How the Health Triangle Can Help Guide Your New Year's Resolutions

As the new year approach­es, it’s a good time to estab­lish new goals for our­selves. When choos­ing a res­o­lu­tion to ben­e­fit or improve your health, it is rec­om­mend­ed you keep the health tri­an­gle in mind. The World Health Orga­ni­za­tion (WHO)1 defines health as the bal­ance of men­tal, phys­i­cal and social health, also known as the health tri­an­gle. Hav­ing a good bal­ance in all three areas is essen­tial to liv­ing a healthy lifestyle. 

Below, Dr. Sal­ly Salman, Inter­nal Med­i­cine, out­lines com­po­nents of the health tri­an­gle to help you deter­mine what your health res­o­lu­tions should focus on in the new year. 

Men­tal Health 

Almost every­one expe­ri­ences anx­i­ety and stress at some point in their life. How you han­dle and cope with tough sit­u­a­tions or set­backs can deter­mine whether you need to focus on this com­po­nent of the health tri­an­gle. Men­tal health can impact your phys­i­cal and social health as it can cause anti-social behav­iors and extreme feel­ings of fatigue. You may choose to seek pro­fes­sion­al help when faced with stress and anx­i­ety or sim­ply when you need sup­port when deal­ing with your feel­ings and emotions.

Men­tal health res­o­lu­tions can include:

  • Sched­ul­ing reg­u­lar ther­a­py or coun­sel­ing appointments
  • Start­ing a grat­i­tude journal
  • Prac­tic­ing mind­ful­ness when faced with anxiety 
  • Find­ing a hob­by that helps ease your anx­i­ety (exer­cis­ing, paint­ing, etc.)

Phys­i­cal Health

Main­tain­ing good phys­i­cal health includes attend­ing year­ly well­ness check­ups and screen­ings. Ensur­ing you get at least 30 min­utes of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty a day and main­tain­ing a healthy body weight are a few ways med­ical pro­fes­sion­als can eval­u­ate your phys­i­cal health. 

Phys­i­cal health res­o­lu­tions can include:

  • Attend­ing a work­out class­es or par­tic­i­pat­ing in exer­cise regularly 
  • Lim­it­ing alco­hol to one to two drinks a week
  • Adding one more serv­ing of veg­eta­bles to your diet each day
  • Sched­ul­ing appoint­ments for all your health check­ups, screen­ings and vac­cines need­ed through­out the new year

Social Health

Your social health is deter­mined by your com­fort-lev­el when faced with social sit­u­a­tions. Social­ly healthy peo­ple feel com­fort­able join­ing in on con­ver­sa­tion and can adapt to new sit­u­a­tions when faced with changes. Your abil­i­ty to make new friends as well as main­tain friend­ships are also sig­nif­i­cant­ly impor­tant to good social health. 

Social health res­o­lu­tions can include: 

  • Vol­un­teer­ing once a month at the orga­ni­za­tion of your choice
  • Mak­ing small talk with your neigh­bor when­ev­er you see them
  • Meet­ing some­one new once a month
  • Call­ing a friend once a week

Before choos­ing a health-relat­ed res­o­lu­tion, check in with or seek advice from your med­ical professional. 

To learn more about how to be the health­i­est ver­sion of your­self for the new year, sched­ule an appoint­ment with one of our fam­i­ly med­i­cine physi­cians or our men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als at dupagemed​ical​group​.com/​s​c​h​edule.

  • Every person is unique. I believe that partnering with my patients and their caregivers is fundamental to reaching their individual health goals.