Taking care of your health does not end at eating right and exercising! Eating right and exercising definitely plays a role in staying healthy and you definitely want to do that to stay healthy but it doesn’t end there and as a matter of fact, many disabled people cannot exercise. They are still perfectly healthy human beings they just have to do different things to take care of there health. Taking care of your health doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive and as a matter of fact, it can be quite simple and inexpensive if you do your research and know where your priorities are. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be stressful but for some people, it is so I am going to share with you a few simple things I do to stay healthy that won’t put a hole in your wallet.

Drink ice water right after waking–  If you are trying to cut down on your caffeine consumption one of the things you may worry about and are trying to avoid is caffeine headache. No one likes them and knowing that you could get them as a result of quitting drinking caffeine won’t motivate anyone to want to do it. Quitting cold turkey might seem like it’s a better option but it may, in fact, be a worse one because you will get migraines like you have never had before. So, what do you do and how do you avoid these headaches? The good news is you can quit drinking caffeine and avoid the caffeine headaches. All you have to do is drink a sixteen-ounce of ice water when you wake up and it will have the same effect as drinking a cup of coffee. What this does is it shocks your body so it thinks you dranks a cup of coffee but really you didn’t but your body just doesn’t know the difference. You can’t wait too long after waking to try this because the longer you wait the more alert you will become and this method won’t work.

Drink black coffee If you drink multiple cups of coffee or tea a day and add either creamer or sugar to it you may not realize how many extra calories you are consuming in a day. A couple of years ago I decided I didn’t want to give up coffee but I wanted to take out any unnecessary calories out of my diet so I decided I was going to stop adding creamer to my coffee. That gave me more room to have more treats like cookies or pie on special occasions because I wasn’t consuming a bunch of extra calories. I do feel much better since giving it up because I don’t get sugar crashed like I was when I was adding it to my coffee.

Exercise when I can– Chronic pain makes exercise difficult but that doesn’t mean I avoid or that you should if you have chronic pain. For some disabled people, exercise is not an option because it’s physically impossible but for those of you who can do just a little bit of exercise and your doctor has given the approval to do so it can really benefit your health. When you have chronic pain exercise can be difficult because sometimes it triggers pain but even if it’s only for five minutes that little bit of physical activity can help ease your symptoms because you will be getting stronger making it so you will have more strength and endurance to do more things. Maybe you won’t have less pain the moment you are exercising but it can help in the long run if you are consistent with it. I can’t do as much exercise as I used and some days I can’t do it at all and that is okay I do what I know I can and as long as I know I am giving it my best that is all I can really do.

Watch my sugar!–  I don’t always make the best nutrition choices but I do my best to watch my sugar! Sugar is like a drug it is so easy to get addicted to and eat way more than you should and it is in pretty much everything. Always do your research on the foods you are eating and be mindful that even though something says it’s organic doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

Listen to my cravings-  Dieting has its place and has helped a lot of people but for me personally, it feels very restrictive and unfulfilling and has never been an option for me. I  can never stick to a diet mainly because I feel like I am labeling foods good and bad and for me, it feels negative and how I got out of food jail and if I started doing it again I would risk going back to my old habits. Dieting is even less of an option when you have chronic pain. You have craving nearly every day that you can either choose to fight or indulge in. For the longest time, I would try to fight my craving but then I would get more and more and realized I can’t fight them all. I gave up on trying to fight my craving but instead feed them and am much happier.  A little bowl of ice cream in moderation every now and then won’t kill you.

Don’t eat when I’m depressed- When you’re depressed typically your not paying attention to how many calories you are consuming but are just eating away all your problems to make yourself feel better. This may comfort you at that moment but then after that depressive episode has passed you are going to say to yourself”oh my goodness I can’t believe I consumed that many calories in one sitting.” Depressive episodes happen to most disabled people at some point but the answer is not to eat away all your feelings and all that will do is make you gain weight and struggle with self-confidence. If you find yourself getting depressed instead of eating find an activity that can distract like crafts, calling a friend, or taking a bath but what you do stay out of the kitchen to eliminate those temptations!

Make regular doctors’ appointments-Going to the doctor on a regular basis can be expensive and is not always covered by insurance so it may not always be an option but if it is making your yearly appointments is super importantIf you have a very strong immune system and only get sick once every couple of years like I do it can be tempting to never schedule your yearly doctor’s appointments because you don’t get sick and why would you need to? I am not one to tell you to go to the doctor every three months if there is no reason for if it but I do think that if you are able that you should at least go have a physical at least once a year even if you are not sick to make sure you are as healthy as you think and there is no cause for concerns. Sometimes you may develop a condition that is quite serious that will have no symptoms and the only way you know about and have a chance of getting it treated is if you have your physical. If you wait too long to have some things treated sometimes there isn’t much doctors can do. Do what you can and take preventative measures!

Prioritize your mental health-  Social media makes it so easy to communicate with hundreds of thousands of people without leaving your house! You don’t even have to go anywhere anymore to have a conversation with someone and you can even to grocery shopping in the comfort of your own home. Social media is great if you need some support because there is so much of it but at the same time, it is just as easy as it is to find a supportive person on social media as it is to find a bully. People are always comparing themselves and when they see that your follower count is larger they will do whatever it takes to bring you down hoping you will react. This is just the world we live in and as much as we try to not let it get to us sometimes it does. Your mental health should be as much of a priority as your physical health and if it’s not this kind of negativity could cause some serious depression. If your mental health is suffering take time for you by taking a social media break, get a massage, or if you are really struggling talk to a therapist. There is nothing wrong with therapy because all need help from time to time.

Eating right and exercising is important and is something you want to make sure you prioritize to keep healthy but it is not all you need to do. Exercising is not always an option but for some disabled people, it is physically impossible because of their disability. A person who is in great health has good physical and mental health and doesn’t put either one of those things on the back burner. Most people will let their mental health lack but it is just as important as your physical health so you really should be treating as much of an importance as you do your physical health. Taking care of your health doesn’t have to be expensive, take a lot of time or be complicated but you do need to know where your priorities are so you can adjust your life to them. You would be surprised at how easy it is to make a simple healthy lifestyle change that will change your life and won’t put a hole in your wallet. What healthy lifestyle changes have you made?