Supporting the Health of Others
Changing daily habits in an effort to lead a healthier lifestyle can be very difficult. Whether you’re used to eating a certain way and want to change your diet, or committing to a new workout schedule, it can be tough to make a change that impacts everyday life. Having the support and encouragement from the people around you can be a major help! Providing that support to others can even inspire you to make healthier choices, too. We’ve gathered some tips about how you can offer healthy support to people in your life.
Supporting Your Partner and Family
The people that you live with are going to be the biggest influence on your lifestyle. You see them every day, eat with them, and possibly exercise with them. When a partner or family member wants to make a change to their daily habits regarding exercise, nutrition, or wellbeing, it can often be difficult because you might be affected by that change as well. It can get even more complicated if you don’t agree with a healthy decision your partner or family member has made. Here are a few tips from licensed psychotherapist, Eliza Kingsford, to support your close family members in their health journey:
- Don’t force a lifestyle change on one another.
- Communicate with each other and ask them how they feel most encouraged.
- Make compromises! If your family usually orders pizza for takeout, and your partner wants to start eating healthier, try making pizza together with healthier ingredients and toppings.
- Celebrate small wins with them and be their biggest fan! Even if you do not practice the same healthy habits, it is important to show your support.
Support Your Children
Teaching children how to live a healthy life while they’re young, builds the foundation they need for years to come! Children look to the adults in their lives to learn lifestyle habits. Whether you’re a parent, caregiver, or teacher, being a healthy role model to children is crucial. Check out these tips from HealthyKids.gov to learn how to set a healthy example:
- Have a positive attitude about getting active, and make it exciting!
- Kids should have 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Support them in being active by jumping in and joining the fun! Play soccer, jump rope, and ride bikes with them.
- Offer water to children instead of sugary fruit juice and soft drinks.
- Turn off the screen! Offer another way for children to sit and relax by reading a book, practicing yoga, or even meditation. This will help them lessen the screen time and put emphasis on maintaining their mental health and wellbeing.
Support Your Friends/Co-Workers
Friends and coworkers can offer great comradery and encouragement during a lifestyle change. You may have similar work schedules and the same breaks throughout your day. This is a great opportunity to support one another in healthy decisions. Take a look at these tips from NBC News and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about how comradery leads to healthier lives!
- Power in numbers! A study published in the Journal of Social Sciences found that participants gravitate towards the exercise behaviors of those around them. You may be more successful working out in a group than alone.
- Do not shame others for their choice in food when eating together. For example, say your coworker is starting a gluten-free diet. Do not make negative remarks about their food. Instead, talk to them about it and have an open mind. You may learn something new!
- Workout apps: You always have your phone with you, so try a social media workout app to connect with friends and coworkers that share your goals and can help keep you motivated.
- Get competitive! Healthy competition can be a great motivator! Whether it be who racks up the most steps that week, or who sticks to their meal-prep goals, pushing each other to keep going can be fun!
It is important to provide support and encourage the people in your life in their health journey! Often times, it can help you to be healthier too! Speaking of creating a healthier you, did you miss our last blog post? Check out “What it Means to Be Healthy” to find your definition of health.
We Want to Hear from You!
What ways do you support those around you? Let us know below!