5 Signs you need to reprioritize your health

Primary care

It’s easy to tell when you need to take action for your health when you’re not feeling well. There are also ways to take action before you have health consequences. Prioritizing your health and well-being is important, but it's also easy to overlook your health needs or forget about them. Here are some signs that you may need to reprioritize your health.

1. You’re stressed 24/7

Stress is a part of life. Freelancers and self-employed people are more familiar with this than probably anyone. That said, healthy people have positive outlets for stress that allow them to blow off steam and return to homeostasis. If you don’t have an outlet for stress, internal bad feelings can begin to boil up inside, leading to negative mental and physical health outcomes.

If you don’t have an outlet for stress (think: yoga, basketball, improv, gardening, reading, etc.), you may want to consider finding something to balance out stressors you experience on a day-to-day basis. There are no hard and fast rules for finding an outlet. The most important thing is to find something that takes your mind off of the tough stuff and brings a soothing feeling to your day.

2. Exercise is not on your radar

Exercise looks different for everyone. Some people love to lift heavy things at the gym, others join running clubs, and still others participate in group sports. Fitness is unique to each individual, who has the best understanding about the type of movement their body needs. The Physical Activity Guidelines is a good place to start when determining how and when to exercise. The guidelines recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination each week.

That offers a lot of leeway for working exercise into your weekly routine. Even walking can be a great way to move around and get away from the desk from time to time. While you know what will work best for your body, the important thing is to get moving. If exercise and fitness are not on your radar at all, it may be time to recalibrate this important health consideration.

3. You lack healthy routines

We all get busy and off our routines sometimes, but if you didn’t have healthy routines to start with — or if you never got back into the swing of them — the ensuing chaos can wreak havoc on your health.

Whether it’s creating and adhering to a particular fitness routine, shopping for healthy groceries, cooking healthy meals, or making time for self-care, healthy routines take time to develop. Even the best intentions can get sidetracked by demanding schedules and busy days. While we may not be able to adhere to the perfect fitness program or meal planning 24/7/365, if we are not even making the effort, it may be time to relook at whether we’re prioritizing healthy living.

If you have never had healthy routines, now is a good time to start. Routines may start small and grow into a way of living over time. What begins as a 10 minute walk each day could end up as training for a 5k. What starts as making sure there are three health meals ready for Monday could turn into meal prepping for the entire week. Time and dedication toward healthy living can add up to long-term health.

4. You’re not challenging yourself

It might not sound like a health issue, but challenging yourself is an important way to keep your mind sharp and your mood positive. Mental health is just as important as physical health and also relies on healthy routines that allow us to get outside of our comfort zones.

If you’re in need of a reboot in this area, try seeking out new experiences where you have the chance to learn something new. Take a cooking class, enroll in a class on a topic that interests you, join a reading group. Even traveling to new places can provide excitement and new experiences that can rejuvenate your mind.

5. You’re not acting as your own advocate

If you are afraid to speak up for the sake of your health, this is a major sign you need to reprioritize your health. This translates many different ways. It may mean you know the signs and symptoms of illness, exhaustion and stress and are not responding to those signals in the right way. It could also mean avoiding the doctor or not asking questions when you do visit your doctor. It could mean not seeking a second or even third opinion, if needed. Acting as an advocate for yourself is an important step in maintaining your health. If you are lacking in this area, it could be a good time to make an appointment to visit your doctor to kickstart the focus on your health.

Doctor visits are also important to keep tabs on your health baseline. Visiting your doctor regularly keeps you up-to-speed on important metrics like your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and body mass index. It can also help you stay in tune with your body, allowing you to connect metrics with how you feel. This makes it easier to pinpoint when something feels off or when you may need to seek help for a medical issue.

Decent can help you make health a priority

Decent designs health plans geared towards freelancers and other self-employed people looking for affordable, comprehensive health care. Our plans are all focused around Direct Primary Care (DPC), which places emphasis on the doctor-patient relationship. In fact, all of our plans offer free primary care, so you can see your doctor whenever you want, as often as you want, for free.

If you’re self-employed and looking for a solid way to reprioritize your health in 2020, take a look at our plans. We have open enrollment 365 days a year, so you can switch to one of our plans at any time. Get your free quote today.

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