As a child, your parents or caretakers help you to take care of your health. But as you get older, it slowly becomes your responsibility to be in charge of certain aspects of your health. Your parents might encourage you to be more independent where your health is concerned, or some can be a little more reluctant to allow you that independence. There are certain health issues that you might prefer to deal with yourself, rather than having to go through your parents. Although it can be healthy if you’re able to talk to your parents about your health, having control over your own health is important too. So what can you do to take control of your own health as a teenager becoming an adult?
Make Healthy Dietary Choices
Part of being in control of your health is making healthy decisions every day. You might be healthy now, but it’s important to remember that you only have one body and it doesn’t last forever. Taking care of yourself now can help to protect your body in the future. What you eat and drink is a big part of staying healthy. A lot of teenagers might find they can eat what they want without putting on weight, especially when they’re still growing. But just because you’re not putting weight on, it doesn’t mean your diet is healthy. It’s fine to enjoy treats, but healthy eating is important too.
Get Plenty of Sleep
There’s evidence that teenagers need more sleep than adults. Not only that, but teenagers may also function better if they sleep in a little later too. Of course, this isn’t an option most of the time if you have to get up for school. But that shouldn’t stop you from getting plenty of sleep each night. It’s easy to get into bad habits of staying up late, whether you’re watching something, reading, or talking to friends. Not getting enough sleep can make you tired, irritable, and struggling to concentrate at school. Try to focus on getting at least seven hours of sleep each night, and preferably eight or nine.
Be More Active
Gym is often the most hated class at school for a lot of teenagers. There are many reasons to dislike it, and it can make you really dislike sports of any kind. But keeping fit is an essential part of staying healthy. Even if you hate gym class, there are other ways for you to get active and find an activity that you love. You can run, cycle, swim, or go to the gym to lift weights. If you prefer something social, you could join a class, whether it’s yoga, dance, or HIIT. You can even work out at home by following along with video classes or finding other ways to exercise.
Get Your Medical Information
Knowing your own medical information is a great way to have more control over your health. It’s important to understand important things about your own health, especially if you go to see a doctor on your own or you find yourself dealing with a medical emergency. Some important medical details that you could be in possession of include the contact details for your doctor(s), the names of any medications that you take, your personal medical history, and your family medical history. All of these things can be essential medical information that you might need to provide to a doctor or to certain organizations, from schools to extracurricular activities.
Make Your Own Appointments
Starting to make your own appointments can help to prepare you for adult life. Once you leave home or go to college, you’ll be in charge of these things. If you’re not used to making appointments over the phone, it can be a little nerve-wracking. But practice makes perfect, and the more you do it, the easier it will become. Many doctor’s offices will now let you make appointments online too, which makes it easier to schedule an appointment for a time that suits you. Scheduling your own appointments gives you more freedom, puts you in charge, and can give you more privacy too.
Manage Your Medications
If you take any medications, managing them yourself prepares you for adulthood. It’s helpful to know what you take, what it’s for, and how and when you should take it. Find out how your prescriptions work, if you need them, and how to fill them too. Can you get your contraceptive pill online or do you need to go to a pharmacy to pick it up? How long does your medication last and when do you need to order more? These things are essential to know if you have medication that you need to manage, whether it’s insulin, ADHD meds, antidepressants, vitamins, or anything else.
Get Involved in Health Decisions
You should always be able to have a say when it comes to decisions about your health. While your parents can be included in the decisions you make, you should get to decide some of the major things when you’re a teenager. You can start to do things like choosing your own doctor and deciding what type of treatment is right for you. You can attend appointments alone with your doctor so that you get a chance to get to know them and discuss anything that you may wish to keep private.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Mental health is an important aspect of your health that you should take care of. Everybody has mental health, just like we all have physical health, even if you don’t have any mental health problems or disorders. Teenagers can deal with a lot of stressful issues, from school to relationships. One of the most valuable things that you can do is talk to other people about your feelings. That could mean talking to friends, family, a school counselor, therapist, teacher, or anyone else who can listen.
You can take control of your own health as you get old enough to do so. You deserve to make your own decisions about your health and wellness.