Take Care of Your Health this Self-Care Month
By Springfield-Greene County Health
You may have heard someone use the phrase “self-care” once or twice. Whether it’s used to explain that extra pastry in the morning or buying a new pair of shoes, self-care, put simply, is taking care of oneself.
While the surface-level meaning of self-care can include quick pick-me-ups like a shopping trip or ice cream in the evening, it also applies to the steps we take to achieve the long-term health goals, such as lowering your blood pressure, losing weight, or stopping the use of tobacco.
Since the month of July is designated as Self-care Month, here are a few ways you can practice self-care by taking care of your health this month.
Getting tested for STIs
Did you know Springfield-Greene County Health offers testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to the public every Monday excluding holidays from 8 a.m. — 2 p.m?
Getting regularly tested for STIs can help prevent untreated STI complications if you do have one. It can also keep you and your partner safe if you’re having unprotected sex. Leaving STIs untreated can cause health complications like pelvic inflammatory disease, certain cancers, and infertility.
STI testing is offered at the Health Department’s main location at 227 E. Chestnut Expy. Walk-ins are available but we recommend calling 417–864–1684 to ensure space is available. Testing is also offered for chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, HIV, mycoplasma genitalium, and Hepatitis B.
Monitoring Your Blood Pressure.
Monitoring blood pressure is incredibly important because high blood pressure can lead to strokes or heart attacks, which can have fatal outcomes. It can also cause damage to blood vessels throughout the body, the eyes, kidneys, dementia and/or sexual dysfunction. Many people don’t actually know they have it, which is why they often call high blood pressure “the Silent Killer.”
Dr. Nancy Yoon at Springfield-Greene County Health wrote a Healthy Ozarks blog titled 7 Ways You Can Reduce Your Risk of High Blood Pressure a few weeks ago detailing how taking care of your blood pressure is important.
What better way to celebrate self-care month than to get in the habit of monitoring your blood pressure?
Staying Up-to-Date on COVID-19 Vaccinations (and all of your vaccines, too!)
You may remember the Healthy Ozarks blog about the history of vaccines in the U.S. written by Springfield-Greene County epidemiologist Kendra Findley detailing just how important vaccines have become to maintaining the health of everyone worldwide.
With Greene County rising to high-risk community level impact by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for COVID-19, a great way to practice self-care this month is to ensure you are up-to-date with the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, everyone 6 months and older can now receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Data continues to show us that being vaccinated against this virus can help prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and even death if you get COVID-19. For a full timeline of COVID-19 vaccinations, you can visit CDC.gov.
If you are all caught up on your COVID-19 vaccinations, check in with your doctor about any other vaccinations you may be behind on. If you are an adult between the ages of 19 and 26, this can include a Td or Tdap vaccine which protects you against tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis. Additionally, if you are under 26 you may ask your doctor about the HPV vaccine which protects you against types of human papillomaviruses which can cause some cancers.
If you are over the age of 50, the shingles vaccine is available to you and is worth the shot. The Shingles vaccine is available at no charge to any Greene County resident age 60 years or older, thanks to a grant from the Greene County Senior Citizens’ Services Fund Board.
The CDC recommends that all adults age 50 years and older receive the two-dose shingles immunization, even if you have had shingles in the past or are unsure if you ever had chickenpox. People ages 50–59, who are interested in the shingles vaccine should contact their healthcare provider.
For more information about vaccines, visit vaccine417.com.
Self-care is important no matter if it’s a simple shoe shopping day or a vaccination day. Take care of yourself this month and every month by putting your health first.