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Prioritizing Your Health

soldiers doing yoga

Source: Image via Staff Sgt. Sierra Fown

Psychological health is important to your overall well-being. Caring for your mind and your body can help you balance life’s demands with work, family and friends. To build and maintain psychological fitness, your health must be a top priority. Improving your health can increase your ability to cope with stress and help you realize your full potential.

Barrier to Care: Finding the Time

Feeling as though you don’t have enough time may keep you from making your health a priority. You may be less likely to address your psychological health if you are:

  • Busy with other commitments
  • More likely to put others first
  • Unable to see your health care professional for an appointment during business hours
  • Unable to find the time to follow through with recommended care

However, it is important to make time to seek care for your psychological health concerns early to avoid more serious health concerns.

Take the steps below to manage your time more effectively to make your psychological health a priority.

Tips for Prioritizing your Health

Plan ahead

Plan each day to increase productivity and allow yourself extra time needed to focus on your health.

  • Schedule time for psychological health appointments; leave enough time for travel.
  • Set aside time on Sunday evenings to plan your schedule for the upcoming week.
  • Make a list of tasks for each day, either the evening before that day or on the morning of that day.
  • Use your list every day, adding and removing tasks as needed.
  • Consider using a planner or mobile app to help keep track of your schedule.

Set aside “me” time

Relax on your own, without working or doing things for others, to help reduce stress and boost energy.

Use time wisely

Make an effort to use time effectively to better balance your daily tasks.

  • Set personal psychological health goals such as replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
  • Complete tasks that directly help you achieve your goals.
  • Minimize distractions such as TV or social media.

Learn to say “no” 

Set boundaries on commitments to others to allow more time reaching your psychological health goals.

  • Avoid over-committing your time with too many tasks.
  • Give your goals priority over the goals of other people.
  • Value your time and say “no” to requests that don’t meet your needs.

Ask for help

Share your psychological health goals with your family and friends so they can help you manage your time and ease stress.

  • Reach out to people you trust to ask for help with tasks.
  • Show sincere gratitude to those who are able to help you.
  • Respect those who make the decision to tell you “no.”

Think positively

Think positively to change the way you view and manage your time.

  • Think, “I can adjust how I spend my time,” instead of “there is not enough time.”
  • Use the tips above to carve out the time you need in your schedule.
  • Refuse to let excuses get in the way of reaching your goals.

Making your psychological health a priority is an important step toward your overall health. Reaching out is a sign of strength and talking with a professional may help. If you or a loved one needs additional support, contact the Psychological Health Resource Center to speak confidentially with trained health resource consultants 24/7 by calling 866-966-1020, by using the Real Warriors Live Chat or by emailing resources@dcoeoutreach.org.

Additional Resources

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