It’s World Health Day, but what does that mean for you? Health starts at the individual level. You’ve heard the saying, that “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Establishing and maintaining your healthiest self is essential to making an impact on others. Think about the time you almost ordered the bacon burger, but your friend got the chicken salad so you decided to too. Or what about the time your wife went for a walk, so you decided to get off the couch and join her? Our decisions around health have a pretty big impact on the world around us, so how can we make sure we’re on the road to the healthiest versions of ourselves?
The first thing to remember is that health isn’t just physical. There are other key areas of our health that are just as important and part of the whole. Today, we’ll break these areas into five categories:
1. Physical Health
We’ll start here because, when we think of health, we often think of our physical health first. Keeping our physical bodies healthy and in shape is important to mobility, longevity, and energy. Unhealthy physical bodies can lead to health conditions that can otherwise be avoided. Carrying extra weight, for example, can negatively impact our bones and joints, while building muscle can lead to improved bone density and strength. Getting our bodies “in shape” can be overwhelming, but implementing small, scalable goals can help us achieve healthier, happier bodies. Even walking for a half-hour each day can have a significant positive impact on your health, and, with our MotivHealth Steps Program, you can earn money towards your HSA!
For things out of our control like an injury or medical condition, MotivHealth can help. Our MotivRx Program can lower or eliminate your out-of-pocket medication costs, and our SmartPay Program can greatly cut the high-costs of a procedure.
2. Mental & Emotional Health
Having poor mental health can impact our day to day and lead to less satisfaction in life, less interest in careers and hobbies, and even isolate us from the ones we love. Just like our physical health, it’s necessary to keep our mental health in check as it can have consequential effects on our lives. It’s important to note that mental illness isn’t limited to depression, but there are many mental illnesses we can be affected by in our lives, and it’s more common than you think. If you feel you are struggling, scheduling routine therapy appointments can help alleviate the effects of mental illness and establish healthy coping skills. To better your mental health daily, make it a priority to de-stress, take time for yourself, and eliminate things that may be impacting you emotionally as best you can. Simply making time to stretch for 10 minutes each morning can promote a healthier mindset.
If you are ever in a mental health crisis, call 911. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, call 800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741.
3. Nutritional Health
Nutritional health goes hand-in-hand with both our physical and mental health. “You are what you eat” has a lot of truth to it! Putting nutritional foods in your body will give your physical body the fuel and energy it needs to get through the day, and it will also give your mind the right vitamins and nutrients needed to manage mood fluctuations and improve focus (cue the post-lunch brain-fog). A simple way to improve your nutrition? Make healthy food swaps! For example, instead of a big fluffy burger bun, ask for a lettuce wrap. Instead of soda, try flavored seltzer water. Or, try veggies and hummus to replace chips and dip. Reminder: Small, scalable goals make a difference here. Don’t try to overhaul your diet, just make small daily improvements.
4. Intellectual Health
Most of us are far past our school days, but that doesn’t mean the learning should stop. Challenging yourself to new things and engaging in activities that improve your intellectual wellness can boost your confidence, stimulate curiosity, and help you better understand the world around you. The good news is there are many simple ways you can increase your intellectual wellness. Grab a new book, sign up for an art class, join a book club, or pay a visit to a local museum. Opening ourselves to the world around us helps us be more open-minded and welcoming of new ideas and solutions that can positively affect our relationships, careers, and other areas of life.
5. Social Health
Last, but not least, our social health is a critical part of the whole we call “health.” Humans are social by nature, and while lots of us enjoy our time watching our favorite show in bed, it’s essential to spend time with others. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it easy to isolate, and, for some, in-person social interactions can now feel exhausting or are simply not an option. The best way to improve your social health is to prioritize it by scheduling time in your day to interact with someone, especially with those you love. You might video chat with a friend and discuss the latest season of the show you’re watching, or you might offer to drop off your extra baked cookies at a neighbors house and chat for a moment. Making time to connect with others establishes valuable relationships that we can turn to throughout our lives.
What are some ways you are staying healthy today?