Take Charge of Your Health
Sometimes we are passive onlookers when it comes to our health. For instance, we know we’re feeling sick and we should go see a doctor, but we push off making the appointment believing that our body will resolve things on its own. Others may struggle to be health conscious by eating poorly or neglecting to drink water. Many of us make goals in regards to our health but don’t take any practical steps to achieve them. Here are some ways we can transform ourselves from being onlookers to being active participants in our quest for good health:
Make Realistic Health Goals
Make health goals that are SMART in nature: Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. An example of a SMART health goal would be: I want to run a mile within six minutes by January 31st. Acknowledge any barriers that may come your way and prevent you from achieving your goal. Game plan how you will address these barriers if they arise. Take an inventory of your resources that will enable you to achieve your goal. Avoid setting goals that you don’t have the power to control such as “Win a marathon!”. While training for a marathon is entirely in your control, winning may not be as you cannot control who competes alongside you.
Prioritize the Basics
From eating a nutritious diet to making sure you’re drinking a sufficient amount of water, sometimes we skip the basics because they seem so obvious. Using a food log or an app to track what you’re eating and drinking on a regular basis can help keep you accountable for what you put in your body. If your diet is lacking in nutrients, consider taking supplements. Work on powering down at a reasonable hour and getting at least 8 hours of sleep.
Engage in Medical Care
Schedule your annual checkup and complete your bloodwork. Keep up to date with your vaccinations and immunizations. Follow through with your medical, dental, and vision appointments. Build a relationship with your primary care doctor and maintain an open dialogue about your health. Stay current with refilling your prescriptions and dispose of expired medications.
Pay Attention to Early Signs and Symptoms
Check in with yourself in regard to your physical and mental health. Have you noticed any changes lately? Are you less energetic? Are you having difficulty sleeping? Are you experiencing any aches or pains? Have you gained or lost weight suddenly and with no changes to your diet? Getting evaluated by a medical or mental health professional is a wise decision to rule out various conditions when you’ve noticed differences in your functioning.
“Health is wealth”, a mantra Jessica’s mother regularly repeated throughout her childhood. Jessica values achieving balance and wholeness in both arenas of mental and physical health. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a practicing mental health therapist, Jessica promotes healthy living, self-care, mindfulness, and above all, kindness towards self.