Vim & Vigor - Summer 2017 - North Mississippi - 17
as the family health captain, scheduling
appointments and making sure everyone
In fact, according to the Kaiser Family
Foundation, 85 percent of mothers
choose their kids' doctors, 84 percent
take them to their appointments, and
79 percent ensure they get the care
As moms and natural caregivers, women
might feel it's their responsibility to take
on the family's health. But there's a risk
to taking on everything.
"Women today are trying to do too
much and move too fast, and we're
often under the false assumption that
by controlling everything we can create less stress for ourselves and others,
when in fact the opposite is true," says
Renee Peterson Trudeau, a work-life balance coach and speaker and author of
The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal and
Nurturing the Soul of Your Family. "Our
overdoing is putting us in a constant
fight-or-flight mode, which leads to
high stress levels, burnout, anxiety,
depression and even disease."
When you're experiencing stress,
your body releases hormones that
drive up blood pressure, heart rate
and blood sugar levels. With smaller
bursts of stress, these aren't a big
deal and return to normal.
But long term, chronic stress can
increase risk for high blood pressure,
heart disease, menstrual problems
The Importance of
Before they can adequately take care
of others, women must remember their
own needs, Trudeau says.
"Women have to realize taking care
of themselves isn't selfish," she says.
HEALTH CAPTAIN HACKS
Here are a few ideas for making the job of managing your family's health a little easier.
1. Put your calendar to work for you. With a digital calendar, you can set
reminders so you don't forget to schedule those important appointments for
yourself or your family. (And you won't have to keep it all in your head, either.)
2. Look for electronic medical records. When you see providers who work
on the same or compatible EMR systems, you'll spend less time shuffling papers
around because they can electronically share records.
3. Explore shared lists. Using your smartphone or computer, explore apps
(like Google Keep and Wunderlist) that allow you to manage to-do lists and shopping
lists, for example. Keep the family health tasks organized in one place and share with
your partner or other helpers, enabling them to assist more easily.
4. Consider paid services. If your budget allows, hire a virtual assistant (a
personal assistant who works remotely) to help schedule appointments on your
behalf or a transportation service to help get family members to appointments.
"It's like oxygen; it's their birthright.
And when they feel more alive, whole
and resourced, everyone-especially
That means taking the time to exercise, making sure you get enough sleep
and pressing pause on stress, whether
that's through deep breathing, doing
yoga, meditating or keeping a journal,
And when planning everyone else's
appointments, women shouldn't forget
their own health maintenance-well
visits, mammograms, skin checks,
colonoscopies and dental cleanings.
It's important for women to take care
of themselves just as well as they do
LET IT GO
So how can you possibly take care
of yourself and your family on top of
everything else? Start by realizing when
good is good enough, Trudeau says.
"We're trying to do too many things
perfectly," she says. "We need to pick
and choose what truly needs our attention, what we can delegate and what
can be postponed or fall off the to-do
Maybe your partner, for example, can
pick up prescriptions for the kids and
schedule his own doctor appointments.
Maybe a neighbor or friend can drive a
family member to the eye doctor.
Although it's not easy to delegate, it
can be worth the effort.
"Learning to ask for help can be a
life-changer," Trudeau says. "But it's
typically something we have to learn,
and it takes practice."
Remember, you're the captain of
this team. Organize a huddle and call
the plays (and pass some of the time!),
and you'll be on your way to a win. n
To speak with a registered nurse
about appropriate medical treatment between 4 p.m.-midnight
weekdays and 8 a.m.-midnight
weekends and holidays, call
Nurse Link® at 1-800-882-6274.
SUMME R 2017