It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of living: Taking children to sporting events, making sure they’re doing well in school, caring for an aging parent, and meeting the demands of community involvement.
Those daily demands can add up to a high level of stress and discounting the health and wellbeing of the most important person in this equation: You.
Horizon Health has launched a yearlong series called Horizon Cares, focusing on the ways our providers care for their patients and communities. Our patients are the most important part of the Horizon family. You’re our friends, neighbors and you keep our communities going.
That’s a big job. Horizon provider Traci Holmquist, EdD, MS, APRN, CNP, PMHNP-BC, tells her patients they need to take care of themselves first.
“We get so caught up in making sure that the needs of our children are met, that our parents’ needs are met that we forget to take care of ourselves,” she said. “If we don’t take care of ourselves first, we’re not doing anybody else any good.”
One of the best ways to take care of yourself is to learn to say no to things that will cause you to expend more energy than you currently have.
“We cannot say yes to everything,” Holmquist said. “We can’t do everything anyone asks. It’s Ok to say no. I think it’s important to prioritize our mental health. If we don’t take care of our mind, then our body is also going to fail.”
Getting good quality sleep has a huge impact on overall health, Holmquist said. Adults ages 18 to 60 need seven or more hours of sleep per night. If you’re tired when you wake up repeatedly at night or are having symptoms of a sleep disorder, like sleeping or gasping, your sleep quality probably needs improvement.
“We do not realize the benefit adequate sleep has, “Holmquist said. “That is huge in our overall health.”
Ways to get a better night’s sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include:
- Going to bed at the same time each night.
- Sleeping in a cool, dark, relaxing environment.
- Removing electronic devices, like your phone, from the bedroom.
- Avoiding large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
- Not using tobacco.
- Exercising during the day.