Health professionals, policy makers and individuals can potentially improve the chances of having a healthier life by addressing the complex interactions between genetics, development, and life events and lifestyles. Fresh fruit and vegetables are full of antioxidants, which may improve your lung health and help avoid asthma attacks. Aim for 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit every day. Eating fish often may help with your asthma too. People taking medicine for mental-health problems should not stop taking these medications, no matter how “well” they feel, until they have discussed their situation with their prescribing doctor(s).
Get moving. Aim for at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate aerobic exercise, or an hour and 15 minutes of more vigorous physical activity each week. You also should try strength training at least two days a week. Being healthy is not about being skinny or building up your muscles in a gym, then, it’s about feeling fitter – physically, mentally and emotionally.
Educate your partner on your illness. Remind your partner that your mood disorder is not caused by him or her, but by an imbalance of chemicals in your brain. Give your partner some concrete ways he or she can help you: by understanding when you don’t feel like going out; by helping ease the burdens of housework or child care; or by giving you a hug at the end of a long day. When you find yourself feeling irritable, emphasize that it is not because of your partner but because of your illness.
If you are dissatisfied with your health care provider or the treatment plan you have been given, talk with him or her about it. If your difficulties cannot be resolved, seek another health care provider. For interpersonal or talk therapy, choose a therapist who treats you with respect, listens to you, recognizes your needs, and is skilled in treating people with mood disorders.
Paying attention and making changes to aspects of your life, such as stress management, physical fitness, medical treatment, relationships, and daily job or volunteer activities, can have far-reaching positive effects on your mental and physical health. There is no right or wrong way to go about making these changes and you can make them at your own pace. The right healthy lifestyle plan is the one that works best for you.