Health-related headlines have never been far from our screens in the last two years. The pandemic has prompted many of us to think about how we can be healthier. If you’re on a mission to boost mental and physical health, here are some positive steps to take today.
Recognize the importance of mental well-being
When we talk about health, we often automatically think about our bodies. Mental and physical health should be intertwined. In most cases, looking after your body also has benefits for your mind and vice-versa. Many of us are reluctant to talk about mental health, and it can be difficult to detect and identify symptoms. It’s so crucial to recognize the importance of mental well-being, especially during periods of heightened stress and anxiety. Talk to people about how you feel and try to look after your mental health. Everyone can be proactive in protecting and promoting well-being. Take time to rest and recharge, spend time doing things and seeing people that make you happy, eat well, exercise regularly and identify and avoid triggers. Be kind to yourself, work on building strong, long-lasting, positive relationships and manage your time to balance work, other commitments and downtime.
Invest in your health
There are lots of ways you can invest in your health, including devoting time to health and well-being, keeping up to date with screening, tests and checks and learning about how to help yourself and others. If you’re behind with scheduled assessments, make some calls now. If you don’t have first-aid training, look into courses like those offered by MyCPR NOW. Make time for healthy eating, active living, managing stress and sleep. Take advantage of technology and tools, such as food diary apps, virtual training programs and wearable activity trackers, and make positive lifestyle choices. If you smoke, or you’re worried that you drink too much, don’t hesitate to seek professional help and advice. Teaming up with others or joining community support groups is often beneficial if you’re trying to quit smoking or drinking.
Being active is a natural tonic for mental and physical well-being and it also has social benefits. People who exercise frequently have a lower risk of developing conditions ranging from dementia and depression to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. Try to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week. This can include all kinds of activities and sports, including team sports, tennis, golf, swimming, cycling, walking or hiking, running, gym workouts, spin, yoga and HIIT classes or trampolining, dancing, horse riding or climbing. Vary activities, try to spend as much time as possible outdoors and have fun. Get friends and family involved and spend quality time together, join classes or groups to make new friends, or enjoy some alone time.
Many of us have thought about health and well-being more in the last two years. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be an effort. Making simple changes can supercharge mental and physical health. Invest in your health, understand the importance of mental well-being and embrace an active lifestyle.