that to be capable and strong mothers, partners, daughters, sisters and friends we need to be healthy to fulfill these roles effectively.

When last did you take yourself for a check-up? When last did you do a breast self-examination? And when last did you have a pap smear?

At Knysna Sedgefield Hospice we know that early detection and diagnosis are of incredible importance -by doing regular breast self-examinations, on the same day every month you will be better able to detect irregularities in your breast tissue, nipples and breast skin. For women still menstruating, it is recommended to do the examination on a day after your menstruation has stopped, in postmenopausal women it is recommended to do it on the same calendar day every month.

Having a pap smear done will enable early detection of the presence of abnormal cells in the cervix and early treatment can be very efficient in stopping the further development of these cells into cancer. Please ask your doctor’s advice on how often you should have a pap smear done.

Take care of yourself, you are worth it!