Most of us claim to care about our health, but sometimes our actions tell a different story. Many of us eat junk, don’t exercise, and take supplements that the FDA wishes we didn’t. And even when we’re trying to make the right choices, we sometimes make terrible mistakes.
Here are some of the most common and most unfortunate mistakes that we often make regarding our health. Choose to avoid them, and invest instead in smart skin care, regular sleep, and cognitive therapy.
Failing to Wear SPF Protection Daily
The sun is a wonderful thing, and spending time in sunlight can actually be quite good for you. But there are dangers, too: If you’re not careful, sunlight and sunburns will damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer. Happily, the solution is quite simple. Just wear sunscreen every day, all year long. Take it from Forbes, among other trusted outlets: daily application and reapplication will protect you from UVA and UVB rays that would otherwise harm your skin.
Yes, we said all year, because the sun can burn you in the winter as well as in the summer. But we can already hear the complaints: Sunscreen smells. It’s greasy. It messes up makeup.
Thanks to people like Sophia Hutchins—the well-connected sun protection startup founder whose high-profile connections include Caitlyn Jenner—these excuses no longer hold water. These days, there are products from brands like Hutchins’ LUMASOL. LUMASOL’s sun protection products are designed specifically to avoid interference with makeup, making LUMASOL the perfect sunscreen product for Kylie Jenner and for all the would-be Kylie’s of the world.
Skipping Out on Sleep
It’s all too easy to skip out on sleep. Working late or rising early will cost you sleep. So will alcohol, whether you have a substance abuse problem or are simply having a cocktail before bed. Even some antidepressants can mess with your sleep. All of this makes sleep deprivation a common problem.
But sleep deprivation is no joke. Lack of sleep can cause serious problems, from forgetting that homework assignment to battling ongoing behavioral problems. Don’t make light of your lousy sleep, because it can cause you serious psychological problems. Instead, invest in behavioral changes and establish new routines. Go to sleep and rise at the same time every day, and make sure that your sleeping space is quiet, dark, cool, and comfortable.
Oh and of course, don’t cheap out on a mattress. A durable and sustainably sourced mattress is more important to sleep than you think. Figuring out which to choose can be a process but a helpful hint is to start by understanding your sleep preference.
Ignoring Therapy Because You “Don’t Need It”
Your mental health is every bit as important as your physical health. Yet many of us dismiss mental healthcare in a way that we would never dismiss physical health care. To many, therapy and other mental health treatments are things to turn to only when we “need” them; the idea of relying on mental health care for regular check-ups and proactive improvements in the way that we do with physical care is, in many cases, an alien concept.
This is a mistake. Having an anxiety disorder, depression, or another mental health condition is indeed a great reason to seek out cognitive therapy and other therapy solutions. According to the Therapy Group of NYC, the thing that makes the recent surge in CBT treatment so popular is that it works. Cognitive behavioral therapy and related types of therapy are useful even if the test for every mental health condition under the sun comes back negative.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is all about evaluating the patterns in our thoughts and actions and finding ways to better react to our own automatic thoughts, negative thoughts, assumptions, stresses, fears, and other triggers that our minds come across every day. Who among us hasn’t had automatic thoughts or negative thoughts? Certainly, one doesn’t have to have a mental health issue to get angry or stressed.
Mental health care professionals themselves believe in the power of cognitive therapy to help people—so much so that the vast majority of therapists have had their own therapist. These experts recognize the power of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy to help them improve their moods, outlook, personal relationships, and overall mental health. The cognitive model simply works, experts say. It works as part of a treatment of depression and it works as a path to a good relationship with your mother-in-law. Cognitive therapy has something to offer everyone, which means that cognitive therapy has something to offer you.