Published on July 8th, 2019 | by admin0
A Washingtonian’s Guide to Healthy Living
Washington, DC, is not a typical city. It’s exceptional in many ways. For one thing, it’s not in a state (“taxation without representation,” anyone?). For another, Washingtonians tend to differ a bit from folks in other states: This is a city blessed with wealth and full of hard-working people, including some of the most important political figures on the planet.
What about on the health front? Well, there’s good news and bad news there. The good news is that Washingtonians tend to be fitter than their fellow Americans — DC has a lower obesity rate than 49 states. But there’s bad news, too. We’re just as stressed as people in other states, if not more so — and the long hours we work can’t be helping. Worse, DC is full of hard drinkers. By some measures, no place in the United States drinks harder than Washington, DC.
So while DC residents may be relatively trim, they’re not necessarily healthy. And, if you’re not careful, your DC lifestyle could contribute to some serious mental and physical health problems.
A night on the town is rough on you
It’s no secret that Washington’s great restaurants and bustling bars are a big part of its residents’ lifestyles. DC politicians and professionals cut deals in these places, and bars and restaurants are often workers’ first stops after they get off the clock.
This is all bad news. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional night out, regular dining and drinking at restaurants and bars can be bad for you. For one thing, home cooking tends to be much healthier than restaurant and takeout alternatives.
And then there’s the booze. In high doses, alcohol can kill us and harm our bodies. Even in moderation, alcohol may have negative effects; while occasional studies support the idea that alcohol can be healthy in certain doses, other studies disagree. What’s certain is that heavy drinking is dangerous and that alcohol offers limited health benefits, if any, in exchange for its otherwise empty calories.
DC residents should be careful about how often they end up at bars and restaurants. You may be busy, but try to make time to eat at home and try to take some days off from drinking.
All work and no play destroys your body and your mind
Working hard is just what Washingtonians do. But if you work too hard, then you’re going to have problems. Study after study has connected poor work-life balance to health problems, including both mental health issues and physical ailments. Even if you’re not feeling it right now, studies say, you could encounter health problems later in life because of your lacking work-life balance now.
As hard as it can be in DC, you need to find ways to set boundaries and keep your work from taking over your life. You may not feel very zen all of the time, but you should at least be able to protect your sleep space, spend time with your family, and take vacations.
Focusing on the mind
Washington, DC is a stressful and fast-moving place. That means that those of us who live and work here may be more susceptible to stress and other mental health challenges.
So it’s only logical for DC residents to be more on their toes when it comes to mental health. Stil, many of us don’t treat our minds with the same respect that we give our bodies; while we’d never skip a doctor’s appointment or put off treatment for a broken leg, we regularly ignore our mental health needs.
It’s time to make a change, say experts who offer individual and group therapy in Washington DC. When you turn to mental health professionals for regular care, you’ll make your mind stronger and gain a happier, healthier life. It’s just one more way to keep DC from getting to you.