How to Stay Mentally and Physically Well — and Give Your Health Insurance a Boost at the Same Time

There are so many things to take care of in one day, it can be easy to forget that your body should be at the top of the list. In fact, taking care of your physical and mental health is going to make everything else on your to-do list easier in the long run.

One of those things is health insurance. If you’re getting enough rest, physical activity, and even taking time to breathe, your health is going to be better and those premiums are going to be lower.

Just take physical activity. People who exercise use fewer sick days, improve their mental health, and help contribute to spending less money on health care (the Centers for Disease Control estimates that a lack of physical activity leads to $117 billion in annual health care costs!).

And it’s not just your own premiums that benefit. Employers found they were spending less on health care costs as a company when their employees’ well-being (physical, emotional, mental) was better.

Here are some ways we can help build a culture of taking care of ourselves so that all those other things in our lives become easier, too.

  • Get sleep. You may think you don’t have enough time for sleep, but in reality, you don’t have enough time to not sleep. Sleep impacts everything, from our ability to focus and perform well at our jobs to maintaining healthy relationships with others to supporting the health of our immune systems. Take care of yourself by scheduling 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

  • Make time for friends. Schedule regular time to catch up with your friends; your heart will thank you. No, not just your metaphorical heart that longs for connection. Your actual, physical, beating heart. Loneliness or social isolation can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. It can impact our sleep and mental health, too. Even during a pandemic when we have to keep our physical distance, prioritize checking in with your family and friends in safe ways, whether that’s a video call or making time to play board games online.

  • Breathe deep, give thanks. Whether there’s a global pandemic raging outside our doors or not, we all have a lot of stress we carry around each day. Find 10 minutes during the day — whether that’s first thing when you get up or right before sleep — to find a quiet space and focus on your breathing (check out one of the many free guided meditation apps for help). Practice gratitude by brainstorming a few things you’re thankful for each day, which is shown to improve happiness.

  • Move, inside or out. You don’t have to climb mountains or splurge on a personal trainer to get a good workout (though if you enjoy doing those things, then full speed ahead!) Take a walk around the block with a family member or friend. Find thousands of free workout videos online. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of movement per week for adults, but you can break that time into manageable chunks that work for you!

  • Eat well. Finding balance in your diet is the key to building a healthy plate. Visit your local farmer’s market to support your community while loading up on seasonal vegetables and fruit. Start a shared family cookbook online to help make healthy eating more fun. Looking for healthy meal guidelines that are customized for your needs? USDA’s MyPlate tool can help you balance a meal that is best for your age, weight, and physical activity level.

Contact a Sea Mountain Health Insurance specialist to learn more about how we can support your health and wellness needs this year.