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When the word ‘health’ is mentioned, we often think about our physical health and wellbeing, but the term can also relate to mental and spiritual fitness. If any of these three areas is out of balance, we may really struggle to live effective and fulfilling lives. Perhaps it’s time to give yourself a quick health check!
Perhaps you’re feeling tired, overweight, stressed or generally unwell. These are all indications that you may need to make some changes. It’s important that we eat a balanced diet with plenty of wholegrains, lean proteins, fruit and vegetables, and healthy fats. Try to cut down on salty, sugary, fatty and processed foods. Swap caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks for water or low-sugar soft drinks.
Taking regular exercise will also have a major impact on your physical health. Perhaps life has become too busy or you’ve simply got out of the habit of exercising. If you can, build enough time into your schedule to exercise for at least two-and-a-half hours a week and choose something you enjoy so that it’s sustainable. If not, do all you can to stay active, whether that’s taking a daily walk, using the stairs instead of the lift or playing a game of chase with a toddler!
You will also feel better if you get some decent sleep. Most adults need between seven and nine hours’ sleep a night, so if you’re burning the candle at both ends it’s time to put that right. It may help to take a warm bath and relax in bed with a good book (but not too good or you won’t want to put it down!). Try to sleep early and wake up early so you can make the most of every day.
It’s easy to neglect our mental health, but it’s really important that we read the warning signs carefully. Anxiety, stress, depression and other mental health conditions can really take their toll on the body as well as the mind. You may feel like you’ve got it all under control but have been under prolonged stress and are starting to feel burnt out. If so, it might be worth reviewing your work-life balance and getting some rest. In addition to benefiting the body, exercising, sleeping and eating well can have a major impact on your health.
Some people have experienced long battles with mental health problems. Perhaps you’re totally overwhelmed by unwanted thoughts or have even considered taking your own life. If this is the case, it’s vital that you talk to someone you trust, whether that’s a friend, a church leader or your GP. It can be really helpful to know that people are supporting and praying for you. Remember that God is always with you, even when you feel alone.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest’” (Matthew 11:28).
You may be wondering what spirituality has to do with health. Well, if we’re not on track with God our lives will be out of sync. Perhaps you’ve stopped going to church or doing your daily devotions. Or maybe you’ve shut God out completely and are doing things your own way. If so, your spiritual health may be at risk. God created us to be in relationship with him and to include him in all areas of our lives: physical, mental and spiritual.
If your spiritual life is dwindling, pray that God will restore you. Confide in a trusted friend over lunch. Stick some worship music on while you’re exercising, dust off your Bible first thing in the morning and consider taking a Christian holiday so you can hang out with like-minded people who may well be in a similar position.
“Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:30-31).
Getting your health back on track
If you need some motivation, we’ve got plenty of resources that can help. We have stories from people who have suffered from depression and can’t see a way out. We ask important questions about faith and why God allows us to struggle. We take a holistic approach to overall well-being to help you live life to the full.
Check out our articles, audio clips and videos for more information.