Hamilton Community Health Network provides helpful tips for the health of mothers

FLINT, Michigan — Sunday, May 12 marks Mother’s Day, but of course, mothers and motherly figures in our lives deserve more than one day of recognition, attention, and thanks. Some say it’s the most meaningful job, but also the hardest job there is — to be a mom. The days and nights are long, the worrying never stops, and the stakes are high.

Here are a few helpful tips from Hamilton Community Health Network (HCHN) to make sure mothers don’t neglect their health this year. 

HCHN encourages and emphasizes the benefits of finding healthy ways to manage stress as it contributes to the top six leading causes of death in women, including heart disease and cancer. 

Studies noted in PsychCentral also show that women are more likely to experience depression than men during their childbearing years. Changing lifestyle habits and treatments can help combat these feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Studies also show that women of color and low-income women are even more likely to develop depression but less likely to seek help due to lack of access or stigmas. 
Stephanie Cates.
Depression can look different in everyone, but typical symptoms include changes in appetite, weight gain, sleep issues, fatigue, feelings of sadness or guilt, irritability, and a lower sex drive. Stress and depression sometimes go hand-in-hand, and can have devastating impacts on the mental and physical health of a person.

Chronic stress can negatively impact the central nervous system, respiratory and cardiovascular systems, the reproductive system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, and the musculoskeletal system. 

Stephanie Cates, LMSW at Hamilton’s Burton clinic, says it’s crucial for parents and caregivers to prioritize their own health if they want to prove useful to their families. 

“Mothers are often the backbone of the family, constantly juggling multiple responsibilities and putting the needs of others before their own,” says Cates. “However, neglecting their own health and mental health can lead to poor health, both physically and mentally. This Mother’s Day, Hamilton wants to remind mothers to take a step back, breathe, and focus on themselves.”

Cates provides five tips on how moms can try to cope in healthy ways to maintain their overall health: 
  1. Prioritize sleep: Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night to recharge both your body and mind.
  2. Practice mindfulness: Take a few minutes each day to focus on your mental health. Use techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises to reduce stress levels.
  3. Set boundaries: Learn to say ‘no’ to additional commitments that may overwhelm your schedule. Begin to prioritize activities that bring you joy.
  4. Be active: Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine to boost mood and reduce stress.
  5. Connect with others: Spend time with friends and family members who provide you with support and understanding.
“As we celebrate Mother’s Day, let’s remember moms need to take care of themselves,” says Cates. “Self-care is not selfish; it’s essential for good health and happiness. By taking care of ourselves, we can better care for those we love.”

Individuals and mothers who are struggling with stress or are interested in learning more about behavioral therapy services offered can visit HamiltonCHN.org or call 810-406-4246 to schedule an appointment. 
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Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.