In a world where people emphasize money and productivity, it can seem as though it is hard to put your personal health above all else. However, there are ways that you can marry working and living in a fast-paced, productive society and being healthy all at the same time without having to pour hundreds of extra hours into your life or being seen as a health nut.

Here are just a few ways that you can put your personal health at the forefront of your life without having to give anything else up (except for maybe a few unhealthy habits).

1. Let Your Employer Know That Your Health Comes First

There are several ways that you can let your boss know that you prioritize yourself. One way is to fight for the coverage that you need in your employer healthcare package. Make sure that you have the coverage that you need that is specific to you, and if there is something that you think needs changing, then be bold and address that.

Caring about your health does not only apply when it comes to your office health insurance, though. It can also come in the form of disability insurance that allows you to focus on healing and getting well during times of major diseases or major injuries. There is disability insurance for dentists, physicians, and many other professions wherein missing work can be disastrous.

2. Drink Water and Water Only

This may be difficult to do, especially if you have a caffeine, sugar, or aspartame addiction. However, the best thing for you to drink is always water. Starting your day off with cold lemon water can be as effective in waking you up as a cup of coffee ever was with the added effects of helping you get the amount of water that you need every day to stay healthy, happy, and hydrated.

There are other ways that you can stay hydrated, like keeping a water bottle at your desk and having a cup of water on your bedside table as well as consuming produce that contains lots of water. In that instance, not only are you consuming fresh produce, but you are staying hydrated even as you eat.

3. Whenever You Take Time for Yourself, Include Some Exercise

You should always have some me time during the week. If you have a high-stress job, are a parent, or even just read some hard to read news articles, you have the right to time for yourself. Not only will this help your mental health, but depending on how you spend this time, it can help you physically as well.

  • Taking a walk in nature can help you calm down during high-stress times and fights with your family.
  • Going for a run produces endorphins which naturally make you happier.
  • Working out and moving your body releases tension in your muscles as well as builds your muscles and melts fat away.

So, while it may be nice to sit on the couch and catch up on TV, you should also include some healthy movement in your personal time off.

4. Make Small, Healthy Choices

Being healthy is not simply doing one thing and then calling that living a healthy lifestyle. Doing that would be the same thing as having a smoker eat nothing but fresh produce and calling that a holistically healthy person.

Living in a way where you prioritize your own health means that you make little decisions where you put yourself first as well. For instance, if you are at a party and the only food available are high fat, high carb appetizers that you know will make you feel gross if you eat them, then simply pass.

5. Surround Yourself with Supportive Friends

If anyone tries to give you a hard time, then understand that those people may not support you in your endeavors and re-evaluate their position in your life.

True friends will understand and not be offended if you pass up on something because it is unhealthy. They will support you and change accordingly. Perhaps you can even inspire your friends to make these changes where they put their health first as well. All revolutions, even small revolutions in healthy living, start somewhere.

Health Should Be a Priority

Self-care is not always bath bombs and time watching TV. It looks like passing up on nights out to get adequate sleep and it looks like avoiding your favorite dessert every night of the week. However, in the long run, these choices will help you have many more years to spend in the company of family and friends.