21 ways to improve your life from wellness checks to better sleep

The Covid-19 pandemic of the past two years has shed new light on racism when it comes to health.

Black and Asian communities are among those hardest hit by the pandemic: there is a higher risk of contracting the virus and a lower survival rate.

And it doesn’t stop there. Dr Annabel Sowemimo, a community sexual and reproductive health physician, said: “In my day-to-day work, I have to face the reality of racial disparities in the healthcare sector, particularly in the healthcare sector. especially among Black communities, formerly Covid-19 Make headlines.

“From Black communities most likely to receive a late diagnosis of HIV to reports that Black women are four times more likely to die in childbirth than their white counterparts; Racial disparities in health care have been rampant for decades. ”

Sowemimo founded the Decolonising Contraception Collective, a nonprofit group that provides educational resources and works to reduce racial disparities. She added: “While there are certainly a number of factors that affect our health from work to home, to how our health system is able to exclude Blacks; There are also a number of ways we can have better access to good health care and a lifestyle that can improve our health. “

Here are her 21 ways to improve your health, starting now…

Signing up with a GP is important to take control of your health


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Register with a General Practitioner

This may seem obvious, but many people don’t know how to register with a GP or worry that they don’t qualify.

You don’t need to be a UK citizen, pay to register or need proof of identity.

If your application is denied, you may request a clear written explanation of why.

Attend your 5 year NHS check

Between the ages of 40 and 74, even if you don’t have any known illnesses, you should be screened by your GP at 5 years.

This helps to screen for conditions like high blood pressurediabetes, kidney disease and high cholesterol.

Take medication as prescribed

Studies have shown that a staggering 50% of patients do not take their medication as prescribed and thousands of prescriptions go unselected each year. The drug has been tested to work at a specific dose, if you don’t take it as directed you won’t be able to see any beneficial effects.

You should make sure that you take any medications prescribed by your doctor (Image available)


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Get medical advice only from trained professionals

While it may be tempting to get medical advice from your religious leader, you shouldn’t, unless he or she is a trained medical professional. You wouldn’t hire a hairdresser to fix the kitchen sink, would you?

Get some basic medical equipment like blood pressure monitors, thermometers and pulse oximeters

These basic medical tools can help you monitor your blood pressure, check oxygen saturation, and temperature. If you’re concerned about the cost, you can get BP tested for free at most pharmacies, and sometimes GPs get free BP monitors from pharmaceutical companies that they may not need and ready for a little. However, studies have shown that pulse oximeters can be less accurate in darker skin tones.

You should only get medical advice from trained professionals


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Check your vitamin D levels and take a multivitamin

Darker skin means we are less able to absorb the sunlight needed to maintain good vitamin D levels.

The multivitamin industry is booming and it is easy to get sucked into buying an overpriced multivitamin. However, usually a basic bottle will do. Some important multivitamins include vitamins D, C, A, calcium, and iron.

Participate in screening programs

Black communities have some of the lowest cervical, breast and prostate screening rates in the UK; We are also among those most likely to receive a late diagnosis. By not participating in screening, you could miss an important opportunity to catch a serious illness early.

Check your breasts/testicles

Learning how to self-examine your breasts and testicles, especially if you’re too nervous to have a medical professional do it, can help find cancer early.


We know that vaccine uptake for Covid-19 is lower in the Black community but this is also true for some vaccines in the UK that have been shown to be highly beneficial.

The Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine is provided to 12-year-olds; HPV is known to cause up to 90% of cervical cancers, as well as cancers of the penis and throat. You can check with your GP to see if you have had other vaccines such as BCG for TB.

Some vaccinations in the UK have been shown to be very beneficial (Image available)


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Find a hobby that suits you

Having a hobby has been shown to dramatically improve both

mental and physical health. Hobbies don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming.

There are many simpler options like walking, gardening or visiting museums to develop a new skill like learning to dance.

Try mindfulness meditation

Taking a few minutes a day to breathe and do mindfulness meditation has been shown to benefit our hearts and cognitive function. As someone with chronic back pain, I can personally attest to the benefits of meditation in helping me manage my pain and sleep better. If you don’t know where to start, there are plenty of free apps available to help.

Good sleep hygiene

Sleeping well for many people is a luxury. Sometimes you live somewhere noisy or uncomfortable. But getting the recommended eight consecutive hours of sleep can dramatically improve your mental health.

Sleep is very important for your mental health (Image available)


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Take a little walk, every day

The benefits to your mental and physical health while walking are endless. Women who walk for 30 minutes a day can reduce their risk of stroke by 20%! There are even whole communities that have been established like Black Girls Hike to encourage our community to explore the countryside more.

Cut down on your caffeine intake

Tea, coffee, and energy drinks all contribute to your caffeine intake. Many of us (guilty) depend on caffeine to replace inadequate sleep. However it can have long-term consequences.

Caffeine affects your sleep habits, can make you palpitations, can make menopausal hot flashes worse, and even lower your fertility.

Cut down on salt intake

Black communities living in the UK are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure. Eating a lot of salt can increase this risk even further and lead to stroke. Seasoning for foods that already contain a lot of salt.

You should cut down on salt intake


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Have a safe and fulfilling sex life

Sex is known to improve one’s mood. Making sure you’re happy with your sex life is important. Anything from stress to new medications can affect your sex drive, and rarely do patients resolve this on their own. However, there is a lot of help out there, and most sexual health clinics offer psychosexual services.

Check to see if you have an inherited blood disorder like sickle cell disease

Sickle disease is the most common inherited blood disease in people of black African descent. The disease is caused by both parents carrying sickle cell trait. A simple blood test at your GP can tell if you carry this trait. If you and your partner are both positive, you may be referred to genetic counseling.

It is important to check for inherited blood diseases


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Get a sexual health monitor

Black communities in the UK have the worst sexual health outcomes with higher rates of HIV, gonorrhea and chlamydia.

A significant part of this is due to less screening and later access to treatment. If you change partners often, it’s a good idea to watch full screen every three months.

Most sexual health services now offer free online mailing kits to people without any symptoms.

Consider seeing a therapist

There is a disproportionate rate of mental illness among Black communities in the UK and the reason is hotly debated, but one thing is clear: Black communities use too much therapy. We often wait until a moment of crisis before seeking help. While accessing mental health services on NHS has become notoriously difficult as more and more third-party organizations such as Black Minds Matter UK are bridging that gap.

We often wait until a moment of crisis before seeking help (Image available)


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Write down questions to ask your doctor

A lot of people don’t realize or don’t think to do this. I think Black patients are concerned that they will be seen as “a problem” if they do. However, it is very helpful and gives many doctors more reassurance that you are participating in and understanding your care.

Skipping 12 months between pregnancies will help (Image available)


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Plan your pregnancy

Most pregnancies are unplanned, but with the dire statistics about Black women and childbirth, one step we can take is to maximize our knowledge and health. herself before conception. Ideally, you should leave 12 months between pregnancies and start taking folic acid supplements a month before you conceive. When you’re pregnant, try to sign up for prenatal classes early.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/21-ways-improve-your-life-26249604 21 ways to improve your life from wellness checks to better sleep

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