A Place to Reflect, Chronic Illness

6 Ways to Take Better Care of Your Health

take care of your health,

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Now, more than ever, it is important that we are all doing as much as we can to take the best possible care of our health. Whether you have a chronic illness, a short term illness, or no illness at all, the threat of coronavirus is very real, and anything you can do to improve your health right now will help you to stay as safe as possible. 

With that in mind, here are a few things we can all do to take better care of our health right now:

Be proactive in your health care

When it comes to your health, you need to be proactive. You need to take immediate action as soon as you’re experiencing a worrying symptom, whether that means speaking to the pharmacist or booking an appointment with the doctor. You need to make sure that you order your repeat prescriptions on time so that you aren’t left without medication and you need find ways to relax when you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed. What you do not need to do is ignore the symptoms, put off seeing the doctor, lead your stress to fester until it’s out of control. You need to be proactive so that your issues can be dealt with before they become even more difficult to deal with.

Lead a healthy lifestyle

A lot of people, especially those with a chronic illness, often feel like a healthy lifestyle is beyond them, but there are a lot of things we can all do to be healthier from whatever starting point we’re at. For example, most of us could eat a healthy diet that’s high in whole foods or take up meditation to give us some headspace and help us deal better with our mental health. Most of us could even move a little more even if only by doing a few seated stretches. The key is to work out what is possible for you and what would make the most difference in giving you a healthier lifestyle and then taking it from there, using baby steps to ensure you stay safe and don’t get overwhelmed as you get healthy.

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Don’t do too much

On the flip side, it’s important that you don’t try to do too much. Whether you have a chronic illness or not, doing too much could lead to disaster. Not only can overexercising strain the body and cause fatigue and injuries, but it can also lead to stress and burnout which can be tough to deal with mentally. Ideally, you should do enough to stay healthy and happy and not too much to overwhelm you. There’s nothing selfish about taking time out to relax and practice self-care – it’s a sensible measure that could keep you out of the doctor’s surgery and more able to look after yourself and support those around you. Know your limits and protect them fiercely.

Make sleep a priority

Sleep is so important for our physical and mental health. A lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, worsening symptoms of illness, stress, depression, weight gain and even an increased risk of heart disease and stroke amongst other things. So, it’s fair to say that getting between 7 and 9 hours a night should be a priority.

Of course, for some of us sleep can prove elusive. If that’s the case, try turning off electronics an hour before bed. You may also want to try herbal sleep remedies, chamomile tea or evening meditation. If nothing seems to work, you may need to talk to your doctor about potentially trying some prescription medication. Your body needs sleep more than almost anything else, so do what you can to get it.

Practice good hygiene

Good hygiene, like regular hand washing and cleaning your home, is vital for keeping nasty bugs and viruses at bay. It won’t stop you from picking up everything, but it will lower your chances of succumbing and right now when coronavirus is such a threat, it’s just a really important thing for us all to do.

hands under the tap

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Stay connected

Staying connected with friends and family is a little more difficult right now, but it’s important you make the effort, even if you are only able to see them on Zoom. Why? Because connection is a vital building block of good mental health. It can help to stave off depression and anxiety and keep our minds feeling healthy. It also stops us from feeling so alone at a time when being alone is really tough.

Do as many of these things as you can and your health will benefit as a result. 

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