While there are plenty of quote-unquote holidays in May I wasn't aware of — Mother Goose Day, No Diet Day, and even Lumpy Rug Day — most of these alleged days of significance are of little consequence to me. However, I was surprised to learn of a lesser-known occasion that most certainly is, since it revolves around one thing you should definitely do for your health. Dubbed National Women's Checkup Day, the date is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services campaign for National Women's Health Week. It occurs on the second Monday in May — which, as you may have noticed, is today, ladies.
The goal of the initiative is to help women make their own health a priority. We all know how this typically goes. We tend to keep up with everyone's health but our own. We book doctor's visits for our husbands or partners, our kids, our pets, and sometimes even our ailing parents, while all too often putting off our own. But "well-woman" visits are imperative for maintaining and improving our health, as well an often-critical component of early detection where leading causes of death, such as heart disease and cancer, are concerned.
Enter National Women's Checkup Day. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Women's Health, making it a point to schedule (and show up for) regular checkups is one of a few habits women should practice to stay on top of our health and well-being. Others include exercise, following a balanced diet, following general safety guidelines, and not smoking. To that end, here are a few more ways to observe this much-needed occasion.
1. Schedule A Checkup
Pretty straightforward, right? Regardless of how much you hate the sterile smell of the waiting room, or how bored you may get thumbing through that two-year-old issue of your waiting room magazine of choice, stop pushing off your appointment. It's important.
2. Be Open With Your Health Care Provider
Come prepared to discuss your family history, your health habits (all of them, even the ones you hate to fess up to), and any concerns you may have. Any combo of the above information will help get you the best treatment possible.
3. Use #Women'sCheckupDay To Encourage Other Women To Do the Same
We could all use a little friendly reminder from time to time, and seeing other women make their health a priority will hopefully have a profound ripple effect. Besides, who doesn't love a good hashtag?
4. Set Goals
Think of this as New Year's for your health. It's the perfect time to reevaluate your habits and make plans for what you'd like to improve and what to accomplish in the coming year. Just make sure "Scheduling annual screenings and exams" is somewhere near the top of the list. Happy National Women's Checkup Day!
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (4)