If you’re living with heart disease, you’re already aware of the impact the condition can have on your life — but chances are strong that other people in your orbit don’t know as much as they could about the disease. That’s why it’s important to raise awareness for the medical condition — particularly in February, which is American Heart Month.
It can be hard when your friends and family don’t know what you’re going through. It can also feel difficult to say no to loved ones who don’t understand your situation because you might worry about how your relationships will be affected.
Raising awareness about heart health is important so your friends, family, and acquaintances can better understand how to support you.
Before you can create public awareness by sharing information with others, it’s a good idea to understand the specifics of heart disease. Learn more about heart disease’s causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment options.
Heart disease encompasses a large number of conditions that affect the cardiovascular system, which includes the heart and blood vessels. The cardiovascular system supplies the entire body with oxygen and nutrient-rich blood.
Types of heart disease include:
Many types of heart disease can lead to heart failure, when the heart can no longer supply enough blood and oxygen to keep all the tissues of the body healthy.
After you’re armed with information about heart disease, you can share it with others. The fastest and least expensive way for this kind of advocacy is through social media. You can post information about heart disease, share details about the condition, and join communities of other people who are also working to raise awareness about heart disease.
You can share the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) resource toolkit about hypertension for American Heart Month on Facebook or Twitter.
To ensure your messages on social media reach as many people as possible, consider using an appropriate heart disease-related hashtag, like #HeartDiseaseAwareness or #AmericanHeartMonth. This way, your posts will be seen by more people who have the same interests, and they’re more likely to share and comment.
Social media helps raise awareness for the condition, and it also allows other people with heart disease to realize they aren’t alone. Joining a heart disease community on social media, such as MyHeartDiseaseTeam, can also help you connect with others.
Another way to raise awareness about heart disease is to participate in an activity dedicated to the cause. You can walk or run for heart disease, play bingo, participate in fundraising activities, or even create a unique event that works for your interests. You can help other people understand more about heart disease while having fun and raising money for the cause.
If you are able, you can also donate (and encourage others to donate) to organizations such as the American Heart Association.
In addition, remember to engage in self-care. It is emotionally taxing to educate others about your lived experiences, so know your limits and acknowledge when it’s time to put your mental well-being first.
On MyHeartDiseaseTeam, more than 51,000 people living with heart disease come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with the condition.
Share your heart disease journey in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.