Everyone should lead a healthy lifestyle. When we take care of our physical health, we feel better as well – fitter, more relaxed, and better able to deal with situations. This is especially important if you suffer from a mental illness.
There are numerous ways to be healthy that are both enjoyable and beneficial.
THE BENEFITS OF LIVING HEALTHY
What you gain by living a healthier lifestyle includes:
- Mentally better – Regular exercise can improve your mood and make you feel better.
- Saving money – Junk food, smoking, and drinking sugary drinks or alcohol are all costly habits.
- Fewer health issues – A healthier lifestyle means a lower risk of developing a variety of illnesses.
- Gaining control of your life – becoming healthier allows you to feel more in control of your life.
Getting in Shape
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and introducing habits that improve your health are examples of ‘healthy living.’
It can be difficult to break bad habits, but there are steps you can take to improve your health.
Identifying less healthy habits and learning new, positive ones to replace them is an important first step.
- Eating nutritious and well-balanced meals
- Sleeping well and managing stress
- Taking part in physical activities
- Keeping in touch with others
being aware of any health risks associated with your illness and treatment, and working with your doctor to monitor and then act on these risks
taking responsibility for your overall health, including regular eye and dental check-ups
HOW TO CREATE PRODUCTIVE HEALTH HABITS
The key to developing positive habits that you will be more likely to maintain is to:
Change one thing at a time and observe the benefits of eating more balanced meals, exercising more, or quitting smoking.
Make small changes – a change that is doable is more likely to become a habit.
Change can be easier to implement gradually rather than all at once.
Expand on what you already do; for example, if you enjoy walking, try extending your usual route by a manageable distance.
Remember that even one new health behaviour can make a significant difference in your health.
Work around obstacles
There are things you can do to deal with any additional challenges associated with your illness and treatment, such as drowsiness, sugar cravings, or a lack of motivation. You can take the following steps:
Plan your daily activities around medication side effects; for example, if you are drowsy in the morning, schedule exercise for the afternoon.
Discuss your concerns with your doctor; there may be another medication you can try, or you can request a referral to a specialist for expert advice, such as a dietitian or psychologist.
Maintaining one’s health
Being healthy entails more than just getting in shape and feeling better; it also entails maintaining that state. Tips for staying motivated include:
Schedule regular check-ups with your doctor to monitor your progress and to provide you with the extra push you may require to keep going.
Reward yourself for developing healthier habits by treating yourself to something nice.
overcome mistakes – if you make a mistake, be realistic and restart.
There are numerous options for obtaining the assistance you require to maintain your health. Finding a good GP (general practitioner) with whom you feel comfortable discussing your health is an important first step. Seeing the same GP means you can collaborate to manage your health and schedule check-ups as needed.
Having someone else to lean on as a “support person” can make all the difference in maintaining healthy habits. Speak to your friends, family, a mental health programme, or a case worker. Don’t forget about other services in your area that you can use.