Good health is more than just going to that weekly gym class. It’s more than a plate full of veggies served with organic pasture raised chicken. It’s more than sleeping a perfect 7-8hrs a night.
At SHDC we believe good health is achieved by addressing the way we sleep, move and nourish ourselves AND the way we think, breathe and the environment around us. A holistic perspective of health considers the whole person, which includes our mental and emotional health. Often these other elements of good health are forgotten and pushed to the side. Over the next few weeks we’ll be exploring this question in greater detail and offering tips of how to achieve good health by incorporating all these factors.
Good Health and the way we think
Mental health is essential to a healthy body, it impacts the way we think, feel and act. Anxiety and stress can reduce immune function, contribute to ulcers, heart conditions and hormone imbalance. We can easily become overwhelmed and use other band-aid solutions to fix mental and emotional imbalances without addressing the problem. When we look after our mental health we have the energy and focus to put into other aspects of our life.
SHDC top tips for good mental health
- Make relaxing activities part of your weekly routine. This will be different for everyone but scheduling it in and making it a non negotiable is one of the best things you can do for your health. Have a bath 3 times a week, attend a yin yoga class once a week, read a book for 30mins a day. Whatever your relaxing activity is, give yourself permission to engage with it regularly.
- See a specialist for help. You don’t need to wait until you’re experiencing a crisis to seek professional help. Checking in and talking to a therapist can provide clarity and direction on issues we otherwise may mull over for months. If a traditional psychologist doesn’t feel right for you there are countless other options such as kinesiology or art therapy.
- Prioritise sleep. This is going to give you the physical energy to put into your emotional health.
- Engage with your community. When we feel part of something we have a sense of purpose and can grow meaningful relationships. On this note surrounding yourself with people who build you up and support you is essential to good mental health.
- Set goals, short term and long term. When we set manageable and realistic goals for ourselves we create structure and add to a sense of purpose. It is important to recognise and celebrate when goals are achieved, no matter how small they may be.
- Limit alcohol and other drugs. So often people self-medicate with these however they cause more damage in the long run and do not address the root cause.
Of course eating well, exercising and sleeping well all contribute to good mental health. This list is just to remind you that our mental health is just as important as these factors. We need to regularly check in with ourselves and ask for help whenever we may need it.