Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Being a blog written by a physical therapist, you’re probably thinking I am just going to lecture you about exercise. That assumption couldn’t be more wrong. There are so many factors that affect not only our physical fitness and health, but also our psychological, emotional, and spiritual being.
Many of us get angry when the doctor tells us “it is all in your head.” While that statement may not be entirely true, your mental health can have an impact on your condition, as can your physical fitness and health. To help you better understand what all this means and to put this in effect in your everyday life, we have come up with 10 tips to keep you physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.
TIP #1: Control how you respond to challenges
Personally, I know that I am impulsive. I was not one to watch when it came to responding to challenges. I have taken a lot of time out to teach myself restraint through trial and error. One lesson that has been the hardest for me to swallow is that people are not always out to get you. People mean well and having the right type of attitude toward all the challenges you face allows you to have the resilience you need to get up if you happen to fall. Instead of seeing a problem as overwhelming and impossible, know that most problems have a solution.
“People who are truly elite do not wish each other luck. They wish each other that they execute to the best of their ability.” Fmr. LtCdr Dr. Robert Nosek, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
“Also, realize that some things are out of your control. You can only control things in your circle of influence. To borrow from the prayer of serenity, accept what you can’t change, have the courage to change the things you can, and gain the wisdom to know the difference”. - Mr. Alexander Basa, PT, MPT, OCS
TIP #2: Ask for what you need
Tell others what you need, and be specific. This does not mean you should expect to get exactly what you ask for but this avoids confusion and others making assumptions. Do not expect others to know what you mean when you make a sarcastic remark or a gesture. Be clear, and when some one tells you what they want, ensure that you understood what they meant. Ask them to do the for you in order to avoid misinformation. DO not be afraid to ask for help from others or to ask questions if you do not understand someone else’s needs.
TIP #3: Set boundaries
This one is especially important because sometimes boundaries are forgotten in a household where everyone is stuck together all the time. While some may enjoy being with each other, some people enjoy being alone. I know I am one of those. Hence, a meeting with your loved ones about making a schedule where the rest of your family knows when you want a designated space of the house to be your lone space during a specific time may be a technique that can avoid the build up of frustration and possible arguments. This will help you keep your zen and ensure good mental health.
TIP #4; Take care of yourself
Happiness is everyone’s goal and/or driver. If you don’t feel happy with what your are doing, living in and living with, it is very hard to thrive. Many of my patients who cannot resolve an injury such as low back pain that should have been resolved, usually have other emotional and/or psychological issues that interfere with the healing process. This is why we need to take care of ourselves. This may mean getting dressed well every day, shaving, working out, video chatting with your family, eating healthy to feed your body, and drink and eat junk food when you need what a break from eating health. Do More Of What Makes You Happy.
TIP #5; Keep a consistent workout routine
If you are like me, you eat your anxiety. Then, it becomes very important to burn those calories. It also decreases the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) in your system, increases the oxygen in your blood allowing your brain to function better, and helps you eliminate toxins by sweat and increasing your bowel movements. Working out helps your mental and physical wellness and it is important to make sure you are getting a little exercise everyday, even if it is just a few minutes a day.
TIP #6; Eat good foods
90% of fitness and health happen in the kitchen. It is important to make sure that your body is still getting all the proper nutrients it needs to keep you healthy mentally and physically. Especially during this period that we are all staying home, it is especially important to fuel your body with healthy foods for vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients.
TIP #7: Meditate and self reflect
Self reflection is the time you take to think about what you did during the day and week. Not just your mistakes but your successes. It allows you to learn and improve as a person. Meditation is an opportunity to clear our minds and focus on our breathing. It calms and centers us and allows for our minds to focus on only the things that matter. This will keep us from getting frustrated and stressing over things we can not control.
TIP #8: Express your feelings
Don’t ignore your feelings, and do not be afraid of expressing them. Confront them and accept them, and you will be on the path to accepting yourself. As mentioned before, being happy with yourself is important to achieve anything. Also, other people can not read your mind. No one will know what you are feeling if you do not express it to them.
TIP #9: Know your limits
Only you know your body and what your limits are. Knowing who you are, your limitations and potentials will empower you to be more comfortable with yourself. Take challenges and do your best to succeed in every aspect of your life. If you succeed or fail, it does not matter as long as your learn your limits and you push yourself to be all that you can be. Knowing yourself is the key to a healthy life.
TIP #10: Create a goal for yourself
Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. This will keep you engaged. However, stick to them. This will build your confidence as you meet your goals and know exactly how you got there. Make sure they are realistic and achievable. It will also avoid making you feel more confused and stressed out from not knowing what to do. This will serve you as a guide. After all, you get to an unknown destination much easier if you use a map or GPS rather than just driving around without orientation.
Use these tips to keep yourself healthy and happy. Mental and physical health will help you to achieve true happiness and success.