You need good health to enjoy life. Ailments can beset and blindside us; however, managing and maintaining good health largely depends on the choices we make every day. A health checklist is one of the tools you can use to start taking charge of your health. It helps you proactively identify your health goals and the steps needed to achieve them, the preventative measures to take, and suitable healthcare professionals you can consult with. Additionally, when you create your health checklist, you can track your progress by reviewing and updating it to prioritize the most critical aspects of your health. Here are some suggestions for how to create your health checklist.
1. Assess Where You Can Get Emergency Care
Since we live in a volatile world where in one minute you can be alright but the next entirely not, as you create your health checklist, include a facility with a walk in clinic that’s preferably operational for 24 hours. Choose one near where you live or work because these are the likeliest places where natural, technological, or human-caused emergencies may occur; so, for emergencies such as bleeding, extreme pain, and others, your first point must be easily accessible.
Get comprehensive medical coverage, private or public, if you can afford it. This will significantly lighten your load when accessing medical care, such as consulting specialists, accessing prescription medications, admittance, and aftercare.
2. Locate a Professional Who Helps Your Mental Health
Mental health is on a continuum; everyone moves up and down according to genetic makeup, upbringing, life circumstances, and daily stresses. At one end of the continuum, there are mental disorders like depression and anxiety, and on the other, there are states of positive mental health when you’re thriving, content, and fulfilled.
Mental health interventions aim to move you up the continuum so you can achieve your full potential, cope with normal stressors of life and work productively and fruitfully, build and maintain healthy relationships, be a productive member of your community, express emotions, and live a satisfying life. Mental disorders stem from severe emotions that interfere with the ability to function daily and persist over time. Untreated mental disorders can be chronic, further exacerbating one’s disability.
Create your health checklist to keep tabs on the type of mental health services you may require, such as evidence-based interventions. Do your homework to establish if you need a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, life coach, rehab worker, or other professionals. For peace of mind, ensure whoever you settle for is licensed. Activities that help you relax and feel good about yourself are crucial for your mental health. Take a nature walk, a dance class, visit med spas, cook a meal from scratch, or any other activity that brings you joy.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking causes various health issues. It’s a leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide. Quitting isn’t easy as cravings can be hard to manage, and the accompanying moodiness, drowsiness, tense feelings, nausea, headaches, cramps, and sometimes difficulty sleeping can be too much. However, you can learn to cope with these conditions or seek your doctor’s advice on dealing with negative withdrawal symptoms. The immediate benefits of quitting smoking within the first 20 minutes include a normal heart rate and blood pressure.
Quitting smoking improves your circulation, making physical activities much easier as your energy levels increase. Giving up smoking also lowers your stress, as nicotine withdrawal between cigarettes causes unnecessary stress, which smokers seek to relieve by temporarily smoking again. Quitting will greatly improve your sense of smell and taste; wine and dining will once more be an enjoyable experience. You will also see an improvement in your immune system, making it easier to fight infections. Your body will start repairing itself, and you’ll have decreased risk of having some lifestyle diseases.
There’s been hype about e-cigs being a way to quit traditional cigarettes. It’s considered a safer and better alternative to cigarettes. But, there have been concerns about their long-term health effects and possible addiction. Therefore, as you create your health checklist, smoking should be one of the habits you should consider kicking.
4. Seek Therapy for Anxiety
Anxiety is a common reaction towards life events, but it can be uncomfortable, making daily life difficult. If this happens to you, it’s gone beyond being a reaction; it’s a disorder you must deal with. Chronic anxiety can be debilitating. It can make one miss out on opportunities, often leading to avoidance, isolating you on a what-if island. At this point, getting help is critical; professionals such as psychologists and counselors can walk you through the treatment journey. As you create your health checklist, consider exploring different, sometimes unconventional, treatment options. The goal is to get your life back as close to normal as possible.
Consider anxiety hypnotherapy, as it claims to interrupt anxiety patterns at the subconscious level by rewiring and reconditioning the mind to change your responses to irrational symptoms. It makes you calm, rational, and more in control. Anxiety robs you of your dreams and freedom. It often makes you play small. You end up stressing about things that are about to happen or might happen, making it difficult to focus on where you are or who you’re with, affecting your life and relationships. Unchecked anxiety can also bring on physical ailments or alcohol and substance dependencies, making you vulnerable to suicidal thoughts. You don’t want a limited life; with treatment, you can feel great and step out to do what you want, armed with healthy coping skills and support.
5. Find Support to Ease Pain in Your Body
Most people have a bad habit of ignoring pain or self-medicating with over-the-counter painkillers whenever they experience body aches. If you’re one of those, make it your goal not to continue like that, as it can lower your quality of life, yet you can easily deal with this. Book an appointment with your local orthopedic doctor as you create your health checklists. Also, consider alternative chronic pain treatments that don’t seem to improve with conventional treatments.
Pain can directly result from your emotional and mental state, also known as psychosomatic symptoms. Get professional mental health care and track the progression of pain intensity. Guided exercise can also help with joint and muscle pains. Joining a gym or working with a competent trainer is highly useful.
6. Inquire About Oral Health
Your oral health is not just for aesthetic purposes. It has recently been linked with heart disease and pregnancy health-for instance, periodontitis, a gum infection that can damage the gum and your jawbone. Aside from tooth loss, it’s also a heart and lung disease risk factor. It’s common but fairly preventable through proper oral hygiene.
Your oral health goes beyond hygiene and includes healthy eating and supplement intake to strengthen your teeth and gums. Create your health checklist to keep track of your diet and supplementation. Be intentional about adopting healthy oral habits and, ultimately, your health.
Your health checklist should include safe and effective oral care products. Likewise, inquire about the right time, quantity, and method of using these products. If you have noticed symptoms of oral ill-health, such as cavities, loose and broken teeth, bleeding gums, or halitosis, arrange to see an orthodontist for treatment and regular checkups.
7. Determine What You May Need for Your Teeth
Consider your teeth’ priorities as you create your health checklist. Write down healthy habits to start incorporating into your daily routine. Have a scheduled time for brushing and flossing so you don’t forget. If you have cavities, visit a dentist to sort them out. If your teeth are crooked or crowded, consider getting braces for a beautiful, straighter, healthy bite. Clear aligners like Invisalign are a good alternative, too. They fix serious malocclusion and minor overbites and underbites. Consider veneers if you have gaps, fractures, poor shape, or contoured teeth.
8. Ask About Cavities
Taking charge of your oral health includes understanding what cavities are, what causes them, the best course of action if you have them, and if not, how to prevent them. Besides losing a great smile after tooth loss, cavities come with other complications, such as rapid bone loss, changes to chewing patterns that can bring discomfort, and defective speech.
If they work as they should, dental implants can significantly improve the quality of your life and health. As with other types of surgery, there are risks, but the benefits outweigh them. These implants restore cosmetic appearance, the ability to chew, preserve the health of the surrounding bone and gum, bring more stability to the adjacent teeth, keep the jawbone from shrinking due to bone loss, and improve the overall quality of your health.
9. Investigate Your Eye Health
The best way to early detection and prompt treatment for eye conditions is to get annual eye exams from an optometrist. Create your health checklist to help you take steps to keep your eyes healthy. You can wear sunglasses outside to block the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.
Don’t smoke, which increases your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration. Eat a diet with lots of leafy green veggies, which are rich in antioxidants, and plenty of fish that contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great at preventing certain eye conditions. Also, take regular eye vitamin supplementation.
Other indirect ways to care for your eyes and prevent vision loss are to watch your cholesterol levels and decrease your saturated fat intake. High amounts of these in your bloodstream contribute to diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, which contribute to retinal disease. Examples of this are diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blindness or hypertension retinopathy, which can cause damage to the eye, and cholesterol plaques that can cause a stroke in the eye, known as a Hollenhorst plaque.
Dispensing opticians are the go-to problem solvers. Besides recommending lenses for all eyesight problems, they understand what materials are appropriate for different environments. Choose a contact lens optician if you don’t want to wear glasses.
10. Consider Alternative Treatments
Allied health professionals, such as physical therapists, nurses, and doctors, practice standard care. Practice and medical products outside standard care are complementary and alternative. Complementary medicine is sometimes used with standard medical care, like acupuncture, to alleviate the side effects of cancer treatment.
Alternative treatments, however, are used instead of standard medical care. The National Institute of Health is tasked with bringing good science into practices outside mainstream medicine, like dietary supplements, meditation, yoga, chiropractic adjustments, Reiki, or therapeutic touch and massage. Most people are increasingly turning to these practices for pain alleviation.
Testing alternative therapies can be tricky, and uncertainty persists about how they work. As you create your health checklist, consider integrating alternative treatments with other cosmetic treatments like hair and face botox. Get reliable information and material that peers and scientific experts have reviewed.
Have a Positive Outlook Towards Life
No matter how careful one is, there are times when your health deteriorates. At such times, seeking medical attention is crucial. Nonetheless, learning to care for yourself and avoiding lifestyle habits that work against your health is essential. And if things get to the point where doctors are not overly optimistic about one’s recovery, maintaining a positive attitude towards life is critical. Your mental state is more crucial than the aches in your body. How the body feels doesn’t have to dictate your feelings about yourself and life. Cheer up; you’re more than any disease or debilitating condition.
While you can use online checklist templates, a proper checklist should be divided into sections based on your health goals and specific focus areas, such as nutrition, physical fitness, preventive screenings, mental health, and more. It should have columns for tasks, appointment dates, due dates, contacts, and notes.
Such a system will help you mark off completed tasks and update, adjust, and add others while assessing your progress. You’ll feel accomplished and motivated to care for your health. It’s a good idea to share your health checklist with a trusted friend, family member, or a health worker for support, accountability, and guidance. They will be able to keep you on the straight and narrow path throughout your health journey. Ultimately, your mental health and attitude towards life tip the balance between living a full life and one full of pity and negativity. Choose to be happy no matter the circumstances by creating a health checklist.