The holidays can be a difficult time when you are living with chronic illness. Even if you are surrounded by people who love you, the emotional and physical stress can be trying. In the first part of this series, we took a look at ways to emotionally cope with having a chronic illness during the holidays. In part two, we will outline ways to manage your healthcare needs while still enjoying this special time. No matter your health insurance policies, there are ways to cope while undergoing treatment.
Part 2: Managing Your Health Needs
While you should talk to your doctor about prioritizing your health, the following are some strategies to use during this particularly busy time of year.
Plan relaxed holiday activities.
If you don't have the energy to chop down a Christmas tree or build a snowman, that's perfectly okay. Holiday movie marathons or gift exchange parties might be a better option for you right now. Suggest these gatherings and other low key activities to bond with your loved ones.
Talk to hosts about your dietary needs
Treatment may change your appetite or dietary needs, and this might make large holiday meals less appealing. Talk to the host before a gathering about any restrictions.
Take time to rest
This time of year is busy, but remember to take it easy. This could mean leaving events early or skipping parties altogether sometimes. Give your body time to recharge.
Focus on your strengths
Remember to enjoy what you can do rather than emphasizing what you can't do. For example, if you have grandchildren, remember that you can spend time reading with them even if you can't run around with them.
Ask for help
While you are a superhero, you don't have to do it all. If you usually host a dinner on the first day of Hanukkah, for example, ask someone else to do so this year. It's okay to change traditions as needed.
Putting yourself first sometimes is all part of retaining a healthy lifestyle while fighting your illness. Just like health insurance policies, self-care goes a long way. By taking care of your physical health, you can get through the holidays using your strengths -- not emphasizing your weaknesses.
The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time spent with loved ones, but a chronic illness can make this time of the year anything but merry and bright. Fortunately, there are ways to help you through this time of year.
In part one of this two-part series, we will take a look at some ways to emotionally cope with the holidays. By following these tips, you can truly enjoy this season.
Part 1: Emotional Coping
The emotional side of having a chronic illness is far from simple. From managing health care expenses to resenting your family member’s bad health, there are plenty of reasons why you might feel down during the holidays. This emphasizes the importance of taking care of your emotional health. Consider these tips to get you started.
Choose a point of contact at every gathering
Ask a close friend or family member to be your support when things get hard at a party. This person might be your partner, best friend, sibling, or parent. If you start feeling low or unsettled, send them a text or pull them aside to chat for a moment. Their support will be helpful.
Take time for yourself
Remember that you don't have to always agree to outings and parties. Your emotional wellness is important is just as important as cancer care insurance, so take time for yourself to recharge. Self-care is central to a healthy lifestyle, especially when living with a chronic illness. If you need a night at home, give this to yourself.
Start a gratitude list
If you are not already keeping a journal, consider starting one during the holidays. While you are writing about your thoughts and feelings, also take the time to jot down a daily gratitude list. This may offer a boost to your spirits.
Remember that your emotions are valid
Even though everyone is telling you that you should be happy during the holidays, this isn't always the case. In fact, many people struggle during the holiday season. You have the right to feel your emotions.
Make an appointment with a counselor
If you are experiencing feelings of depression, anxiety, or any other thoughts that you want help working through, a professional can be a great resource. Your therapy sessions can be healing during this time.
Just as you need to address cancer care insurance and other logistics, your emotional health is also part of your care. Speak to your doctor about other ways to emotionally cope. They may recommend group counseling and other methods to handle this time of year. By making this effort, the holidays may be healing rather than harmful.
Ready for your big trip? Traveling is a wonderful way to enrich your mind and body, as long as you take measures to stay healthy. In this part of our travel wellness series, we will outline tips to prioritize wellness during your travels. Once you and your travel partner go over your health insurance policies, health concerns and other needs you read in Part 1, you are ready to set off.
Part 2: During Your Travels
These tips can help you stay healthy while you are enjoying your trip.
Take Time to Rest
While traveling, it can be tempting to be on the go all of the time - but that is how you can wear yourself down. It's important that you enjoy the essential health benefits of getting enough rest. Then you can feel ready to enjoy the next activity.
Eat Balanced Meals
You likely want to enjoy all of the local cuisine that you can, but be sure this involves some fruits and vegetables. According to the American Heart Association, the general recommendation for this is consuming at least 4-5 servings of fruit and 4-5 servings of vegetables every day. (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/HealthyDietGoals/Suggested-Servings-from-Each-Food-Group_UCM_318186_Article.jsp#)
Catch Enough Z's
Sleep is always important, but it can be tricky to get restorative sleep while you travel. Do what you need to do to make your accommodations comfortable. This way, you can have an escape from the hustle and bustle of the day.
Move Your Body
Walk as much as you can during your trip. This is not only a great way to see a new place, but will also help you sneak in some exercise. By moving your legs, you will maintain your circulation and respiratory health.
Carry a bottle of water at all times to keep yourself hydrated, especially if you are traveling in a hot climate. This can help you feel better.
Wash Your Hands
Not all countries prioritize sanitation in the same way, but find opportunities to wash your hands often. You may also consider carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer with you.
Remember: Talk to your insurance provider about insurance options and how your plan will function internationally. With this preparation, you can have a vacation full of wellness and joy.
Movement and exercise are key to a happy mind and healthy body, especially for older adults. In addition to maintaining heart health, a fitness routine can help circulation, mental health, lung health, bone density, muscle mass, and many other factors.
Even if you know the benefits of staying active, it can be difficult to get started. This two-part series will explore how to find the right fitness routine for you and how to safely exercise as an older adult.
Finding The Right Fitness Routine For You
Every body is different, and this means not everyone will benefit from the same types of exercises. Whether you are just getting started or are trying to get back into working out, there are ways to find both motivation and exercises that you enjoy.
How can I find motivation to exercise?
One of the best ways to find motivation to get moving is to find a fitness class or routine that you love. Whether walking through the park with a friend, attending yoga classes, or swimming laps, find what makes you happy and stick with it. And when you are dragging your feet, remember how wonderful you will feel after.
What are some exercise options?
The following are some suggestions of types of fitness exercises that could work for older adults:
If you are not sure which fitness is best for you, work with your doctor and a trainer to find your ideal program.
How can I plan for specific health concerns?
The best part about personal fitness is that it lives up to its name. It's totally personal. If you have a specific health condition, you don't need to let it hold you back. You just need to learn to work around it. Talk to your doctor about modifying your fitness routine to accommodate for your condition.
Quality health insurance policies and preventative care measures can help older adults live vibrant lives for many years to come. In the next part of this series, we will explore ways to make your workouts as safe as possible.
Once you find a few exercises that you love, you can take control of your health. Your commitment to a healthy lifestyle will help you live a life as vibrant as you are.
Now that you have committed to your fitness routine, it's important to learn how to exercise safely. In the second part of this two-part series, we will explore some simple ways to protect your body while you enjoy your fitness routine of choice.
Staying Safe While Exercising
For people of all ages, knowing your limits is the key to safe exercise. Many injuries happen when people overexert themselves or use improper form. Fortunately, there are ways to learn about your body and know how to exercise without injury.
How can I learn to exercise in a healthy way?
There are several ways that you can learn more about exercise and how to protect yourself.
By taking these steps, you can form an exercise routine that both protects and strengthens your muscles and bones.
What if I get injured?
If you think you injured yourself during exercise, it's important to stop your fitness routine and see a doctor. Exercising with an injury can be harmful and can cause further damage. Your medical professional can diagnose your injury and create a rehabilitation plan. This will get you back to your regimen as soon as possible.
A healthy lifestyle and preventative health services, including exercise, can help prevent or control these illnesses and help you live a fuller life.
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