Tips to Healthy Living and Achieving Optimal Mental Health, Physical Health, and Social Health
What is considered a healthy lifestyle?
Living a healthy lifestyle goes far beyond just exercising or watching what you eat.
According to the World Health Organization, a healthy lifestyle is defined as “A complete state of mental, physical, and social well-being not merely just the absence of disease.”
In America, living a healthy lifestyle has become a privilege. Due to systemic inequalities in the American healthcare system, minority groups are at a disadvantage.
Statistics reported by American Progress show large percentages of minority groups in America:
- Don’t have health insurance
- Suffer from higher levels of hypertension due to everyday stressors
- Are more likely to have poorer overall health
Developing healthy habits isn’t easy, and it takes practice and a plan to be successful. It is crucial that people of color in America take ownership, and begin living the healthy lives they deserve.
To truly implement a healthy lifestyle, you need to know how to take care of your mental, physical, and social well-being. All 3 of these components are highly intertwined and connected.
Once you learn how to take control of these 3 areas, you can develop a health and wellness plan that works for you.
Here are some of our tips so you can start taking ownership, and living your healthiest life.
Physical Health Tips
Physical health is probably the first thing you think of when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Though it’s not the only component of your overall health, it is an important one.
Maintaining optimal physical health helps prevent illness, and keep other parts of your health in check.
In order to improve your physical health try:
- Exercising regularly
- Eating healthy and nourishing foods that fuel your body
- Stopping tobacco use
- Getting enough sleep
- Drinking enough water
- Limiting alcohol intake
Physical health has the power to impact many other facets of your health. If you want optimal mental health, social health, and emotional health—it’s important you are in good physical shape.
If you need help implementing good physical health habits, try getting a friend to join you. You could be accountability partners, to make sure you stick to your goals.
Not sure where to start? Try talking to your healthcare professional and see what types of exercise and nutrition plans would work for you. Connect2Heal is a great tool that gives you access to local healthcare providers. You can see who fits your needs best, and start your healthy lifestyle journey today!
Mental Health Tips
Maintaining optimal mental health sometimes goes overlooked. However, this is a crucial component of living a healthy lifestyle.
More often than not, people struggle through their mental health silently. Far too often we hear about college students crippled with anxiety or caretakers struggling to cope with all their responsibilities.
Your ability to cope with stressors drastically impacts your overall mental health. It dictates how stressed you get and your ability to deal with the demands of your daily routine.
Your attitude towards situations, the people you surround yourself around, and self-care are crucial components to your total well-being.
It is extremely important you find healthy ways to achieve optimal mental health. Next time you want to feel your best, try adding these to your routine:
- Meditation or other relaxation techniques that promote mindfulness
- Journaling to allow you to process your thoughts
- Surrounding yourself with people who lift your mood and bring positive energy
Social Health Tips
We couldn’t discuss tips for healthy living, without touching on social health. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s how much humans need social interaction.
At a time where the virus wanted to separate us, people adapted and found new and innovative ways to communicate. Whether it was the zoom game night with your friends—or the virtual happy hours with your colleagues. Humans are an innately social species, and our social health contributes heavily to our overall well-being.
It’s important to note that the levels of social interaction people need varies across groups. For example, someone in their twenties who is in college and constantly surrounded by students may not need much more socialization. Whereas, someone in an elderly nursing home who spends most of the day alone, may need more socialization.
It’s important to grasp where you are on this spectrum, so you can best cater to your needs. To improve your social health, you can:
- Schedule times to catch up with loved ones
- Surround yourself with people who bring positive energy
- Join groups where you can meet people with similar interests
When creating your health plan, it’s so easy to overlook your social health but don’t forget this valuable component!
How to Create a Wellness Plan
Now that you know what you need to include, it’s time to create your health and wellness plan. Don’t let this process intimidate you!
When creating a wellness plan the key is to start slow and build overtime. Rome wasn’t built in a day—so nobody expects you to implement positive health habits overnight.
When creating your wellness plan be sure to:
- Change only a few things at a time: for example, if you want to start off focusing on exercising do that. Overtime, start implementing nutrition.
- Keep the changes small but achievable: this keeps the momentum going if you divide things into smaller and more manageable chunks.
- Implement changes slowly: maybe start by exercising 2 times a week, and gradually make your way up to 4 times a week. When you work slower, the change is more likely to stick.
- Use what you already do to build upon: if you already like cooking, challenge yourself to cook with different veggies you’re not used to. Maybe you like walking. Challenge yourself to extend your walks. Build on the momentum you already have.
These tips will help you create a wellness plan that is realistic and you’re likely to stick to. As always, be sure to consult your physician to make sure the changes you make are right for you.
Need a physician? Checkout Connect2Heal and find physicians who want to help you live your healthiest life.