Developed in Collaboration with FBH Providers and the Consumer and Family Advisory Board
1. Educate yourself about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Your physical and mental health impact each other in many ways. Attend to both for overall wellness. Check out our resource list that provides links to educational information that will help you make positive choices for a healthier lifestyle, including online support and interactive tools. Go to http://www.fbhcolorado.org/quicklinks.php?id=91 .
2. Make sure you have a Primary Care Physician (PCP). Attend to your physical health by making appointments with your PCP based on a schedule they recommend based on your age and overall health. Bringing a friend or family member along can give support and help you remember information from your PCP. Make sure your PCP and mental health provider are aware of all medications, vitamins and supplements you are taking. Give all providers signed Releases of Information so they may collaborate to coordinate your care. If you do not have a PCP, talk with your mental health provider for assistance.
3. Exercise regularly. Choose activities that are fun for you. Start slow and gradually work up towards a regular exercise routine. Work up to exercising at least 3 times a week for between 30 and 60 minutes. Adding activities into your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, is a great way to start! If you are overweight, have a chronic health condition, or have not exercised for a long time, talk with your PCP before beginning an exercise program.
4. Eat a balanced and healthy diet. A healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy products. Limit foods high in fat, sugar, and salt. Have fun creating new healthy recipes!
5. Avoid tobacco use. Tell your PCP or mental health provider if you are interested in resources to help you quit smoking. Quit smoking hotlines provide helpful 24-hour support and resources. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) to be connected to a quitline in your area.
6. Limit alcohol use. If you use alcohol, drink in moderation. Alcohol can increase the side effects of many medications. It is best to avoid alcohol altogether if taking medications. If you notice that your alcohol use is putting you in risky or dangerous situations, impacting your work or relationships, or if you notice that you need to consume increasingly more alcohol to get a “buzz,” this may indicate unhealthy use of alcohol. Talk to a mental health provider if you are concerned about your alcohol use.
7. Ask for support. Family, friends, co-workers, and church/religious groups can be a great support when making changes towards a healthier lifestyle. People you know may want to make health changes as well, and working together can keep you motivated.
8. Ask for resources. Your mental health provider and PCP have resources that will help you achieve your health goals, and are happy to provide support to you while making these lifestyle changes. Check out your local wellness groups, community resources, the wellness resource list, and internet resources.
9. Set personal goals. Your goals may be different from someone else depending on your overall health, activity level, available time and resources. Set goals that work for you, while challenging yourself to be the healthiest.
10. Stay optimistic. It sometimes takes awhile to see the results of your hard work. Be patient. Every choice you make towards eating healthier, increasing your physical activity, and limiting alcohol and tobacco use is a step towards a healthier, happier life.