EDITOR'S NOTE: Diet-to-Go guest blogger Mia Redrick has made it her mission to help harried moms everywhere learn how to take care of themselves -- mentally and physically. Today she turns her attention to helping you ward off illness via regular checkups.
Isn't it time for a checkup?
There are so many different elements to think about when it comes to taking care of yourself. Sometimes just remembering them all is a bit difficult.
As women, one of the things that often falls through the cracks of our busy life is regular checkups at our doctor.
Some days seem more like a series of putting out fires rather than actually getting things done. Plan ahead and fitting these appointments into your schedule will seem like a piece of cake.
Your health is extremely important, so here is a checklist of important screening tests and checkups to line up now.
1. A yearly visit with the gynecologist
A simple pap smear can help catch a problem before it becomes a health-threatening issue.
All women over the age of 40 should have regular mammograms as well. With breast cancer, early detection is key to being able to take care of it before it takes your life.
If you have breast cancer in your family, especially if your mother had breast cancer, then doctors recommend that you begin getting your yearly mammogram 10 years before the age at which your closest relative was diagnosed with breast cancer.
For example, if your mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 45, then you should start your yearly mammograms as early as 35 years of age because experts say the risk of having breast cancer rises dramatically if you have a relative who was diagnosed with it.
2. A physical with your family doctor
This is probably the one checkup that is neglected the most, but it is just as important as all the other checkups you should be doing. Heart health is extremely important as we age, and catching problems early is the key to successful treatment.
3. Don't neglect your teeth
While most people may not necessarily forget to go see the dentist, often they just avoid it because dentists tend to get a bad rap. However, if you wait until that cavity starts to hurt, you will find yourself with many larger holes in your teeth than you would if you went to the dentist regularly.
Dental checkups can find cavities while they are still very small, and the overall experience is much less painful this way. Also you end up saving a lot more of your teeth because any cavities the dentist does find will likely not be large enough to involve pulling out the entire tooth.
Dentists recommend that you get your teeth checked out every six months, so schedule your current dental appointment and also one six months from now just so you're covered for the entire year. Just remember to write them both down on the calendar!
4. Head in for an emotional checkup
This one probably seems less obvious than the others, but it is just as important. An emotional checkup may involve seeing a therapist or simply talking to your family doctor.
It can also be as simple as taking some time to evaluate your life.
You may find it helpful to hire a coach or other expert to help make sure that you are on track for life and meeting all of your goals.
Having regular checkups is important not only for your own health, but also for your children's health. If they see mom not getting her checkups on a regular basis, then they will undoubtedly fall into the same pattern when they become adults.
Just because you're around now to schedule these appointments and make sure your children keep them, don't expect that they will learn from this. The way you care -- or don't care -- about your own health will reverberate with your children for the rest of their lives.
It's important to set a good example for them to follow later in life, even if they complain to you right now about all of those checkups.
Diet-to-Go blogger Mia Redrick is author of Time for mom-Me: 5 Essential Strategies for A Mother's Self-care and the creator of the national Time for Mom-Me support group. When you start a support group, you have access to a free six-week turn-key program that empowers you to create and grow your own community of mothers who commit together to make self-care a priority. Our mothers agree that when mothers are happier they are better mothers. For more information, go to www.timeformom-me.com