Health ● /helTH/ -
1. is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity
More often than not, many associate the concept of health with the physical manifestation of being free from sickness of the body. However, there are many components of health aside from physical. Physical health should obviously not be diminished in importance, but mental and social well-being should not be overlooked either.
Being just mentally well and socially well translate to health of the body. Stress and anxiety both have tangible effects on the body, just as keeping your physical self well have tangible effects on the mind.
For most members of the Northeast Florida division of the National Health Corps (with a few exceptions), moving down to Jacksonville was a large move. Sometimes I have trouble remembering how starkly brave moving 700+ miles away from home was. But being that far away alone has proven difficult. Although I have struggled with this homesickness, I have found ways to cope with the ebb and flow.
I am an extroverted-introvert. I enjoy the company of others and feel energized by interpersonal interactions, but do need some time alone to regroup and “recharge” my extroverted batteries. For me, my health, both mentally and socially, comes from interacting with others. Everyone is different, so the first step in evaluating how you can best be healthy is to figure out where you feel most comfortable in the extrovert-introvert spectrum.
If you are missing home like I am, call, text or FaceTime your family and friends often. It may seem small, but you will feel more present in their lives. I guarantee that they will appreciate the effort. Life as an AmeriCorps member is busy--there is a lot expected of us in this program and it is important to connect yourself with the people and activities that bring you joy. Additionally, know your limits. I say “yes” to a lot of things without properly regarding the time I need to myself. It is okay to say “no.”
As far as physical health goes, listen to your body. I used to have the mindset of trying to be tough regardless of whatever illness or injury I was experiencing, but you may end up doing more harm than good. Take care of your body too. Try to get in the habit of taking a multivitamin or buying a variety of vegetables at the Farmer’s Market with your SNAP card. It’s really easy to suggest “going to the gym” every day, but there are so many other ways to be healthy. If you have this goal in mind, narrow down what you like to do whether that’s power-lifting, martial arts, rock climbing, Pilates or taking a brisk walk. It’s okay to start small!
Most importantly for those who may need some reassurance, you matter. What you are doing down here, whether you feel like it are or not, is helping better this community in need.
This blog post was written by NHC FL AmeriCorps member, Jadyn Izumi.
Jadyn serves at the Northeast FL Healthy Start Coalition as an Outreach Coordinator.