Monday, May 11, 2015

Four Healthy Changes You Can Make Today

By Tracy Carson, Alpha Delta Pi

It doesn’t take much effort these days to find inspiration to be your better self in any area of life. From #Whole30 and #YogaAnywhere to tips and techniques at our fingertips, information about getting healthy is all around! At first glance, this is fabulous; after all, we are living longer and we want those years to be the best they can be. But it can also be overwhelming. Where do we start a journey to health? How do we continue the one we are on? Or, in some cases, how do we change it altogether?

National Women’s Health Week is a great kick-start toward a journey to the best version of you. Regardless of where life finds you, read on to discover four tips for healthy behaviors you can start today!
  1. When driving, put your phone away. Texting or any other distraction is a massive danger to your health, as well as the safety of others. When you get in the car, put your phone in your bag in the backseat, so you aren’t tempted to use it. Reading a text or updating your status is not worth your health and, potentially, your life.

  2. Food is fuel for your body and should never be used as punishment. Skipping meals and suppressing your hunger with diet soda, caffeine or gum are not healthy habits, even if they mean fitting into that swimsuit for beach week. If you are afraid of making a poor choice like fast food, then a few minutes the night before is all it takes to plan a healthy meal for the next day. If you crave a diet soda in the afternoon to get you through the day, then why not replace that with sparkling water? It’s just as refreshing with so many more benefits!

  3. Celebrating with friends should always be done responsibly and with intention. You shouldn't drink unless you are 21 because it's illegal, but beyond that, always have a designated driver, surround yourself with friends who will help you if you have too much to drink and don't use drinking to self-medicate. Alcohol should never be used as a tool to accomplish something else.

  4. And speaking of responsibility, let’s not neglect mental health. It is just as important as your physical health. As you take control of your health, know that stress is not the same as anxiety, and recognize when to get help if you are having more bad days than good. Unfortunately, even in 2015 there is a stigma to seeking assistance for mental wellness. Let’s say, “No!” to the stigma and “YES!” to long-term health. You are healthier when you are able to ask for help than when you think you can help yourself on your own.
These tips are simple and only scratch the surface, but our individual journeys to health begin with simple steps we can start today. I hope these tangible ideas will guide you toward a lifetime of healthy behaviors! 

About Tracy Carson
Tracy Carson is a professional counselor with a specialty in the treatment of young women's issues, specifically identity, self-esteem, anxiety and eating disorders. Tracy counts it a privilege to accompany individuals as they courageously battle through the hurts and hang-ups of life. When not practicing counseling, she has a great passion for speaking to women, motivating them and encouraging them to know their stories and themselves better. She has been a featured speaker in the Leadership Development Program at Arizona State University, for numerous MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups and frequently for Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, both nationally and regionally. She has been married for 12 years to her own Prince Charming and delights in her three children.