“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear”
Your Health Toolbox
When I talk about “loving yourself” I want people to understand that this is an umbrella term for so many important parts of your life and they all really come back to self care.
The aim of this website is to help every reader create their own “toolbox” that they can use to better their every day lives, to handle any situation, to be happier, healthier, to grow to their full potential. We all need a toolbox, to maintain our bodies, our minds and our spirits.
We need to treat our bodies the way we would a car, without proper maintenance and upkeep it would break down. Without the correct tools on board, you cannot change a flat tyre and may be left stationary, unable to move forward. To reach your destination.
The same rules apply to life, you don’t maintain yourself and eventually you will break down.
I wanted to take a moment to chat with you about the importance of seeking help when needed, professional help. A lot of the blogs I post are about alternative therapies and although I am so passionate about each one of these, I also want to stress the importance of professional help when dealing with your health.
I am not an all natural person, I love alternative therapies and using natural ways to treat ailments or illnesses, but I understand that without mainstream medicine I would not be alive today, cancer would have killed me. My daughter would not be alive today without life saving medication and multiple heart surgeries.
I also know that without professional assistance, I would never have recovered from anxiety and depression. I would never had learnt many of the valuable tools I have in my own tool box.
Without professional advice, I would still be morbidly obese and living an unhealthy and miserable life. I would not have known about weigh loss surgery as a “tool” and would not have gone on to lose 60kg (130lbs roughly).
So this post is about seeing the alternatives and using them to your advantage, but also not ignoring modern medicine, not ignoring professional help and learning to use a combination of ways to heal your mind, body and spirit. It’s about making your health a priority and seeking help and advice on how to be healthier overall.
Physical Health Tools
So first up I want to talk about your body, about some things that we often over look or push to the back burner because we are “too busy” or we may not think its that important. If our bodies are not healthy, then our minds cannot be healthy either. Physical health WILL impact the way we are feeling mentally and emotionally.
We need to make sure our bodies have been serviced, maintained and are running well before we get the tools out!
So here is a list of some things we should NEVER ignore, that should be a priority and be checked regularly:
- General Check Ups – this should include blood pressure and blood work annually, especially if you are older than 30 years of age. Your doctor may also recommend more regular check ups dependent on your history.
- Dental Check Ups – once per year you should check in with your dentist to check the health of your teeth and gums and have a scale and clean.
- Skin Checks – skin checks should be every 6 – 12 months but you should be checking your own skin every 3 months and seeing your doctor straight away if you notice any changes.
- Cancer Screening – this can vary with age, gender and history so please check with your doctor for guidelines on when and what you need to be tested for. These include things like breast checks, pap smears, prostate exams, bowel screening etc.
- Vision Tests – the general recommendation is to see an optometrist every 2 years but speak to your own specialist for guidelines as this too can change with age and history.
- Hearing Tests – if you have hearing problems then you should be tested every year, more if recommended by your hearing professional. If you have healthy hearing (that’s been tested) then yearly may not be necessary. Your specialist should provide you with a time frame suitable to you.
Here is a great link that shows a graph for further info for check ups for both men and women.
If you are ever worried about any changes or you think you should get something checked out, contact your primary care provider. They will advise on what needs to be done and how often. That way you can make a plan specific to you and jot it down in your diary so you don’t forget. Planning your health is a tool to keeping things running smoothly!
We also need to remember that to take control of our health we need to develop healthy habits that are good for us, so here is a short list of how to be physically healthier:
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Focus on getting enough sleep
- Don’t smoke cigarettes
- Don’t drink excessively
- Protect your skin from the sun
- Drink plenty of water
These are just some of the important habits that should be focused on in your life. Make them part of your routine, add them to your health toolbox so you can feel better both physically and mentally.
Mental Health Tools
Dictionary result for mental health
I think it’s important to pay close attention to our minds and how they are functioning and to seek help if it’s necessary. So how do you know when to seek help? I think the easiest way I have heard this explained is this… if your feelings, thoughts or behaviours interfere with your ability to function, then perhaps you would benefit from professional help.
Here are some great tools to keep your mental health in check, or to improve your mental health. I believe these should all be in conjunction with the above suggestions for physical health. As I mentioned before they are all intertwined and if one is not in good health, the other will suffer.
- Practice mindfulness
- Be grateful
- Breathing Exercises
- Relaxation Techniques
- Doing something for others
- Find a hobby you love
- Create good social networks
- Create a circle of support
- Focus on thinking positively
If you learn and practice some of the above and add them to your health toolbox, you will be more equipped to deal with any emotional or mental problems that may come your way…
Don’t be afraid to seek help…
There are SO many professionals who are qualified to help deal with all the problems we face each day, so why not speak to someone and start making a change for the better. They can provide you with the tools for your toolbox so you can move forward and live the life you truly want and deserve.
My advice when seeking out a professional is to find someone you gel well with, who you feel you can trust and speak openly with. Who respects you and how you are feeling. You may not find this person straight away, but don’t give up.
Remember that our health should be our biggest asset. If you neglect yourself and allow your health to decline, you won’t be able to go to work, care for your family, achieve your dreams. You really need to take action now and take charge of your own health so you can reach your full potential and live your best life… keep filling your toolbox!
I would also like to leave a few links to some resources where you can learn about mental health, take a test to help determine how your mental health is going (with regards to depression and anxiety) and then read some information so you know where to go if you need support.
Understanding what mental health is, is important so you can recognise if yours may need some work, here is an article explaining:
Here is an anxiety and depression checklist by Beyond Blue:
They also offer some great resources to help manage your mental health: