Supporting a loved one on their health journey.
There is nothing easy about supporting someone your care about on their health journey because health is so personal. If you push too hard, it can be perceived as nagging and hurtful. If you don’t say anything, it can be perceived as a lack of caring. It can feel like you’re walking a tightrope but there are things that you can do to offer support even if you’re not an expert.
Five Insights for supporting a loved one
1/ Overcome an addiction
Encourage them to discuss new treatment options with their doctor. If someone has an unhealthy addiction, they may have tried a lot of treatment options in the past that failed to help them. Consequently, they may feel like they’ve exhausted all the options even though the medical research and discoveries are ongoing. Chances are there is something new on the market whether it’s a therapeutic, device or health app that can curb cravings.
2/ Thrive after a life event
Help lift the weight caused by life events such as a divorce, job loss or transition. Invest some of your time to help clear away the physical and/or mental clutter of the past. That might mean decluttering their living space, rewriting their professional profile or providing some career input to help them start a new chapter.
3/ Eat for better health
Figure out the right starting point for them. There are a lot of variations of plant based diets and many different ethnic foods can be incorporated into those diets. If you love plant based food and vegetables, support might be as simple as letting them pick the restaurant and/or pick the vegetables when you eat together. Phytonutrients from plants are essential for good health and cannot be replaced with vitamins.
4/ Start an exercise routine
Change up your daily routine to include some short walks. Most people overdo it when they decide to get fit and end up setting themself back with an injury. Starting with short walks to the coffee shop and/or an evening stroll gives you time to connect and increase your daily step count. When they’re ready to take it up a notch, discuss the elements of exercise that they like such as speed, sport or adventure and then try activities that you will both enjoy. Just remember to do the strength and flexibility conditioning needed to prevent injuries for that activity.
5/ Transition to health care
Help them shift their mindset from sick care to health care. Health care is about staying healthy and using therapeutics only as needed to get your health back on track. Encourage them to discuss their drug regiment with their pharmacist and physician as they make lifestyle modifications that reduce their need for therapeutics. Long term use of therapeutics can wreck havoc on their gut biome.
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