How to Advocate for your own Health
If I’ve learned anything this past year, it’s that when it comes to our health, doctors don’t have to have the final say. We’re raised to believe that they know best, and often, they do!
But, they don’t know everything.
They’re not living inside your body and feeling what you feel on a regular basis. So, when test results don’t show anything abnormal, but you know something’s not right, trust your gut.
This past year has taught me a lot about that. Technically, no, I had no real disease or infection or virus, but I didn’t feel like myself. I was exhausted, foggy, bummed out and just overall struggling with energy. In a weird way, I’m actually really thankful that I went through all that crap last year because it’s changed my relationship with my body and how I go about deciding what’s best. It’s empowering and a good reminder that we can be the best advocate for ourselves, and we should be!
I mean, we all want to be healthy and feel good, right?!
It’s up to us to take control and responsibility over our health, so here are a few ways you can start being a better advocate for your own health:
In the past, I’d go to the doctor with a list of questions, then she’d ask at the end if I had any, and I’d sheepishly say, “nope!”. Why? I guess I assumed that I didn’t need to ask them because maybe she would have answered them if they were that important. But now, I ask.
It’s their job to answer your questions and concerns and they can’t read your mind. So, if there’s anything you have a question about, ASK IT. Through embarrassment out the window, believe me, they’ve probably been asked crazier stuff than you’ll ever ask!
If it’s medication, you’re being prescribed but unsure of, ASK! It’s your body and your health, and you deserve to have all the information you need to make the best decision for you!
Too often I hear people blaming their problems on other things, and I get it. It’s much easier to blame someone else than it is to take responsibility for yourself. Taking responsibility might mean accepting that you’ve been doing something wrong (and maybe for a long time)—that’s okay!
We’re human, we make mistakes, but the other cold hard truth? You’re an adult, and you have control over the decisions you make when it comes to your health. That might be the food you eat, whether or not you decide to exercise, how much alcohol you drink, or making a point to get in for your early check-ups. The ball is in your court!
Once you’ve accepted responsibility, it’s time to take action! And, for me, this is when things become real, and exciting. You start doing things differently, maybe that’s just one thing at a time, but slowly, you start noticing change and one good decision leads to another and another!
Taking action is so empowering and is one of the biggest and hardest steps, but you’re stronger than you think and I have faith in you!
You can start with anything—your diet, working out, making clean beauty swaps, changing out your household products, or working on a positive mindset throughout your days!
Last year, I had a situation where I was seeing a doctor that just made me feel like crap. Every time I went in feeling positive and left feeling like I had some horrible, incurable disease—like what the actual F?! I left several appointments crying and finally decided/realized that I didn’t have to keep going back to her—there are SO many doctors out there!
I switched my doctor that day and found one I absolutely love! It was such an empowering decision and honestly, a turning point in my health because I remembered that I’m in control here! So, if you find yourself in a place with a doctor you like, a diagnosis or prognosis that doesn’t sit well with you, seek out someone new who aligns with your thinking.
Having the right support can change your mindset, and I’ve learned that mindset is everything! A positive outlook from a doctor can make you feel so much better and aid in your healing process immensely!
I love to read, but not the way you might think. My favorite books to read are health and wellness books. Nothing makes me feel more control over my health than educating myself as much as possible. I wrote this post on my favorite health and wellness books here if you want to check a few out (I also threw in some of my favorite documentaries!).
The more you know, the more you can make informed decisions to benefit your own health and that of your family!
So often in our healing process, we run into skeptics and non-believers who think that all the “crazy” things we’re trying to heal are all pointless. Even more often, those people are the ones closest to us. Friends and family who we think will be there to support us, can often be the ones that hold us back from fully healing or making lasting healthy changes in our lives. Why? Quite possibly it’s because they know they should be making some change too and they don’t want to.
So, find your crew and stick with them! I’m happy to be that crew for you—here, on Instagram, and even personally if you want to email or DM me! Even though we’re all so interconnected through technology, life can often feel isolating, which makes it hard to stay motivated. Wherever it is, find a supportive community that believes in the same things you do and can support you and cheer you on down your path to better health!
I’d love to hear what steps you’re taking to be a better advocate for your own health—eating healthier? Making clean beauty swaps? Exercising more? Getting more sleep?! Share in the comments!