There are a whole lot of sayings and anecdotes around health. They’re usually irked, cliche, repetitive stories with the same endings and the same lessons. As much as these may bounce around and echo between friends and loved ones around us, there is a lot of truth in them. One such saying is “health is wealth.” Upon hearing it, one tends to relegate health as a very basic state of being, making it seem far off and irrelevant to how much wealth we can amass.
But therein lies the problem: health isn’t a basic state at all. Health is something we actively have to work at. Health is a reflection of genes, choices, and setting, all mingling together. Genes we have no say on. But choices? That’s 100% in our realm. If you want to start preparing today to make the right health choices, here are the base requirements to build on so that you can get on the right track.
Free of Substances
When it comes to health, there are a ton of things that can set us back. One issue that has affected and continues to affect millions of Americans is substance abuse. Whatever the reasons may be, it is nobody’s place to cast judgment. In the end, what matters is that one seeks help. When talking to people who have recovered, the initial deterrent is always financial. Treatment may seem outside of someone’s reach, and other means may not be feasible. Here in the U.S., we have Medicaid to help out with some of these needs. There are sites where you can find out if Medicaid covers rehab and where you can go to seek treatment. Expanding health initiatives for both urban and suburban areas alike makes it easier to seek aid, receive treatment, and move on to the next chapter.
Insurance in the United States is an absolute requirement. Under the law, we have to have some sort of means to help us with whatever medical bills come our way. This may encompass sudden illness, accidents, and even help with substance abuse. Finding insurance that suits you may be a bit difficult. Most people get insurance through their employers. Depending on your base income, you could be eligible for programs and grants relating to health. If not, and you have been without insurance, there may be a penalty. Even then, a lot of people choose to take the penalty and seek their own help from private healthcare professionals. The important part is that you find a means to access, with minimal issues, healthcare services when necessary.
Goals and Aspirations
People often start with goals when they talk about a recovery and health plan, and for a good reason. Goals keep us accountable—another term we often hear over, and over again. But it’s true. The problem isn’t keeping goals. It’s what the goals are. If someone asks us what our goals are when we’re recovering from some pretty heavy stuff, they’re most likely going to be hit with apathy. That or we’ll tell them what they want to hear.
Real goals are things that you want to do. It can be anything. It can be hand gliding in Peru. It can be starting your own business. It can be anything under the sun that’s legal and keeps you healthy. We don’t even have to tell anybody. It can be our little secret with ourselves. The important part is that we put it at the forefront of our mind in everything we do. We’ll find ourselves working toward it and, eventually, reaching it.
Everyone needs a crisis plan. If you’re a diabetic, you need a way to get insulin or to a hospital. If you’re an avid hiker, you need the means to communicate with people back home in case you fall in a ravine. If you’re trying to keep tabs on your mental health, you need a support group of people that know and understand you. They will be the ones to keep you grounded and anchored in case anything happens. The beautiful thing about a crisis plan is that you can anticipate in a healthy way. You’re not frantically trying to find help in a situation. You can calmly refer to the plan you’ve worked out—preferably with a close friend or professional, and follow the steps.
Having a health plan is the best thing you can do for yourself. Today we’re inundated with so many external stimuli. Everything is bigger, meaner, louder, and stronger. We find ourselves emulating it a lot. Sometimes, we have to slow down, map it out, and put our health first. Things will get better, step by step.