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  • Writer's pictureSmita Parikh, MD

National Women's Health Week

This week kicks off National Women’s Health Week! This initiative serves as a “reminder for women to make their health a priority and build positive healthy habits for life.”

I could sit here and ramble on about how you need to go see your primary care doctor, quit smoking, eat healthy, exercise, blah blah blah but I know you’ve already had plenty of visits to your doctors, plenty of blood draws, and plenty of uncomfortable ultrasounds. I also know you’re doing your best to eat healthy and exercise, and not down a bottle of wine every time you get a negative result.

But I also know this - you’re a hardworking woman, you throw yourself into everything you do, including trying to get pregnant, but you won’t allow yourself even a minute to think about your own mental health and overall wellbeing. I get it. You are busy, but this is important, not just as you deal with the challenges of starting a family, but for your lifelong health.

So where can you start?

First, you have to slow down. Find some time to be by yourself and focus on how you are feeling these days. Are you stressed? Are you feeling sad or depressed? Do you feel alone or supported? Don’t judge yourself for feeling this way. This is simply to make yourself aware.

Next, you have to determine the best tools for you to manage your mental health. Some people practice daily meditation, some find it useful to exercise daily or write in a journal, others need the support of a therapist, coach, or close group of friends to keep them on track. Everyone is different, so you have to find what works for you and something that you can be consistent with.

Lastly, schedule these activities into your daily routine. When can you block off time to be alone and take care of your mental health? If you think you’re so busy and booked at the office, then pull up your calendar and schedule yourself a 10-15 minute meeting with yourself. Make this your number one priority because just like with exercise and eating healthy, you have to keep at it to see results.

As many of us go through our fertility journey, we often wonder why us? Why do I have to be dealing with this? It’s possible that this challenge has presented itself to teach us to slow down and truly take care of ourselves before we can take care of a child. So think of this as an opportunity to better your health for yourself and your future child.

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