According to a Harvard Business Review report, “77% (of women) don’t do what they know they should do to stay healthy because, according to 62%, they lack the time.” Women are busy. They may be busy with careers, raising a family, taking care of aging parents, maintaining relationships, charity work, travel—or, more frequently than not, all of the above…and more!
But, while women continue to be caregivers and even healthcare decision-makers for their entire family, they often do not prioritize their own health.
Oftentimes, with the abundance of responsibility women face, especially in caregiver roles, self-care can be misconstrued as selfish. “I only have 24 hours in a day! There’s no time to spend on myself—my children/significant other/parents/job come first. Then, whatever time is left, is for me.”
But at the end of each day, after all the boxes on the to do list are checked off, there’s not any time “left” for her. So, she must make time!
Healthcare & Self-Care—they’re one in the same
Regular check-ups are part of a comprehensive preventative care routine that doctors recommend. Routine exams allow your care providers to track your health status over time and catch any warning signs of developing conditions early on—especially those that might not always present symptoms.
But, sometimes there are symptoms. And it’s important to have them checked out by a medical professional to rule out anything serious. Oftentimes modern medicine provides multiple effective treatment options for a condition that may be affecting daily life—but instead of going to the doctor at the first sign of trouble, women tend not to prioritize their own self-care, putting off their visit to the doctor until the symptoms become unbearable. And often, depending on the condition and whether it is progressively worsening, treatment can become costlier both in terms of time and money the longer they wait to seek help.
Still not convinced self-care isn’t selfish? Think of it this way: if you aren’t healthy, both mentally and physically, you won’t be able to take care of the other people and things on that ever-important list of yours. Keep yourself healthy, and everyone is better off!