October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and while there may be some controversy around wearing pink, we are making this month about YOU, whether you have breast cancer or not. (Men, I’m looking at you too.)
Cancer isn’t predictable and it isn’t pretty, but here are a few simple ways to take care of yourself and honor your breasts.
Lead by Example
Perform monthly self breast exams, get knowledgeable about your body, and schedule regular mammograms. Make sure you schedule a clinical breast exam with your primary care physician, too. Set a good example for the loved ones around you by incorporating healthy practices. This can include, starting a garden, eating as organic as possible, exercising regularly, and packing healthy lunches for your kids.
Talk to Your Family and Friends
Teach your children about self care and good breast health. Tell them about the health risks that come with smoking and alcohol. Talk with your kids, siblings, parents and grandparents about your family’s health history. Consider talking to your sister, mom, or best friend about getting a mammogram – or go together!
Give a Meaningful Gift
Go out of your way to show someone you care. If someone close to you is struggling with cancer, offer to get their groceries, bake them a casserole, take them to a doctor’s appointment, or just be there for them when they need it. A gift doesn’t have to involve money or the purchase of a material item. A sentimental trinket is nice, but having compassion and showing care for someone going through something really difficult is worth so much more.
Consider raising money for a good cause, attending a local event, or starting your own fundraiser during the month of October. Plan a breast health workshop or class in your school, organization, or community. Get involved and make a difference.
Take Care of Yourself
Put in the effort to take care of yourself and this goes beyond eating right. Of course, it’s good to avoid processed foods, but also make sure you are exercising and curbing any habits that negatively affect your health. Replace them with good ones. Turn your 10 minute smoke break into a 10 minute walk break. Avoid staying up to late and try hitting the sack even 20 minutes earlier. Change your monthly Girl’s Night into a Girl’s Spa Day and get massages or pedicures or body scrubs.
It’s all about little changes to make small steps toward health. Breast health goes beyond routine breast exams, it starts with the food you eat and getting outdoors to everything in between.