#NationalGirlfriendsDay

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Since I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in 2012, it has been part of my life’s mission to help women become empowered to take care of their health by using preventative measures, like working out and eating healthily, and becoming the biggest advocate for themselves.

National Girlfriends’ Day {August 1st} is a day to celebrate friendship and to support one another as women to stay safe and to live a healthy life. Below, you’ll see an infographic from  Oscar Health Insurance Company that provides a helpful guideline of preventative measures that we can take to protect ourselves through routine screenings and possible early detection. Oscar has many tools and services that allow making these appointments easy and stress-free with their tech-based health insurance in NJ and NY.
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Along with the suggested routine screenings, I also want to  personally encourage you to get tested for PCOS if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Menstrual irregularities:
    • No menstrual periods—called amenorrhea (pronounced ey-men-uh-REE-uh)
    • Frequently missed periods—called oligomenorrhea (pronounced ol-i-goh-men-uh-REE-uh)
    • Very heavy periods
    • Bleeding but no ovulation—called anovulatory periods
  • Infertility
  • Excess hair growth on the face, chest, belly, or upper thighs—a condition called hirsutism (pronounced HUR-soo-tiz-uhm)
  • Severe, late-onset, or persistent acne that does not respond well to usual treatments
  • Obesity, weight gain, or trouble losing weight, especially around the waist
  • Pelvic pain
  • Oily skin
  • Patches of thickened, dark, velvety skin—a condition called acanthosis nigricans (pronounced ay-kan-THOE-sis NY-grih-kanz)

PCOS can lead to many serious medical conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and gynecological cancers if left untreated. To find out more information about PCOS testing and diagnosis, check out this article from the US National Library of Medicine.

When it comes to our health, the last thing we should want to do is put out fires. Preventative health is key to living a healthy life. For National Girlfriends’ Day, encourage your girlfriends to stay healthy by working out together, eating good nutritious foods together, and empower one another to advocate for their health through listening to their bodies and getting routine screenings to both prevent illness and/or detect potential illness early.

For more information about PCOS, check out www.pcosaa.org.

 

Good Things Happen: Chocolate

Chocolates

Of course, chocolate. Because, when is chocolate never good?

After a particularly difficult night last week, I was give this sweet little box of chocolates from a friend who simply wanted to brighten my day. She went somewhere with her husband and brought back a little token, just for me.

You can call me naive if you’d like; which would be the farthest thing from the truth. I digress. But I like to believe that there is someone, somewhere, at some point and time that is thinking of you. Someone, somewhere is having good thoughts and sending well wishes to you from their heart. Take heart in knowing that you are completely loved by someone, somewhere.

xo

Good Things Happen: The Kindness of Strangers

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My scarf fell off of a chair and onto the floor. A stranger kindly picked up my scarf and placed it back on my chair. This may seem very simplistic to some but we have to learn to take the time to pay attention to all of the good things that happen around us. In a culture where people are constantly talking about their ‘haters’ and such, we should learn to turn our focus toward those who love us, those who show kindness, and people who hope the for best for others.

Have you had a kind encounter with a stranger? What can you do this week to be the ‘kind stranger’ to someone else?

Letting Go

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I’ve been in a pretty pensive mood lately. I have so much going on in this head of mine. I’ve been thinking about the relationships I’ve had over the last few years, where they currently are, and what I’ve learned from them. The common thread that I am seeing is the act of “letting go.” I’m not saying “letting go” in the sense that I’ve let people go (in some instances, I have), but I suppose this has more of a dual meaning for me. I’m learning to let go of people, yes, but I’ve learned to also let go of people so I can be free to be myself.

What do I mean by letting go of people? I am very “maternal” by nature. I love to help and nurture, but sometimes to a flaw. Sometimes people need to be “let go” so that they can learn and experience certain things for themselves. My Mommee always said that a fool has to learn everything for themselves. So I have always practiced asking questions because I would rather learn from someone else’s experience (for some things) if it means I will avoid potentially hazardous pitfalls. Of course there are things that can’t be learned through another person; first hand experience can be very necessary. Playing the balancing act between 2nd hand and experiential learning has served me very well. But what I have been realizing is that everyone doesn’t operate that way. I’m not saying it’s wrong, it’s just different. You might be thinking “Duh, of course everyone is different,” but subconsciously, we want to relate to each other on some level hoping that we are not necessarily the same, but similar. I digress. As much as I want to open my arms and heart to help people, sometimes not helping is the best help, not just for the individual, but for myself. This is where “letting go of people so I can be free to be myself” comes in. As I am letting go and not assuming responsibility for anyone’s choices, I am freeing myself to presently live in my own experience.

 

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Let me tell you a little story. I had a friend that I consistently fell into altercations with. For this intent and purpose, let’s call her Taylor. Taylor and I got into a very unhealthy cycle of her asking me questions, and me responding as honestly as I possibly could with love. It turned into world war 3. Every. Single. Time. What I’ve learned from that experience is that through letting go, I’ve released myself of the responsibility of how Taylor reacted to my answers. I released myself from the thought process of “why is she so mad…” “i was trying to be honest…” “I was just trying to help…” because honestly, none of that was or is my problem. All that mattered/matters is that I am acting upon my intentions of being a true friend and I am being true to who I am through living according to my personal convictions.

I am not saying that people should be cold. I am learning that when I am weeping with those who are weeping, or rejoicing for those who are rejoicing, I am simply being there with them but not assuming responsibility for their “stuff.” I can cry with a friend who is hurting or smile with a friend who just received a promotion, but their situation is not mine to carry. (Just to cover my bases, I am not saying that people shouldn’t help others because being self-absorbed is not healthy either). Sometimes, I do get a little tempted to jump back into my old pattern of thinking, but then I have to remind myself:

-I am not responsible of the decisions of others.

-I am not responsible for whether someone likes me or not.

-I am not responsible for the thriving or the struggle of others.

By releasing these unassigned responsibilities, I have been freeing myself to live in my own journey. This is what is known as Self-Care. Now, I can focus on now. I can be there for myself, I can show up for me.