Article written by Jennifer McGregor – PublicHealthLibrary.org
Healthy lifestyle changes may seem overwhelming at first; many people want to eat better, get more exercise, and reduce stress, but those things aren’t always so easy to take on. Busy schedules, work, family issues, and responsibilities can frequently get in the way of even the best-laid plans, leaving you feeling guilty for being unable to stay motivated. It’s important to keep in mind that your physical health isn’t the only thing that will benefit from some changes; your mental health will also get a boost, which can help elevate your self-esteem and mood and reduce anxiety and the symptoms of depression.
The good news is that there are many simple changes you can make to your lifestyle that won’t take a lot of time or money but will make a big difference in the way you feel. The key is to think outside the box a little, and remember that your health doesn’t just depend on a few main factors; lots of things can affect your well-being, from the way you sleep to the air quality in your home. When you take a look at the details, it’s much easier to make small but significant changes.
Read on for some great tips on how to make easy changes to feel better.
Keep Your Dental Health in Check
Many people don’t realize just how closely linked their mental and physical well-being are, but when it comes to anxiety and depression, the symptoms can be very hard on the body. Oral health is one of the biggest concerns for many people since depression can take a toll on oral hygiene. Gum disease can lead to issues with the heart, so it’s extremely important to make sure your dental health is on point. By eating right, brushing and flossing each day, and attending regular checkups at the dentist, you can keep your mouth in great shape.
Get to Know Your Insurance Policy
Your insurance policy can help you stay on top of your wellness, so make sure you’re familiar with the plan you have and how to get the most from it. Seniors, in particular, can benefit from understanding their policy, especially when it comes to Medicare. Advantage plans from insurers like Humana can help you cover the costs associated with dental work, eye exams, and prescription medication, which original Medicare doesn’t cover.
Keep Your Gut Healthy
Your gut health can have a big impact on other parts of your body and even affect your mental health, so take time to get to know your microbiome — the area of your gut that is home to good bacteria which are necessary for your digestion and immune system. Learning about this area of your body — and how to keep it in good shape with the right foods, exercise, and environment — can help you ensure that your digestive tract is healthy and running smoothly.
Take a Break
Stress and anxiety can affect us all differently, but for most people, those negative feelings often lead to depression, physical decline, or issues at work or home. Knowing when to take a break and give your mind and body a much-needed rest is crucial to your overall well-being, even when you have a busy schedule. You don’t have to go on vacation; instead, simply taking a timeout for 15 minutes when stress is at its highest will do.
Head-to-toe lifestyle changes can be a little much if you try to take on too many at once, so narrow down the options and choose the best ones for your current needs. Focus on eating healthy or getting more exercise, or make time in your routine to take better care of your oral health. Once you feel comfortable with one, you can move on to the next until your mental and physical health are where you want them to be.