For the last several weeks I have been talking about spring cleaning multiple areas of your life on an annual basis. Cleaning your home and garden are of course important, but what’s more important than your health? Not much.
So why do we so often (myself included) forget to take proper care of ourselves and ignore our ailments? We’re busy, sure, but we’ve got to make ourselves a priority. And part of this means keeping on top of our health and well being.
This next step in the “Spring Clean Your Life” series will address how to do just that. Follow these guidelines to jump start your health regimen.
Keep a wellness journal
A wellness journal is a great way to track what your health, diet, sleep, and fitness routine is like at the moment, analyze any bad habits you need to work on, and to note your continuous improvement. I use Moleskine’s version.
Address your symptoms
Nagging foot pain, persistent headache, strangely shaped mole? Whatever it is, get it checked already! We’re not doing ourselves any good by ignoring our bodies.
Make sure your doctor gets all the information he or she needs to properly diagnose you by preparing before your visit. I use this awesome notepad from Knock Knock to help me remember the details of the appointment, write down my symptoms, etc. It’s awesome.
Schedule your annual appointments
Now is the perfect time to make appointments with your OBGYN, dermatologist, and other specialists you normally see on an annual basis.
If you’re not exactly sure which appointments you should go to when, the Oprah website has a great guide to what appointments you should schedule in your 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. Take a look.
Keep track of your appointments with this free medical appointment log from withpurpose.com.
Take your pills
If you’re like me, remembering to take your vitamins/medication on a consistent basis can be an arduous task. I find it almost impossible to remember to take mine on schedule, since I take different ones at different times of the day, but this awesome pill case that I keep in my purse helps me. Inside the pouch is a plastic pill box that is split into eight compartments so you can easily separate your dosages.
If you need help managing multiple prescriptions, try a service like Intelecare’s MyRefill Rx app, which can be downloaded on your iPhone or iPad, and helps you to securely manage and order your medication.
Clean up your medicine cabinet
Make sure your medicine cabinet has all of the essentials, and be sure to get rid of any expired stuff.
Some helpful links:
- Follow the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) guidelines to properly dispose of medication.
- Real Simple has a great list of items you should keep stocked at all times here.
- Storing your medicine in the bathroom is actually the worst place you can keep it because of the heat and humidity. Check out the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s suggestions for safe storage here.
Toss old makeup
Just like food and medication, makeup has a finite shelf life and can also be a veritable cess pool for bacteria. Use these timelines as a general rule of thumb.
You can also use these awesome stickers from Beauty Alert that indicate the shelf life of the product and a space to write down the date of first use. Brilliant!
And perhaps most important, get yourself moving. We all need to integrate cardio and strength training into our daily routines to stay in the best shape possible. Do whatever makes you happy and keeps you from getting bored, whether it’s swimming, hiking, Zumba classes at your local Y, elliptical, wall climbing, jump roping…the sky is the limit, just keep yourself active! I like this helpful resource from FitWatch, which details how often you should exercise, gives tips for planning and scheduling your workouts, and more.
Keep yourself moving at work too – if you have an office job, get up from your desk every half hour or so and give your eyes a break from the computer screen. Get an ergonomic chair and install a computer program like WorkPause to reminder you to take a breather.
Implement these steps into your daily routine and your health will thank you. Good luck and have a great weekend!
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