When our physical selves malfunction, keeping our spiritual, emotional and mental health in check can help. We discussed these areas of fitness in the summer issue Community.
Below, we’ve expanded on that short list, including resources that explain why or how certain activities could benefit you.
- Talk to a psychologist, therapist or counselor.
Professionals help people with chronic illness emotionally by teaching healthy coping skills.
- Practice introspection such as writing, self-help resources or meditation.
- Watch a nature documentary.
Most know being in nature is a healthy practice, but a recent study showed even just viewing nature documentaries has a positive impact.
- Check in with a friend.
One study showed lack of social connection is worse for health than high blood pressure and obesity—and leaves you more susceptible to anxiety and depression.
- Practice gratitude.
- Follow a positive blog or vlog.
- People who practice lifelong learning that match their interests, strengths or needs show more emotional resilience—including in the face of chronic illness. Some ways to learn:
- Go out with friends.
- BLOG: 10 ideas for a quick mental health boost
- Establish a healthy morning routine.
Social psychologist Dan Ariely says the first two hours of the day are the most productive. By establishing a routine, you can be sure not to let it go to waste. Try these ideas: Morning routine with chronic illness.
- Make or listen to music.
- Do restorative yoga.
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- Attend a religious service.
For people that have positive religious practices, spirituality can be a great source of support and wellbeing.
- Check in with your belief system or have an in-depth conversation with a friend with different beliefs. Understanding your belief system might make mentally or emotionally challenging decisions easier.
- Practice radical acceptance in situations where you have little power to make useful change.
- Read a book you’ve heard could change your life. It might just turn out to be true!
And don’t forget to check out the fitness-themed issue of Community for more on seeking holistic health and chronic illness. Some highlights: