A few weeks ago, in honor of Women’s Health Week, we sat down with our medical advisors to get their take on how women can best manage their pelvic health at all ages. As always, we learned so much! In her responses, Dr. Barbara Frank, OBGYN, used the phrase “mind over bladder”, and it caught our attention.
So, we asked Dr. Frank to spend a few minutes with us exploring what she really means by that, and looking at actionable steps we can all take to achieve this always important but often elusive state of mind/body cooperation.
Dr. Frank: I truly believe much of our overall wellness is created by our mind. Yes there are genetics and environmental factors that play a role, but your mental health is really key to everything else your body is doing. We spend so much time focusing on our physical wellness and sometimes slack on our mental health.
Attn: Grace: That makes so much sense. Where do you see bladder health fitting into this larger equation?
Dr. Frank: Bladder health fits definitely under that as well. Think about it …. Do you drink a gallon of water because you think that is “healthy” only to end up unable to control your bladder, rushing in a state of stress to get to the bathroom, or even dealing with leaks? If the answer to that question is yes, I would gently urge women to take a step back and reevaluate their routine on a more holistic level. Similarly, are you doing HIIT exercises and leaking urine because you think that is the best type of exercise to achieve the physical results you want? Given the importance of bladder health overall and the slow but certain impact these stressors (like leaking) can have on our mental wellbeing, it’s really important to look at the impact of your routines on both your body and your mind.
Attn: Grace: Is there an ideal time in life for women to sort of hit the reset button here and reevaluate?
Dr. Frank: 40 is a great time to refresh. We are usually on autopilot by this time and our bodies have changed and therefore our minds need to change. But really, it’s always a good time to check in on yourself and your routines. Our bodies (and our minds!) are constantly evolving, whether your in your 40's, 50's, 60's or nearing 100.
- Clear out your mind and reevaluate on a more macro-level.
- Stop and ask yourself what is working for you and what is not working for you.
- Spend some time identifying alternatives for the aspects of your routine that are no longer serving your larger sense and state of wellbeing.
In the end, everything in our bodies works so much better if our mental health is in check.