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The systemic discrimination facing Black women and men in the United States is nothing new but with the recent Black Lives Matter movement, these issues have come into the spotlight. Unfortunately, the specific ways they affect Black women in the healthcare space is still not widely understood or even discussed by many.

Here, we will unpack some of the statistics around the lack of healthcare access for Black women, specifically when it comes to OBGYN care, and what we can do to combat this issue.

Important Statistics on Healthcare Access for Black Women

How Do We Address This Issue?

If you’re as alarmed as we are by those statistics and the lack of support for Black women in healthcare, here are some ways you can help:

  • Educate Yourself: Continue the fight for equality by educating yourself on issues like this. Become aware of statistics, read the stories of Black women in these situations, and recognize that this will be an ongoing process of self-education.
  • Support Organizations: There are several organizations out there trying their best to help resolve the issues described above. One great example is the Black Women’s Health Imperative, whose mission it is to “lead the effort to solve the most pressing health issues that affect Black women and girls in the U.S. Through investments in evidence-based strategies, we deliver bold new programs and advocate health-promoting policies.” Read more about the health inequalities on Black women, sign petitions, and donate straight to these organizations that are making a strong impact

At Avant Gynecology, we pride ourselves on being a safe space for all women. Schedule an appointment with one of our women’s health experts by clicking here or by giving us a call at 404-352-2850.

We’re all living through truly unprecedented times. From dealing with a global pandemic to processing national political unrest, it’s no surprise that many people are also experiencing mental health struggles as well. Despite how common these struggles are, it can be hard for many to prioritize their happiness. But you should, and here’s how happiness can impact your health. 

How Happiness Can Benefit Your Health 

If you’re feeling happy and stress-free, here are the ways your physical and mental health can benefit. 

  • Boosts your immune system.
  • Decreases risk for cardiovascular disease. 
  • Encourages better sleep habits. 
  • Helps problem-solving abilities.
  • Improves pain levels. 
  • Lengthens life expectancy. 
  • Lowers blood pressure 
  • Protects against strokes. 
  • Reduces stress levels. 

How to Feel More Positive and Happy 

It’s one thing to read about the benefits of happiness, it’s another to figure out how to actually implement this into your life. If you need some help and tips on how to feel more positive and happy, try these suggestions.

  • Eat healthier. The more fruits and veggies in your diet, the happier you will feel. Avoid processed foods, items with high percentages of fat and salt, and red meats. Check out this connection between a healthier diet and your mental health
  • Get outside. The sunshine and great outdoors are perfect for boosting your mood and making you feel more positive. In fact, low vitamin D levels are often connected with those who suffer from mental illnesses. That’s why it’s vital to get outside and soak up the natural vitamin D all around you.
  • Practice positive mindsets. Of course, becoming happier is easier if you focus on encouraging yourself to feel that way. A great way to do so is by writing down things you’re grateful for. Do this at the end of every day, and you’ll be feeling more positive in no time. 
  • Regular self-care exercises. Doing your favorite stress-relieving practices like yoga or meditation regularly enough helps to control mood swings, teaches you how to remain positive in intense situations, and increases your positivity. Some additional ideas are cooking healthy recipes, drawing, cleaning, and reading. 
  • Remain active. Staying active isn’t only good for your physical health, it’s also good for your mental health. It’s a mood booster and an easy way to alleviate stress. 
  • Sleep. You’ve heard it time and time again, but it’s proven in study after study that a full eight hours of sleep significantly increases your mood and happiness level. So, get to bed earlier than usual and minimize your screen time beforehand. Instead, read a book before you go to bed. Just six minutes of reading can reduce stress by 68%. But, if you don’t enjoy this pastime, you could also remediate, write, or listen to music that relaxes you. 

Interested in learning more about the connection between mental and physical health? We’ve discussed how stress can impact your health and the different ways that mental health can affect women in previous blogs.

If you have further questions, reach out to the experts at Avant Gynecology by clicking here or by giving us a call at 404-352-2850.

Winter may be filled with holiday cheer for some people, but for others, the dark, cold, and dreary weather is almost too much to bear. When the weather contributes to feelings of depression or sadness, this is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

About 16 million people in the United States are expected to have an episode of major depression this year, and about five percent of those people will experience it because of the weather. Even worse? Women are most likely to experience seasonal affective disorder, with about four in five women stating they have experienced SAD before.

If you or someone you know is experiencing the winter blues, know you’re not alone. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get through this holiday season with positive mental health.

Spend Time Outside

Often the cold, short winter days are the last time of the year you want to spend time out of the house. In order to fight against seasonal depression, it’s crucial to spend quality time outside. In fact, the more you do it, the more your mind and body will benefit.

If you’re not sure how to get outside this winter, here are a few ideas:

  • Take walk breaks during work.
  • Grab some loved ones and go for a hike during the day when the sun is still out.
  • Park further away from work or the stores to give yourself a longer walk.
  • Walk around the block at your house before going inside for the night to relax.

Don’t Slack on Your Nutrition

The holidays are filled with rich comfort food and large holiday feasts. But just because you may have a few splurges coming up doesn’t mean you need to totally drop all of the nutritious and healthy eating habits you’ve built up.

This is especially true when you consider that diet contributes to mental health. Don’t want to give up the joy of yummy, cold-weather comfort food? Find a good, hearty soup recipe with high protein and lots of veggies.

Keep Exercising

Similarly, it might be tempting during this season to slack on exercising habits. As the temperature drops, all we want to do is cuddle up next to the fire under blankets. However, just like keeping up your healthy diet, maintaining your fitness routine during this time of year is one of the best ways to stay happy and healthy.

Check out our full blog on staying active in the winter months here.

If You Need Extra Help with Winter Blues, Get It

In addition to the suggestions mentioned above, there are other ways you can give your brain the support it needs this time of year.

  • Vitamin D supplements can give you the boost you’d normally get directly from the sun.
  • Communicate with your loved ones that you’re struggling. They can pitch in to help boost your spirits when you are feeling particularly low.
  • If things are really bad for you this winter, don’t feel ashamed to reach out to your general physician or a psychiatrist to learn about medication and therapy to help balance your seasonal depression.

The expert gynecologists at Avant Gynecology are devoted to helping women live their healthiest and happiest lives, including working through winter blues. If you would like to speak to any of our doctors, click here to schedule an appointment with us or give us a call at 404-352-2850.