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Your Health Means Everything: Taking Care of Yourself in a Post-Pandemic World

Your Health Means Everything: Taking Care of Yourself in a Post-Pandemic World
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by Holly Urban, Chief Nursing Officer, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center

Life has changed in ways both big and small over the last year. Plans and priorities shifted as we cautiously made our way through a situation we had never experienced before. As we get closer to putting the COVID-19 pandemic behind us – thanks to wider vaccine distribution and safe practices to slow the spread – many of us are looking forward to getting back to things we’ve been missing.

There’s one priority we all shared during the pandemic that should remain high on your list: your health. We have appropriately put a lot of energy into protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19, but taking care of your health is much more than successfully staying virus-free. Here are some of the most important ways you can continue to give your health the attention it deserves in the months and years to come.

Schedule screenings
Health screenings are important markers on your health journey.  These include annual mammograms if you’re a woman who’s 40 and up, yearly colonoscopies if you’re 45 and older and low-dose CT screening if you’re a current or former smoker. Screenings like these can help detect cancer early and allow for easier and more effective treatment. And, if you’re at higher risk, you may need to start annual screenings earlier. Talk to your doctor about your risks and the right timing for you. The American Cancer Society estimates almost 1.9 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed this year and are projecting an increase in late-stage diagnoses and preventable cancer deaths due to delayed care. If you’ve been putting off your screening, now’s a great time to get it scheduled.

Check in with a check-up
Like regular screenings, annual well visits with a primary care provider play a key role in your overall health and well-being. That goes for all ages. Well checks help you and your provider stay up to date on your unique health needs and address issues as they arise. Knowing your family medical history and health risks, your provider can help you keep track of needed screenings and potential issues to watch for.

Don’t delay
When an emergency puts your health at immediate risk, it is vital you get the care you need, as soon as possible. Don’t wait! If you’re experiencing chest pain or any emergency, minutes matter. It is critical that you get to the hospital and get the care you need right when you need it.

Live healthy
Creating good habits and routines – like eating healthy, engaging in regular physical activity, getting enough sleep, reducing stress and taking care of your mental health – have major benefits for your health, and can help reduce your risk for certain diseases. If you’re struggling in any of these areas, your primary care provider can offer advice and connect you with specialized care you may need to feel your best.

Your health affects every aspect of your life, so don’t wait to get the care you need. Start a healthy habit, schedule that check-up and screening and take care of yourself. Your health means everything.

If you are looking for a provider or need to schedule a screening or appointment, St. Joe's can help. Visit sjrmc.org to get connected with the care you need.

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