Everybody who knows Emily admires her. It’s hard to put a finger on any one reason. Her attitude is always positive. You feel like you could confide in her and know it would go no further. She defuses volatile situations without anyone even noticing. She looks great and has plenty of energy.

Some people think Emily must be unfairly blessed, since she doesn’t seem to deal with a lot of the problems others her age seem to have. Not just bad knees and heart issues, but depression, anxiety … all of those things.

In fact, she’s the very picture of good physical health and good mental health. But that’s no surprise, because they’re one in the same: physical health is mental health, and mental health is physical health.

Emily takes good care of herself. We all know what that requires, but she actually has the discipline and commitment to make that happen. Every day she does the five physical things we can all do to enhance our mental well-being.

Get moving

We’re not meant to sit all the time. Exercise to keep your joints moving and your heart pumping — and it triggers production of a hormone called endorphins, known for making us feel happy and relaxed. Mix up what you do. Maybe you spend time in the gym twice a week and walk or swim on the other days. Spend some of your recreation time with others, whether that’s a weekly walk with friends or Saturday morning pickleball. Even a simple 20 minute walk will do.

Choose mindful eating

You already know how different you feel when you watch what you eat, compared to constantly giving in to fast-food favorites. It’s okay to treat yourself now and then, but you’ll discover that healthy eating will increase your energy and brighten your mood. Regularly choose what fuels your body and mind.

Avoid thirst

When we’re healthy, more than half of our body weight is water. Our organs function best when we’re properly hydrated. If we don’t do a good job of replenishing the water we lose naturally every day, we can begin to develop chronic physical problems that affect our well-being. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. The best health drink? Plain water.


The hours you spend sleeping and relaxing are some of the most important to your physical and mental health. We sleep so our bodies can restore themselves, and some researchers believe dreams play a key role in helping our brains sort out the day’s experiences and emotions. Failing to get enough rest or struggling to sleep can lead to a variety of problems.

And breathe

Paying attention to how we breathe is a surprisingly powerful way to keep us both physically and mentally healthy. For example, if we find ourselves in a situation where we notice our breath is speeding up, we can consciously start breathing more slowly, and we’ll begin to feel more at ease. One of the biggest elements of meditation, yoga, and other mindfulness techniques is a focus on breathing.

Need guidance?

If you’re looking for steps you can take to enhance both your physical and mental health, but aren’t sure what’s right for you, Care to Change has professionals who have deep understandings of both types of health and how they interact. Working together, you can develop a plan that fits your life and helps you feel your best in every way.

Reach out to us, and we can help. Take just one step today by calling 317-790-9396 or emailing help@caretochange.org.

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