It is no secret that preventative health care can be extremely important for ensuring a long and healthy life. However, one area that is often overlooked is mental health. Mental and physical health are closely related meaning that in order to maximize your physical health, you need to spend plenty of time caring for yourself mentally as well. While it is commonly accepted that physical health can influence mental health, it is also true that mental health can shape physical health. For example, the risk of death from heart disease increases by 67% in individuals suffering from depression. Stress and anxiety can have severe impacts on you physically. For this reason, it is important to be mindful of both your mental and physical health.
How to Manage Mental and Physical Health
Given the close relationship between the mental and physical health, improving in one area can help you improve your health in the other. Here are some tips for managing both within this context.
Mental Health Tips
- Express Emotions – When experiencing stress in our lives, it can be extremely difficult to ask for help or even just talk to someone else about it. However, studies have shown that when we do not hold on to our stress it actually becomes much more manageable. Next time you have a major task or life event that feels like it may overwhelm you, try talking to someone about it. You might be surprised by how much better it makes you feel.
- Plan Ahead – Life gets extremely hectic. Between work, personal responsibilities, trying to maintain relationships, and having some time to yourself, it can be difficult to do everything you want and need to. This said, by planning ahead and organizing your schedule, you can save yourself a great deal of unnecessary stress down the road. As a small, simple example, try preparing a lunch for the next day at night. Having an extra 10 minutes in the morning may just prove to make the day more manageable.
- Be Grateful – Regardless of your situation, taking the time to appreciate the positives in your life can provide much-needed perspective. We are all guilty of becoming wrapped up in the challenges we face every day. However, if you take a moment every day to notice the positives in your life, you will be able to find an appreciation for at least some aspect of your situation.
Physical Health Tips
- Eat Well – Eating nutritious meals is pivotal to maintaining a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally. A healthy diet obviously helps physically but this actually allows for your body to find the balance it needs to keep you mentally healthy as well. Regardless of your reason for eating well, the benefits for both mental and physical health are tremendous.
- Sleep – Getting a full night’s sleep on a regular basis is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy both mentally and physically. Some solid shut eye allows both your body and your mind to recover after putting them to work all day long. Aim for a full 8 hours every night to see the best results possible. Especially as a physician, it is important for you to keep healthy sleep habits.
- Avoid Alcohol and Drugs – We are not saying you can’t ever have a drink, but do so in moderation. Alcohol and drugs have been studied closely and have been shown to have clear impacts on both physical and mental health. When under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your mind and body are put in a very different situation than they are used to which takes extra effort to recover from. Limiting your consumption can have drastic effects.
While there is obviously much more to the relationship between mental and physical health, being conscious of the connection between them can improve your quality of life tremendously. Once you feel rejuvenated and ready to start the next step in your career, browse some of our available job listings here!