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What would be your answer if someone asked you what your goal in life was? Would you tell them that you wanted to be famous? Alternatively, is finding love, or being happy and healthy, something that you crave more? Sadly, there are no guarantees in life, and it is not possible to prevent every illness, but the decisions that you make can have a significant bearing on both your physical and mental health. Here, we share some steps you can take to improve both your mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Improving your physical health
As we said, there is no way that you can prevent illness, but there are many things that you can do to condition your body and reduce your risk of developing illnesses and diseases. It is impossible to cover everything in one guide, but eating a healthy diet, avoiding toxic substances and exercising regularly will all be incredibly beneficial for not only your physical health but your mental health as well.
The first thing to look at is your diet. Have a look at it: is it balanced and does what you eat have nutritional value? Eating well is not all about losing weight or preventing weight gain, although this is in your best interests if you are overweight. Your diet should provide your body with the nutrients that it needs to work correctly – fibre, vitamins, minerals and at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. You also need to make sure that you are well hydrated by drinking water and minimizing the amount of caffeine and sugary soft drinks that you consume.
There are some habits, like drinking too much alcohol, taking non-necessary or illegal drugs and smoking, which can put your health at risk. Giving up these things can be incredibly difficult, but if you do want to quit, there are plenty of support systems out there to help you.
Speak to your doctor about whether you can access treatments like nicotine replacement therapy, group support and rehab. If you are concerned about how much you drink, keep a diary, and take steps to reduce your intake. Organize social activities that do not involve drinking, have some days off and alternate soft and alcoholic drinks when you are out.
Regular health checks are vital. It is very easy to miss them and only visit a doctor when we are unwell. However, prevention is always better than cure, so it is essential that you do not miss those annual general health checks, eye tests, hearing tests and dental check-ups. They can save you money, time and in some cases, your life, as they can pick up some health issues, such as diabetes before they become something much more serious. Of course, if your health shows any signs of changing at any other point or you suffer any chronic health conditions, you should get checked out as quickly as possible so that you can start treatment.
Improving your mental health
Mental health is as important as physical health. If you are struggling with stress because of work, or your schedule is too manic, try and find a better balance and manage your time more effectively. Speak to your manager about taking some annual leave and going on holiday, or sharing the workload, and make some time for yourself. Connect with friends, spend more time with people you love, and make time for doing the things that you love. Some people find self-help techniques like exercise, meditation and creative activities helpful.
Today, there is much pressure to look good, and body image is a subject that is concerning for many people most people. If you have low self-esteem or you lack confidence, make an effort to be kinder to yourself and take a break from social media.
It sounds cliche, but when things aren’t right, seek out a happy place. Enjoy some time to yourself, meet up with that friend who always picks you up or spend a day doing something you love. Go for a jog in the park, sit on the beach, run a bath or write down exactly how you are feeling. Self-care is vital when it comes to maintaining good mental health.
Most of us dream of living a long and fulfilling life, but sadly, it can have a habit of throwing curveballs at us. We never know what is going to happen, but taking just a few of the steps we have shared in this article will help to boost both your physical and mental wellbeing and help you to deal with whatever is thrown your way.