How to Help Your Family Members Make Better Health and Lifestyle Choices

We can’t help but feel responsible for the health and well-being of our family members. If you would like to help them out, no matter their age, you will have to learn how to spot the signs of mental and physical health issues.

No matter if your loved one is suffering from depression or has developed unhealthy habits, you can help them recover and live a healthier and happier life. While this is a sensitive issue, it can be done, if you are able to get your message across. Find a few tips below to help them.

Substance Issues

It is not easy to spot the signs of substance abuse, especially if you don’t live with your family member. However, if your loved one’s mood changes regularly, and they are having a lack of organization in their homes and lives, you should ask the relevant questions.

As it is not likely that you will get a straight answer from your family member, it is easier to ask their friends and colleagues to see if they noticed any change. If it is evident that there is a problem, you should talk to a professional and find out the timeline to recover from alcohol abuse so you can work with your family member and the healthcare team.

Injury

People often lose interest in going out or establishing a healthy lifestyle after an injury. No matter if your loved one suffered an accident on the road or at work, it is likely that their mental health has suffered, as well. It is important that you help them find support and encourage them to go to counseling where they can get over their problems. If they lost their job, became disabled, or are suffering from PTSD, as well as the physical consequences of the injury, you should seek advice from health professionals and ask them for help.

Pain Management

People often find it hard to manage long-term chronic illnesses. If your loved one is in constant pain, they will be more likely to make bad lifestyle choices, as they cannot focus on their decisions as much as they would like to. The good news is that there are several non-invasive pain management methods that will help them see clearer about the present and future, and make better decisions. It is hard to think clearly when you are dealing with constant pain or try to manage it through tablets.  

Lack of Interest in Other People

If you notice that your family member is becoming withdrawn and doesn’t want to meet you or engage with others, it might be time to find out the reason. They might have a mental health problem such as social anxiety or depression that makes them avoid people. Be patient and don’t push them to talk about their problems. Simply try to make them feel comfortable in their own home and talk about their lifestyle choices and the consequences of avoiding people.

Work Problems

Chances are that if your family member is avoiding your and other relatives, and doesn’t maintain their social circle, work is to blame. Whether they became addicted to working or simply can’t switch off, it is your responsibility to remind them that life is not all work and no play. Try to organize programs for the weekend when they have no excuse not to come, or talk to their colleagues to find out what really is going on in the office. Stress can make people lack the motivation to catch up with friends or even follow a healthy workout routine.

Relationship Issues

When people deal with relationship problems, they often turn to things that take their mind off the issues. They might engage in gambling, overdo exercise, or work overtime just to avoid the conflicts. This, however, can have a serious consequence on their mental and physical health. They might develop stress-related physical symptoms. While it is difficult to know exactly what is going on in people’s private lives, you can try to find ways to gain your family member’s trust and offer support and advice.

 

When things start falling apart, and we are unable to look after ourselves, a supportive family we can fall back on is often the only support we have. It is hard to confess that we have a problem or are using unhealthy coping mechanisms that negatively impact our mental and physical health. Try to be patient and avoid direct confrontation. Be there for support and advice, but also give your family member some space to deal with their problems alone.

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About Author

Brittany Crane

Brittany is a blogger who loves to do stories on people who make a difference in the world. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2010 in Sociology and currently works part time as a Social Worker.

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