One of the best ways to maintain a positive attitude is caring for yourself physically. While that advice seems easy, it is, indeed, easier said than done. With our busy schedules and highly demanding lives, we typically don’t take the time for ourselves. Mothers, in particular, are prone to not caring for themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally, as we often put everyone else ahead of our own well-being.
However, if we wish to live more fully with the energy and stamina needed to make it through every day, we must take care of ourselves physically. A few great ways to start caring for yourself physically include:
Eat Well and with Those You Love
When it comes to our diets, we often fill ourselves with highly processed, less nutritious meals which leave us feeling energyless and sometimes just downright gross. Providing care for our minds and bodies often starts with our diets. Eating more whole and fresh foods will make you healthier, give you more energy, and even make you more mentally focused. Better diets also help fight off obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
To double the benefits of eating well, consider sharing more meals with those you care about. Sharing a meal strengthens bonds, and even stimulates us mentally and physiologically, which make for happier individuals.
Lack of exercise leaves us without energy and often overweight – both of which typically lead to poor mood and poor self-image. In order to boost your mood and increase your self-image, exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. The endorphins released by your body during regular exercise will do wonders, and the physical activity will help you fight off a variety of diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Go to Annual Check-ups
Eating right and regularly working out can greatly improve your health, but that doesn’t mean that they give you a pass on your regular check-ups. Annual check-ups, whether they be a physical or women’s wellness exam, help us see the things about our bodies that we normally don’t detect on a daily basis – such as high blood pressure or increased risks.
By attending your regular check-ups you can stay informed about what is going on with your body, any risks you may be experiencing, and what you can do in the future to continue living well.
Take Exams and Tests Seriously
Like annual check-ups, medical exams and tests also help us see our bodies more intimately, and they should not be avoided. As we age, a list of tests can help us detect cancers, heart disease, and a host of other common illness that may deeply impact the quality of our lives if left untreated. A list of exams and tests that individuals should have regularly include:
- Woman wellness exam – starting in late adolescence
- PAP smear – at the start of sexual activity, but no later than 18
- HPV testing – at the start of sexual activity, but no later than 20
- Clinical breast exam – starting at age 20
- BRAF and KRAS testing – early if there is a concern for cancer
- Mammogram – starting at age 40
- Colonoscopy – starting at age 50
The ages above are simply the recommended ages, and may vary depending on family history and individual concerns. Consult with your physician about the testing that you should consider to maintain your health. Medical labs can provide noninvasive testing for HPV, BRAF, and KRAS. The site trovagene.com further discusses noninvasive and quantitative alternatives to biopsy and imaging for tracking specific oncogene mutations over time. Additionally, clinics and your local health department can provide affordable clinical breast exams and usually mammograms as well.
While mediation may not seem like a physical exercise, it is. Meditation is a wonderful way to both relax and engage the body, and also a great way to ease and refocus the mind. Regular meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety, release physical tension, and produce more emotionally stable individuals. It can even reduce blood pressure! Simply meditating for an average of 15 minutes a day can increase your wellbeing – not to mention give you a quick and relaxing break from your busy life.