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The Importance of Whole-Person Care

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While you probably understand the need to stay on top of preventive health visits, screenings and vaccinations to maintain your physical well-being, it’s easy to overlook your mental and spiritual needs when life gets busy — even though they’re of equal importance to your whole health.

While we were each designed with own unique set of needs, there’s much we still have in common. CREATION Life principles can help us all by informing our lifestyle choices and guiding our health and wellness decisions.

Learn to take care of all aspects of your own health, so you can take care of the people in your life who count on you.

Physical Self-Care

Take steps to help stay fit and healthy, so you’ll have the energy to face your personal and professional commitments. Here are some ways to practice physical self-care:

  • Don’t skip work breaks
  • Eat nutritious, balanced meals
  • Get enough sleep
  • Schedule annual checkups
  • Spend time outdoors
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stay up-to-date on recommended screenings and vaccinations
  • Stick to an exercise routine
  • Use your sick days

Mental Self-Care

Taking time for yourself to rest and do the things you enjoy can help you stay clear-headed and ready to handle anything that comes your way in day-to-day life — and doesn’t always mean a big day at the spa. Here are some simple ways to rest and refresh your mind.

Enjoy a Favorite Hobby

Whether you like riding your bike, sewing or doing puzzles, carve a few minutes out of your day, every day, to enjoy your favorite activity.

Journal Your Thoughts

There’s something about writing things down that either helps you let go of them or makes them stick. If you put your frustrations into words, you feel better and can often move past the issue. When you’re trying to make a positive change, seeing it on paper can help you feel fully committed.

Keep Your Work Hours Steady

While you can’t always control your work schedule, anything you can do to ensure consistent hours will work to your mental health advantage. Schedules that fluctuate can be overwhelming to track and difficult for planning activities with family and friends.

Spend Time With Loved Ones

Though our connection to loved ones tops almost everything else in terms of what makes us truly happy, it also tends to be the first thing we overlook when life gets chaotic. Make quality time with your family and friends a priority.

Use Your Vacation Leave

You want your employer to know you’re very much invested in their success. So even though you need a break, you volunteer to stay. While this seems like the right move in the short run, it can be detrimental to your whole health. Vacation time has an important purpose. Respect your need for a break.

Emotional Self-Care

Finding healthy outlets that allow you to safely and effectively experience your natural range of emotions is critical to your whole health.

Books, Movies or Music

Engaging in a story — through a good read, critically acclaimed movie or powerful song — allows you to unleash feelings you’ve been bottling up. They help you:

  • Cry or laugh when you need it
  • Feel encouraged
  • Let go of what's troubling you
  • Spread joy
  • Take a mental break

Nurture Supportive Friendships

Establishing and maintaining supportive relationships is critical to whole-person care. And ensuring you have diversity in those relationships helps you maintain a healthy, open-minded perspective on life.

God plants people in our lives with intention — sometimes for a reason, sometimes for a season, or if we’re lucky, a few special ones for a lifetime. Try to zero in on the purpose each friendship serves, and be sure that each is a healthy and supportive one. There’s nothing quite like talking over life’s most confusing moments and speaking honestly with caring friends.

Here are some tips for nurturing your relationships:

  • Attend loved ones' special events
  • Give grace and truly forgive
  • Listen with an understanding and open heart
  • Make time for family and friends, even when life is busy
  • Prioritize close relationships in your life

Support or Social Groups

Talking with others who have faced similar circumstances is a great way to come to terms with your feelings. Likeminded people can provide you with a fresh perspective and good advice.

Spiritual Self-Care

Connecting with your spirituality can enable you to have a sense of perspective beyond the day-to-day. Depending on your personal preferences, spiritual self-care may look like:

  • Attending religious services
  • Connecting with nature
  • Engaging in personal reflection
  • Speaking candidly with a trusted friend or therapist

Assess Your Whole-Person Health

As the old adage goes, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Taking care of yourself as a priority enables you to provide love, support and care to all those who depend on you. Take time to work on your whole health, and teach those closest to you to do the same. Whole-person care starts with Primary Care, and according to AdventHealth Primary Care provider Dr. Jubeth Burlison, "My hope is that through open conversations with my patients I can empower them to be the drivers of their health".

Click here to learn more about how we work to provide whole-person care.

This material is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment and/or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

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