(Family Features) While you aim to live a full, happy life, achieving it starts with protecting your most valuable asset: your health. Though the pace of life and other external variables can hinder you from putting your health first, self-care should not be ignored. Proactively taking care of your physical and mental health is one of the best ways to ensure a longer, healthier life.
Take charge of your overall well-being and make your health a priority through preventative measures that focus on both your body and mind.
Practice relaxation techniques. Certain levels of stress in everyday life are normal, but high levels of stress over an extended period of time can take a toll on your physical and mental well-being, impacting your health and overall mood. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to managing stress, but finding an activity that promotes relaxation and allows you to free your mind is a good place to start. Activities to consider include yoga, meditation, journaling or reading.
Stay up-to-date on prescriptions. For many adults, prescription medication is a part of everyday life. Not only is it vital to remember to take your medication as prescribed each day, it’s also important to monitor your prescriptions and get refills in a timely manner so you don’t find yourself without a dose on any given day. If you’re beginning to find that refills are taking a toll on your wallet, look into discount programs in addition to prescription insurance, such as AARP Prescription Discounts provided by OptumRx, which let members save an average of 61% on approved prescriptions not covered by their current insurance.
Eat well. Even if you consistently maintain a healthy weight, it’s good to pair it with a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure your body is receiving an ample supply of vitamins and nutrients. Try balancing each meal by including moderately portioned foods from each food group. Don’t forget to keep tabs on your water consumption as staying hydrated has numerous health benefits for your body, including keeping your skin moisturized and aiding in proper digestion.
Remember annual check-ups. It may be tempting to skip out on a routine check-up if you’re feeling well, but regular appointments with your health care providers can ensure consistent health and even help catch potential concerns in the early stages before they become bigger issues. Regular check-ins with your primary care physicians can help keep a consistent tracker on your health, allowing them to better provide for you and your health care needs. Standard insurance sometimes doesn’t include dental or vision care, so read about programs designed for your specific needs like the AARP MyVision Care provided through EyeMed, which includes coverage for services like diabetic vision exams every six months and loss of sight benefits.
Don’t forget to treat yourself. A life well-lived deserves a bit of a reward now and again. Whether you need a bit of a pick-me-up or a “just because” incentive, add a touch of joy to your life by treating yourself to small things such as flowers or a special meal. You can make your money go further with various discounts and coupons for items like flowers, gifts and more.
Find more tips and resources for making your health a priority at AARP.org/benefits.