FOR A BEAUTIFUL, HEALTHY SMILE
ELKINSDENTAL.COM JANUARY 2020
HEALTH IS MORE THAN A NUMBER
Find What Makes You Happy
I’ve noticed that going to the gym helps my mental health. When I’m staying physically active and fit, it helps my mental status, too. Having that alone time while I’m exercising allows me to think through things I’m wrestling with. I have time to focus on myself and better myself physically and mentally.Therefore, I make exercise a part of my routine. I try to go to the gym first thing in the morning so I don’t have to try and fit it in later in the day. I don’t have as much energy after work, so going in the morning is a priority. For Beth, it’s all about learning something new. Beth loves to learn, so much so that she’s gone back to school and is taking the prerequisites for nursing school. Right now, she’s learning all about microbiology. When I come home at the end of the day, she’s so excited to share what she studied that day. Bacteria or infections, it doesn’t matter; she’s so excited to learn about everything. For her, it’s a lifelong hobby. I think the key is to find what makes you happy. In addition to going to the gym, I feel relaxed when I’m making stained glass projects (like the Grinch, which turned out to be a tricky one!) and now, guitars. I tune into the project and let everything else fall away. For some people, this calming activity might be woodworking or running. I’ve watched our older kids find activities they love to do that strengthen their minds and serve as stress relief: Evie loves singing and theater; Julianna is teaching herself Japanese and wants to know everything to do with Japanese culture. She also loves drawing. Along with Beth and me, they’re helping guide the younger kids toward finding pastimes they love. It takes time — and sometimes trying out activities that aren’t right for you — to find out what that is for each person. In addition to any resolutions you make toward improving your physical health, I encourage you to make time for activities and exercises that help your mental health. Find what makes you happy, and make time for it. Here’s to a great year! –Dr. Elkins
Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe 2020, much less a new decade, is finally here. I’m still reflecting on all the wonderful things that happened in 2019. We had a really great holiday season with our family and friends and felt lucky to have our loved ones close by. Evie couldn’t make it home for Thanksgiving due to all the snow that week, so it was extra nice to have her home for Christmas. Going into a new year, it can feel like there’s pressure to reinvent ourselves. Especially this time of year, there is a lot of emphasis on physical appearance. We tend to equate good health with a certain weight, diet, or exercise routine. As a result, a part of our health often gets overlooked: our mental health. If you’re thinking about changes you can make in the new year, taking care of your mental health is a good place to start. In addition to taking care of your body, it’s important to take care of your mind, and that’s going to look different for everyone. For some, it means talking to a mental health professional; for others, it could mean meditation or mindfulness exercises. Sometimes, physical and mental health go hand in hand.
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