COVID-19 one year later: 7 steps to make health a priority

April 14, 2021 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

It’s been over a year since the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic. Since then, you have taken part in handwashing, mask wearing and social distancing. You have sacrificed important life events and time with family and friends for the health and safety of others.

Our struggles and challenges this year remind us about the importance of health — because when it starts to fail, so does everything else around us.

It’s time to refocus on personal health.

Keep your health in check and follow these seven steps to make your health a priority:

  1. Schedule your routine doctor visit. Haven’t visited your doctor for a while? Don’t put off your appointment any longer. Routine physical exams are recommended yearly. Your doctor can make sure your health is on the right track by determining risk factors for diseases and recommending preventive screenings to find health issues before they become a problem. Find a doctor and schedule online.
  2. Talk to your doctor about the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the U.S. have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19. People who have been fully vaccinated are even able to start doing things they stopped doing because of the pandemic. Talk to your doctor about the benefits of the vaccine and get your questions answered. Learn more about the vaccine.
  3. Get moving. You may still feel uncomfortable being around people at your local gym. There are plenty of ways you can get fit outdoors. Exercise online with others, grab your bike or hit the walking path near your home. Do you use a fitness tracker? Make it fun by challenging a family member or friend to a step competition and see who can move the most.
  4. Plan healthy meals in advance. It’s easy to order takeout by pressing a button on your phone or rolling through the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant. But eating on the go can lead to eating unhealthy. Take a few minutes once a week to plan your meals. While you are prepping nutritious meals, plan to drink more water during the day and kick your soda habit.
  5. Prioritize sleep. Lack of sleep can affect your health in more ways than one. Mood changes, lack of focus and even reduced immune function are all disadvantages of not catching enough shut eye. Put your electronic devices away, turn off your favorite Netflix show and clear your mind before going to bed. A full eight hours of sleep can help you feel more rested and ready to conquer the next day.
  6. Practice self-love by meditating regularly. Studies have shown meditation can increase self-awareness, help you manage stress and reduce negative emotions. Don’t know where to start? Try Yoga. Yoga encourages relaxation and reduces stress. You can also try these mindfulness tools for everyday life.
  7. Guard your mental health. There is no guidebook for how to handle a pandemic. Now more than ever, people are struggling with depression and anxiety. Untreated, these conditions can have serious consequences and increase your risk for numerous health conditions. Seek behavioral health help when you need it.

There have been a lot of sacrifices and adjustments you’ve had to make over the past year. As the world continues to adapt, refocus on your personal health so you can be the best version of yourself.

Move your health forward. Schedule an appointment with a primary care physician today.

Keep track of your health from anywhere, 24/7. Download the MyEEHealthTM mobile app.

At Edward-Elmhurst Health, your safety and well-being continues to remain our top priority. When you visit us, you will find consistent safety measures in place. Learn more about our Safety Commitment.

For updates on our planning and response efforts as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19, please check EEHealth.org/coronavirus.

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