Winter Solstice

Daily Archives

August 29, 2022
  • How to Advocate for Your Health

    By Dylan Foster

    Advocating for one’s health can be a complex task even for those in the best of health. Data show that well over half of American adults have at least one chronic medical condition, which can make health management even more difficult. The following are several ways that you can become a stronger champion for your health.

    Live a Healthy Lifestyle
    A healthy lifestyle is the foundation for good physical and mental health. Make sure to practice healthy eating basics. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and make sure to get enough protein, either from plant or animal sources. Minimize processed sugar and drink plenty of water.

    Fitness basics are just as important to your overall well-being. Incorporate cardio, strength and flexibility exercises into your weekly routine. If you have not been working out regularly, start out slowly to avoid injury. Even busy individuals can increase their physical activity by taking the stairs, going for short walks during breaks, or performing a quick exercise routine. Incorporate other forms of self-care into your daily routine, including sleep,
    recreation and relaxation.

    Choose the Right Professionals
    Even the healthiest individuals need at least one medical professional to help them stay well. A primary care physician is an invaluable asset no matter your health status. A primary care doctor performs a variety of tasks, including:
    • Routine physicals
    • Treatment for minor illnesses
    • Coordination of specialist care

    It is important to receive regular dental and eye exams as well. If you have other health concerns, you will likely need to add other specialists to your care team. No matter what type of doctor you are looking for, it is important that you feel comfortable addressing your concerns. Ask friends and family for recommendations and read online reviews.

    If you are an older individual in need of round-the-clock care, a senior living facility may be beneficial. Read reviews and reports online. Ask a loved one to join you when you visit the facility. Research costs and speak with your insurer to determine affordability.

    Speak Up
    Unfortunately, talking to doctors can be difficult. Sometimes, these professionals don’t speak in understandable language or rush to get to the next patient. However, asking questions and voicing concerns is the only way to get the care you deserve. Make a detailed list of questions and concerns before your visit so that you have something to reference while in the office. Consider asking a loved one to join you. They can ask questions you may not have thought of and provide moral support. If your provider has a patient portal, get the registration information from the front desk staff. You can use the portal to send messages to the doctor after the visit if necessary.

    Maintain Your Own Medical Records
    Your personal health record is an important tool when advocating for your health. Write out your medical history, including surgeries and allergies. Ask for medical records from past providers. Medical record requests can often be made electronically, but don’t get discouraged if you have to call or visit in person. If you have medical images in your health record, use an online tool to quickly combine videos and images. Select the images you’d like to share and then download them to your device.

    The human body is complex, and so is the medical system. As a result, managing one’s health can be a daunting task. Advocating for your health, in medical settings and through your daily decisions, is key to overall well-being.

    If you’re facing mental health challenges, the therapists at Winter Solstice Group can help you overcome obstacles. Schedule an appointment.