Wednesday, August 4, 2021

This is the first post in a series I am starting on health and happiness. Today I am sharing my current journey. 

healthy habits for a happier life

Last month my doctor, who I had only met with once in person since moving to Atlanta, retired. I have been wanting to find a new doctor for a while, but now I was forced to take action. 

I did my research and found a PA in a medical practice at Emory. Yesterday I met with her and now feel that I have the right person for my health. 

She asked me if I was feeling depressed and I replied honestly that I was. We then went on to discuss healthy habits that I can do for a happier life. 

pink roses

First I knew that I needed to assess myself. As a counselor, when someone came in to see me and said they were unhappy I would ask them three questions.

The first question was, do you know what is making you feel unhappy? After we had worked out what that was I would then ask them, what makes you happy? Finally, I would ask what can you do differently to reach that happiness? 

I thought about my life as it is in this moment and what it is that makes me happy. Time with my family is number one and feeling healthy is number two. 

butterfly on a purple flower

I am very blessed to see my family about once a week so that makes me happy. That takes care of number one,

My number two problem is different. My health is suffering because of stress. I know I need to work out a plan to be healthier.

I've gained fifteen pounds over the last sixteen months, my blood pressure is a bit higher than normal, and I have developed digestive issues. The plan we came up with is that I need to keep a daily food diary for the next three months, exercise for thirty minutes five times a week, and cut myself some slack. 

As I have already lost five of those fifteen pounds by changing some of my eating habits and walking three times a week, she said she could see that I am really trying. In other words, I just need to cut myself some of that slack. 

butterflies gathering nectar

This is where I have to be really honest. I was of the belief that "if you build it they will come" and I haven't really seen any results from all of the hard work I have been doing lately. I have been feeling very discouraged, but I have decided that I need to give it time and think positively.

Today I have talked about some of the things I am doing in my journey to be healthier and happier. In future posts, I will talk about things we all can do to have a happier and healthier life. 

As I need to find out which foods I am sensitive to I have ordered the Food Sensitivity journal. After I finish my three months, I hopefully will have a better idea of what foods I can tolerate and then use the Hello New Me journal to track my food and exercise habits.

Do you practice healthy habits for a happier life? 

healthy habits for a happier life

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  1. All of these are such great suggestions from your PA. I moved recently as you know and found the best PA where I am living. She is so good and spent over an hour with me in my first visit. I think finding the right doctor or PA or nurse practitioner is the first start to getting healthier. There tips and suggestions are great but their sincere caring on your behave makes all the difference. I am so happy you found that person. As a counselor you know how important the trust development between you and your doctor will make the process work. I am with you on Family being number one for happiness and the time you spend together. Have a great week. xoxo

  2. So glad to hear that you're taking care of your health.

  3. I keep telling myself "tomorrow I will meditate" and then tomorrow comes and goes and I realize I forgot. I need to take this time and know that surrendering to grief is something I must allow myself to do. Because really, you can't stop it.

  4. Self care is very important - I've learned that the hard way. I've had to learn to stop worrying and fretting about things I can't control. I, too, live alone with my dog, Cooper. I try hard to focus on things that bring joy into my day. I can't be available for others if I'm not taking care of myself. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in March so now I'm trying to understand it, break old habits and figure out what's best for ME. Take care of yourself!

  5. By the way - you definitely need to "cut yourself some slack".

  6. Those 3 questions are really good ones. I've gained the "covid weight" too... 12 lbs. so am cutting back on my sugar and carb intake. It works good for a few days, but then I fall off the wagon and go back to it... sugar is such comfort food and we all need it during this time of worry and stress. I don't know what to do about a stressor that is a person in my life who is always there and I can't get away from it! I try to look at the positive side of things and that person, but the stress it causes is detrimental to my health, I know. Being in a negative situation is NOT good, but for me, there is really no way out of it. I sometimes just "check out" and bury my head in the sand.. and pray alot. I'm not close to my family so that is VERY hard. We are trapped by the price of homes these days, so can't move closer which is an ongoing sadness for me. One of my best "doctors" ever was a nurse practitioner 20 years ago. She was awesome and did alot of research on how to help me in many ways. I don't have that now and may go on the search again soon! Take care.. Marilyn

  7. I am so excited to hear that you are doing this series and sharing your experiences with all of us. I think we have all struggled this past year and I am worn out with it all. I'm going to take August to rest more and not worry so much. It's not hiking season here so I am concentrating on things inside my house. And I want to get back to doing some creative things too. I'm anxious to hear all of your ideas about healthy living. I need to 'get with it'!

  8. Hello Laura. I look forward to your series. I think most people can work on themselves to improve. I know I can! Congratulations for thinking of this. Susan

  9. I’m eating way too much sugar lately and I feel lousy from it. I need to change that and I wish I could find a good doctor. I’m glad you found a PA you like. I think that’s worth so much on a journey to well being. I’m going to check out those journals and am looking forward to your next posts!

  10. It sounds like you're on a good path, as you are determined, and want to change, as well as having found a good doctor to help you. You will succeed!

  11. I too am looking forward to more posts on this subject.

  12. Great subject matter - so important to all of us! I have been working very hard on self-care and my health - physical AND mental - these past few years. I think with this pandemic affecting all of us, it's more important than ever since our world is so topsy-turvey. I have actually lost more weight through all of this, simply by eating very healthy (most of the time) and walking and doing yoga. I just had my annual physical and everything was great - my BP, weight, metabolic panel, etc. Funny you should mention finding a PA you dr's office has two PA's, both of whom I like better than the two doctors themselves! I think maybe because they have more time to spend with patients than the doctors, that's one advantage. They just seems to have more of a caring bedside manner, too.

    As far as mental health, I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks. For years, I've been managing it with yoga and mediation but when I had another bad panic attack in May, I knew I needed more. I am now on a low dose med for anxiety and am also seeing a counselor. Both are doing a lot of good. I am learning so much about how to handle anxiety instead of pushing it away. I used to be one of those, "I'm not going on a med for my anxiety" people, but not anymore. You have to do what's best to take care of yourself.

  13. Happy you're doing what you need to feel better. I have been stressing for 2 years and we know it's from COVID.

    I will not watch or read the news It's all said and vicious and lies so I refuse to do it.

  14. These are such great suggestions for taking steps to live a healthier life, Laura! Love that you're making yourself a priority even when it feels hard at times. Small steps make a big difference so keep up the great work! Hugs, CoCo

  15. My new doctor works half days at our local practice. When I went for the third appointment, she has acquired the other half - so I saw a new doctor again. But it is good to have fresh questions and answers. Bonus points since the new one gave me perfect blood pressure (drugs are working as they should)


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