Philadelphia PGA Health & Wellness Series
May is designated as both Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, and the Philadelphia PGA Section encourages our PGA Professionals to review the information listed and hyperlinked below to help ensure a healthy lifestyle.
Skin Cancer Awareness Month: With over five million cases diagnosed in the United States each year, skin cancer is America’s most common cancer. Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable cancers. By sharing facts about the dangers of unprotected sun exposure and encouraging people to check their skin for warning signs, we can and will save lives.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70
- More than two people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour
- Having five or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma
- When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent
Ways to Protect Yourself Skin Cancer:
- Seek the shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Don’t get sunburned
- Avoid tanning, and never use UV tanning beds
- Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hatand UV-blocking sunglasses
- Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day
- For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher
- Apply one ounce of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating
- Examine your won skin head-to-toe every month
- See a dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin exam
Mental Health Awareness Month: Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans’ lives and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, act, make choices, and relate to others. Mental health is more than the absence of a mental illness—it’s essential to your overall health and quality of life. Self-care can play a role in maintaining your mental health and help support your treatment and recovery if you have a mental illness.
Self-Care Tips: Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health. When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact.
Here are some tips to help you get started with self-care:
- Get regular exercise. Just 30 minutes of walking every day can help boost your mood and improve your health. Small amounts of exercise add up, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t do 30 minutes at one time.
- Eat healthy, regular meals and stay hydrated. A balanced diet and plenty of water can improve your energy and focus throughout the day. Also, limit caffeinated beverages such as soft drinks or coffee.
- Make sleep a priority. Stick to a schedule, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Blue light from devices and screens can make it harder to fall asleep, so reduce blue light exposure from your phone or computer before bedtime.
- Try a relaxing activity. Explore relaxation or wellness programs or apps, which may incorporate meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises. Schedule regular times for these and other healthy activities you enjoy such as journaling.
- Set goals and priorities. Decide what must get done now and what can wait. Learn to say “no” to new tasks if you start to feel like you’re taking on too much. Try to be mindful of what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do.
- Practice gratitude. Remind yourself daily of things you are grateful for. Be specific. Write them down at night, or replay them in your mind.
- Focus on positivity. Identify and challenge your negative and unhelpful thoughts.
- Stay connected. Reach out to your friends or family members who can provide emotional support and practical help.
Self-care looks different for everyone, and it is important to find what you need and enjoy. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. In addition, although self-care is not a cure for mental illnesses, understanding what causes or triggers your mild symptoms and what coping techniques work for you can help manage your mental health.
For other ideas for healthy practices for your mind, body, surroundings, and relationships, see the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Wellness Toolkits.
When to Seek Professional Help: Seek professional help if you are experiencing severe or distressing symptoms that have lasted 2 weeks or more, such as:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Appetite changes that result in unwanted weight changes
- Struggling to get out of bed in the morning because of mood
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of interest in things you usually find enjoyable
- Inability to perform usual daily functions and responsibilities
Don’t wait until your symptoms are overwhelming. Talk about your concerns with your primary care provider, who can refer you to a mental health professional if needed. If you don’t know where to start, read the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Tips for Talking With a Health Care Provider About Your Mental Health. Learn more about how to get help or find a provider on the NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses webpage.Learn More About Mental Health
About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.
Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org