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Prevention Starts With Self-Care: A Self-Check To-Do List

A cup of coffee and a note pad with a to-do list that reads To-Do List: 1. Self-Care 2. Self-Care 3. Self-Care on a dark blue denim surface background.

In the relentless pace of life, it's a common tale: our health and well-being often get shuffled to the bottom of the to-do list, overshadowed by pressing deadlines and immediate tasks. Yet, National Self-Check Month serves as a wake-up call, casting a spotlight on the indispensable role that proactive health management should play in our lives.

Today’s blog aims to be a spirited call to action, echoing the sentiment that the path to a healthier, more vibrant lifestyle is forged by our own routines. 

This journey is all about empowering YOU, enriching your understanding, and fostering your personal health advocacy—because embracing a life of wellness begins with taking that first, intentional step towards self-care. 

The Importance of a Self-Check Routine

Imagine having the power to influence your health trajectory, to catch potential issues before they escalate. That power lies in the simple act of performing regular self-check assessments. 

Early detection is key in managing and preventing conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. These health challenges, daunting as they may seem, are often preventable and treatable —when identified early. 

By dedicating time to regular self-examinations and staying attuned to any changes in our bodies, we significantly improve our chances for successful treatments and outcomes.

Empowerment Starts with Knowledge

Learning the signs to look for and understanding how to conduct self-checks effectively can make all the difference. Whether it's monitoring for unusual moles, keeping an eye on blood pressure fluctuations, or noting sudden weight changes, being informed is your first line of defense. 

The next step in taking control of your health journey is tracking your observations. A Healthy Living Journal becomes your personal health diary, allowing you to record and reflect on your body's messages. 

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Start a just better.® Healthy Living Journal 

Starting a Healthy Living Journal, whether you choose to make entries daily, weekly, or monthly, goes beyond simple note-taking—it's a path to deeply understanding your body's unique signals.

This practice turns you into an active navigator on your journey toward optimal health, allowing you to decode and understand the subtle signals your body sends. It’s a powerful tool that broadens your awareness but also empowers you to make informed decisions about your health and lifestyle.

The following list is all about empowering you to tune into your body’s needs and changes. Customize this list by adding any self-care checks that are specific to your needs.

With that said, let’s get to it! 

A spiral notebook with the words To-Do List with a pencil on an aqua-blue wooden surface.

Self-Check To-Do List

Skin Self-Examination: Regularly examining your skin can help detect any changes, such as new moles or changes in existing ones, which could be early signs of skin cancer. Use mirrors or ask a partner to check areas that are difficult to see, and be vigilant for any abnormalities. 

For a detailed walkthrough on how to perform this self-check, click through to this trusted resource here: Skin Cancer Foundation: Self-Exams Save Lives—How to Do a Skin Check

Breast Self-Examination: For individuals of all genders, conducting regular breast self-exams is crucial. Familiarize yourself with the normal look and feel of your breasts, and report any changes, lumps, or abnormalities to your healthcare provider promptly. 

Explore more about conducting self-check breast exam by visiting this resource: National Breast Cancer Foundation: Breast Self-Exam Steps

Testicular Self-Examination: Testicular cancer is most common among young and middle-aged men. Performing regular testicular self-exams can help detect any irregularities, such as lumps or swelling, which may indicate a potential issue. 

Learn more about how to conduct this self-check here: Johns Hopkins Medicine: How to Perform a Testicular Self-Exam

Oral Health Check: Regularly examining your mouth, gums, and throat can help spot any signs of oral health problems, including gum disease, oral cancer, or infections. Look for changes in color, texture, or the presence of sores that don't heal. 

For step-by-step instructions on oral health self-check, follow the link to this expert source: Mouth Cancer Foundation: Oral Heath Self Examination 

Eye Health Check: Self-checks for eye health enable you to identify any potential issues early. Pay close attention to changes in your vision clarity, eye comfort, and the appearance of your eyes. Detecting abnormalities promptly allows for timely interventions and improved management of eye conditions. 

Get more tips for keeping your peepers healthy here: National Eye Institute: Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Blood Pressure Monitoring: High blood pressure often goes unnoticed, yet it significantly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Monitoring your blood pressure regularly at home using a blood pressure monitor can help you track changes and alert you to potential issues. 

For a detailed walkthrough on how to check your blood pressure, go here: American Heart Association: Monitoring Your Blood Pressure at Home

Mental Health Check-In: Mental health is just as important as physical health. Take time to check in with yourself regularly, assessing your mood, stress levels, and overall well-being. Seek support from a mental health professional if you're experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or other mental health concerns. 

Explore more about conducting Mental Health Check-In here: Calm App: 10 mindfulness questions to help you check in with yourself

Gut Health Check: Regularly pay attention to your digestive system and gut health. Take note of any changes in bowel habits, such as frequency, consistency, or color of stools. Be aware of symptoms like bloating, gas, abdominal pain, or discomfort, as they may indicate issues with digestion or gut health. Normal frequency is anywhere from 3 times a day to 3 times per week.  And for most mammals (including humans) the average evacuation time is 12 seconds.  So… if you are taking MUCH longer than 12 seconds in the bathroom… you may be fiber deficient.  

Do you like quizzes? Check out the World Gastroenterology Organisation’s Digestive Health Test! (You’ll be graded afterward and given some awesome insights too!) 

Physical Activity Assessment: 

Regularly assessing your physical activity levels is essential for maintaining optimal health. By performing regular self-assessments, you can gain insights into your activity habits and make informed decisions about your physical activity routine. Monitoring your physical activity allows you to track progress, set realistic goals, and take proactive steps toward achieving a healthier and more active lifestyle. 

Want a jumping-off point? Check out this self-assessment tool: Pensacola State College: Physical Wellness Self Assessment

Dietary Self-Assessment: Keep track of the types of foods you eat and how they make you feel. Are certain foods causing digestive discomfort? How about changes in your mood or energy levels? Understanding how the food you eat makes you feel and function helps us make meaningful changes in our meal planning. 

Uncover more details here: Harvard Health: Why Keep a Food Diary?

As we wrap up our Self-Check To-Do List, we are reminded that prevention truly does start with self-care. A self-check routine empowers us to embrace a lifestyle that prioritizes our most important asset: our health

This proactive approach to health benefits us as individuals and provides invaluable support to our healthcare team. Sharing these insights and observations can significantly enhance the care we receive, enabling a more personalized and effective healthcare strategy. 

Through our commitment to regular self-checks and health monitoring, we contribute critical data that aids our healthcare providers in understanding our unique health profiles, fostering a collaborative effort towards maintaining and improving our health. 

Make every month a self-check month, and commit to a lifestyle that values and nurtures your health, ensuring that you are always moving forward —empowered and informed. 

Live… just better.®

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