6 Ways to Mix Self Care Into Everyday Life

Paying attention to a person’s sense of physical and emotional wellbeing is key to staying healthy. Read more to discover six specific ways to take control of your health.

Aug. 21, 2023

Two mature black women together in nature

August is National Wellness Month – a month-long reminder to take care of physical and mental wellbeing each day.

There are many ways to incorporate small changes into everyday life that will make you a healthier and happier person. These changes are the focus of lifestyle medicine, which brings patients and their primary care and specialist doctors together as they collaborate and modify the patient’s relationship to six areas of daily life that may be influencing or causing health problems.

1. Nutrition

In order to help a person’s body function at its best, there should be a focus on choosing more foods that are rich in fiber and nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and beans.

Research shows whole food, plant-forward eating can go a long way toward preventing, treating, and even reversing some chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.

2. Stress management

The way a person’s body and mind respond to changing events or situations indicates how they handle stress. In most situations, stress slowly fades after an event or situation ends. But prolonged stress can lead to long-term concerns or serious mental health disorders.

Using healthy coping skills in times of stress can lead to positive effects on the body and mind, including lower blood pressure and increased focus.

Lifestyle medicine providers excel at finding the right techniques for each patient.

3. Physical activity

Consistent physical activity is essential for a healthy body and mind.

When some people hear ‘exercise’, it might bring a 5K or kickboxing to mind. While these are good ways to stay moving, people don’t need to become professional athletes to meet their body’s needs. A daily walk is a simple and effective way to get your body moving.

4. Sleep

The quality of a person’s sleep is linked to their overall health; both influence one another.

When someone isn’t getting enough sleep or the quality of their sleep is poor, research shows their immune system is negatively impacted and their decision-making processes suffer. Beyond these effects, being exhausted makes it harder to follow through on other healthy changes.

Lifestyle medicine experts can help to identify techniques that help improve the quality of a person’s sleep and teach them to stay on track.

5. Relationships & purpose

Having healthy relationships and a sense of purpose help not only to improve the quality of a person’s life, but boost longevity – helping people live as much as 8 years longer.

Good friendships, partnerships, or romantic relationships are marked by an overall lack of stress, which can lower blood pressure, release hormones with positive associations, and induce relaxation in the body.

Positive social connections reinforce healthy behaviors and habits in our lives, making them essential for a strong sense of well-being.

6. Avoiding risky substances

When listing substances linked with a negative health impact, alcohol and tobacco are two of the most common ones. Smoking is linked to a number of serious health conditions, including emphysema and lung cancer. Alcohol can increase the risk of certain chronic conditions, as well.

By reducing or eliminating the use of these and other risky substances, people can achieve a stronger sense of physical and mental wellness.

NEXT STEPS Lifestyle Medicine

Eighty percent of the disease burden experienced by patients in the U.S. are the result of lifestyle choices we make every day. Through our evidence-based lifestyle therapies, we can slow the progress of and even reverse those diseases. Our clinicians will collaborate with your primary care and specialist providers to help you live a healthier and more vibrant life.

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