Our dedication to serving women and their families and to ensuring your safety remains our first priority. We continue to see patients for well-woman exams and annual visits as well as to provide care for our pregnant patients and those with urgent care needs. We have also assembled online resources for our new and expectant parents for additional support.
While we always encourage you to take the best care of yourself and those you love, the importance of doing so is even more important during the next few months. And, this involves both physical care to keep our bodies as healthy as possible and mental care to keep our mind and spirits as healthy as we can, too.
Below, we have a few recommendations on ways you can care for both mind and body. While caring for yourself and those you love, we encourage you to seek things that fit your lifestyle and that make you feel happier, healthier and more connected. Take each day as it comes, and give yourself what you need that day.
Caring For Your Body
PHYSICAL DISTANCING. While “Social Distancing” is the most commonly used term to refer to the space we need to create between ourselves and others, perhaps a better term is “Physical Distancing.” There are many ways you can maintain your social connections with others (as discussed below) while physically giving yourself and others the space we need to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.
Right now, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself, those you love, your community, and those who are working so hard to treat patients is to stay home whenever possible. When you do need to leave to go out for essential services or work, maintain at least six feet of separation between yourself and others whenever possible. Avoiding touching public services as well as your own face, and using hand sanitizer and washing your hands often, especially after outings, remains one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus.
Recently, the benefits of wearing some types of masks (not the N95 masks that should be reserved for our healthcare providers and frontline responders) in public are also being weighed. We encourage you to check in on recommended guidelines every so often for updates on health mandates and recommendations during this time.
WELL WOMAN CARE. While we are still seeing patients for their annual exams and well woman checkups, you may choose to postpone your visit if you wish. Just make sure to reschedule your annual checkups and any postponed treatments or exams as soon as you are able. Also, continue to perform your breast self exams each month and, if you do detect a change in how your breasts look or feel, please call your healthcare professional.
IF YOU FEEL ILL. If you suspect you may have contracted COVID-19, please call your primary care doctor before seeking in-person medical care unless your symptoms are severe, such as trouble breathing or other emergency warning signs. If your illness is mild, separate yourself from other people in your home, staying in a specific “sick room” and using a separate bathroom if possible.
Caring For Your Mind
ALLOW YOURSELF YOUR FEELINGS. We all experience different reactions to stressors in our lives. It is important to allow yourself to feel the emotions you may be experiencing while trying to also not let anxiety or other worrisome thoughts overwhelm you. Feelings such as loneliness, sadness, grief and fear are normal. Recognize your feelings, but try not to dwell on them or on things you cannot control. Limit your news time if it is adding to your stress. And, try to focus on activities that bring you more positive feelings such as hobbies, making dinner as a family, playing games, etc.
CONNECTING WITH OTHERS. Whether you live alone or in a full house, take the time to connect with friends and family in the ways you can. Connect with people outside your home through social media, apps that allow for virtual game nights and TV watching parties, FaceTime, and more. There are also hundreds of free online community groups if you need support during this time. Also remember that it’s okay to take time for yourself, too, if you need a break.
SEEKING PROFESSIONAL HELP. If you find that you are struggling to cope with your current situation, there is help available. If you or someone you care about feels overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others, these resources can help:
CDC COVID-19 Stress and Coping Resources
SAMHSA Disaster Distress Hotline
1-800-985-5990 · TTY 1-800-846-8517 · Text TalkWithUs to 66746
National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233 · TTY 1-800-787-3224
We encourage you to focus on taking the best care of yourself and those you love during this time. And, until we are able to see you again, if you have concerns about your health, please don’t hesitate to contact us.