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Health Action Plan


Reflection is a critical aspect of healthcare delivery and professional development as it stimulates an individual’s capacity to expand their knowledge and polish skills regards handling different situations. Applying self-reflection enables practitioners to gain more experience and confidence in their capabilities, especially in their decision-making process (Posluns & Gall, 2020). Reflective individuals are often more communicative and better placed to learn from diverse circumstances while keeping an open mind on medical conditions and the respective management. They are more likely to accept criticism as they are open-minded and ready to learn and improve their skills. Self-reflection allows people to analyze the state of their skill set and their contribution to the system and health promotion in general. The last 3-4 months have been the most reflective overall. I ended up in situations cumulatively pushing me to evaluate my health and wellness. The evaluation opened me up to information I had initially ignored, including my lifestyle choices and their impacts on the quality of my life, particularly my mental wellbeing.

An outstanding issue I have had to deal with, yet still overlooked its implications on my life, is stress and stress management. The assessment has played a central role in me acknowledging that I have destructive decision-making patterns as I take part in activities and follow routines that threaten my mental health as well as physical wellness. Unintentional hence poor stress management has seen me go down paths I would have otherwise rethought, including high sugar intake, irregular sleeping patterns, and a generally sedentary lifestyle. With tones of factors being stress catalysts, especially in modern days, the burden of stress management continues to grow. Being unintentional in stress management and personal wellness has certainly lowered the quality of my life. It will likely impact my long-term health negatively if I fail to act on it.

Lifestyle Choices Impacting Negatively my Life

Poor Stress Management

Poor stress management is perhaps the most profound lifestyle choice that might lead to chronic medical conditions later in my life. Over the course of my adult life, there have been many instances in which I was severely under stress but carried on with life despite the situations. Rather than deal with the underlying causes of stress, I opted to ignore the stress, hoping that it would eventually come to an end. I failed to prioritize my wellness because, in my opinion, I would be fine in the long run. Some of the manifestations of stress I intentionally or unintentionally ignored include tension in my jaws and neck areas, pain in my upper and lower back, irritability, fluctuating appetite, regular digestive and tummy problems, and emotional outbursts (Duraisamy Thevar, 2020). I kept telling myself that either way, life had to go on, and even when I was caving in, I assured myself that doing one more thing would keep life going.

Self-reflection allowed me to dig through stress, its manifestation, the impacts of poor stress management, and the ideal stress management strategies. Research has linked stress and poor stress management to various adverse medical conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, depression, and gastrointestinal issues. These conditions reduce the quality of life, first from the strain they cause to the body and the likelihood of not seeking medical attention. Having been under ridiculously high levels of stress has once gotten me into a psychological and physical breakdown, which was not a pleasant experience. The need to prioritize proper stress management thus remains vital in health promotion and individual and population wellness. Being proactive with stress management protects one’s mental wellbeing while reducing the risk of conditions like diabetes and hypertension, among other conditions mentioned above.

Poor Quality Sleep

Aside from poor stress management, I also figured that my sleeping pattern is problematic. A detailed analysis of the findings from the assessment reveals that low-quality sleep may be stemming from stress and poor stress management (Duraisamy Thevar, 2020). I realized that the longest sleeping hours I have attained over the last three months is five hours, with most night resting periods ranging from 4-5 hours of sleep. The chances of having a sleep disorder thus tower above the possibility of staying productive and healthy. Going through the reading materials on quality sleep and healthy sleeping patterns opened my eyes to chronic sleep issues, eliminating the need for using questionnaires to place the problem. Besides, I have such tendencies as falling asleep during group discussions and supposedly fun activities like games and road trips, leading my friends to hint at my need to seek help.

Quality sleep is a vital element for everyone’s health and wellness. The cumulative impacts of the lack of the recommended quality and length of sleep factors in one’s quality of life has been associated with various health issues, including increased risk for diabetes, hypertension, depression, stroke, anxiety, and obesity. Other issues surrounding sleep loss and poor sleeping patterns include poor cognitive functioning, irritability, reduced capacity to concentrate and focus, memory issues, and mood fluctuation. According to Ssekubugu et al. (2022), problematic sleeping patterns trigger the increased release of stress hormones, consequently upsetting one’s pulse rate and, ultimately an increase in blood pressure. These impacts stretch beyond immediate events since factors like concentration, focus, and memory issues often have long-term effects on our wellbeing as they impact our productivity and lower our alertness hence may expose us to harm, issues I can attest to having experienced over the last few months.

Unhealthy Eating Habits

Poor eating habits perhaps sit on top of the table on the factors that impact the quality of life. Eating habits have since been the centre of health promotion drives, inferring its contribution to poor quality of life (Ssekubugu et al., 2022). First up is my sugar addiction, as I acknowledge my inclination to consume questionably high levels of sugar per day, particularly processed food items. This is not the first time I have caught myself lagging in my eating habits, considering there have been heated moments in which the family doctor pointed out my remarkably high blood sugar levels and highlighted the need to cut down on sugar consumption, especially processed sugar products. The course reflection opened me up to a variety of possibilities, including the realization that I can control my dietary choices and seek help with the addiction rather than keep assuming helplessness while continuing with a tendency that will certainly affect my life negatively sooner or later.

The course reflection pushed me to read extensively on poor eating habits and their impacts on health and wellness. I came to understand that carrying on with my remarkably high sugar consumption trends will heighten the risk for chronic medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, liver issues, and obesity, among others. The detailed assessment revealed that these lifestyle conditions are at an all-time high. Continuing with my unhealthy habits is likely to make me part of diabetes and hypertension statistics, prompting me to review change initiatives. Cutting down on my processed sugar consumption may be the best decision I will ever make as it will lower the risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and hypertension (Ssekubugu et al., 2022). With this knowledge and consciousness, rectifying my eating habits majorly requires my consciousness and intentionality.

Risk Awareness and Crossover between Risk Factors and Conditions

Each of my lifestyle choices infers increased risk for various health conditions, including anxiety and depression, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and diabetes. Some of these chronic conditions feature multiple times in my lifestyle choices, including cardiovascular diseases, depression, and diabetes. These findings are quite worrying, especially considering that my family medical history reveals the predominance of most of these chronic conditions. Diabetes and depression are particularly prevalent throughout my family lineage. Most of my siblings, for instance, have been diagnosed with depression and diabetes in the recent past. Both my parents and grandparents have also been diagnosed with depression, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. While there is no direct link between depression and genetics, it is possible that individuals whose family history entails the mental health disorder will be predisposed to it (Shadrina et al., 2018). Therefore, dismissing the possibility of a genetic link would be reckless. This information cements the risk of being diagnosed with depression.

Besides depression, I also have an elevated risk for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. The course reflection necessitated an in-depth analysis of my family history, as highlighted, which shows that I am at high risk for these chronic conditions. There is a high likelihood that continuing with unhealthy eating habits and poor stress management will heighten the risk of experiencing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and hypertension, among other health issues (Cena & Calder, 2020). With both my parents and grandparents, maternal and paternal, having been diagnosed with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, it is almost certain that I harbour the gene that triggers these conditions hence the need for conscious decision-making to optimize my health and wellness.

Part 3: Prevention Planning

The self-reflection pointed out a high risk for various chronic conditions, with depression and cardiovascular diseases showing the highest risk. A detailed review of my lifestyle choices coupled with my family history played a central role in the reflection, further solidifying the essence of a wellness action plan. Depression is a mental health condition that sneaks up on people. The condition’s clinical manifestations include decreased concentration and focus, self-doubt, increased uncertainty, and loss of interest over extended periods. Cena & Calder (2020) highlight that with findings like insomnia, poor stress management, unhealthy eating habits, and a passive rather than active lifestyle over the last three months, the potential for depression is apparent. Given how the mental health issue affects, and the number of family members diagnosed with depression, the need to take proactive measures towards prevention and management is imminent. Extended periods of stress can also lay grounds for depression as individuals are likely to end up being caught in the loop, which is likely the case for me.

Early detection of depression creates room for effective management and prevents the likely deterioration of the mental health issue. According to Stein et al. (2022), early diagnosis and management are critical in promoting mental health and wellness besides lowering the severity of the episodes. The conscious knowledge that I often get less than half of the recommended hours of sleep per day is worrisome as sleep deprivation is a major factor for major depressive disorder, alongside poor stress management. Stein et al. (2022) state that most self-deprived individuals are unaware of their situation, as was my case prior to the course reflection. They are thus less likely to recognize their predisposition to depression, among other mental health issues. Self-awareness is thus a critical part of developing a health action plan. I also recognize that it may be impossible to prevent depression while acknowledging that my action plan is geared towards reducing the risk for the condition.

The first step towards depression prevention and management is the creation of awareness. Being aware of the condition and the factors predisposing me to depression will go a long way in monitoring for the signs and acknowledging its symptoms in my experiences (Duggal, 2019). I admit that my knowledge of the mental health condition prior to the self-reflection was quite limited. In fact, I may have experienced a series of depressive episodes in the past but failed to recognize the seriousness of the issue. My recent experiences have been occasioned by various emotional outbursts, irritability, extreme sadness, a guilty conscience, and the inability to concentrate, among other tendencies. I intend to journal every experience for monitoring purposes. The journaling will enable me to capture significant life events that may increase the risk of depression, including grief, loss of a job, and poor decisions.

To prevent and manage the other medical conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and hypertension, calls for a mitigation plan and my commitment to it. The plan also entails proper stress management alongside being intentional with my sleeping patterns. Researching the appropriate stress management techniques, like breathing exercises and task partitioning, and incorporating them into my day-to-day life will go a long way in levelling my stress and therefore improving the quality of my life. Executing these strategies over an extended period will improve my stress management skills and perhaps improve the quality of sleep I get. Consciously incorporating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables in my diet will also improve my gut health, subsequently stepping up my physical and mental health. I also intend to watch my portions while reducing my sugar consumption step by step. Spending more time with friends and family rather than in my own company will also help with my poor eating habits, as my parents and siblings are likely to hold me accountable.

Regular medical check-ups certainly have to be part of the plan, at least for monitoring purposes. According to Agnihothri et al. (2020), regular visits to healthcare professionals increases the chances for early detection and diagnosis for most chronic conditions, including diabetes, depression, and cardiovascular diseases. I will, therefore, incorporate medical check-ups in my long-term action plan. I intend to start treating emotional outbursts and extended frustration with the seriousness they warrant. I also look forward to beginning mental health therapy as these sessions will go a long way in keeping conditions like depression in check. A significant portion of my action plan is dedicated to mental health since the issue is less addressed hence calls for intentionality.


In a nutshell, the course reflection marks a critical part of my health awareness and wellness action. In a progressively busy world, most people, I included, are likely to take the backseat on matters of health and wellness. Through the rigorous assessment, I figured that I am at risk of various medical conditions, including depression, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. The lifestyle choices driving these health conditions include poor stress management, problematic sleeping patterns, and unhealthy eating habits. I have since devised a comprehensive action plan to address these issues, based on the modifiable risk factors and family health history. Adhering to the health action plan will reduce the risk for the conditions highlighted and boost my health and wellness.


Agnihothri, S., Cui, L., Delasay, M., & Rajan, B. (2020). The value of mHealth for managing chronic conditions. Health care management Science23(2), 185-202.

Cena, H., & Calder, P. C. (2020). Defining a healthy diet: evidence for the role of contemporary dietary patterns in health and disease. Nutrients12(2), 334.

Duggal, H. S. (2019). Self-management of depression: Beyond the medical model. The Permanente Journal23.

Duraisamy Thevar, R. N. (2020). Pattern and Prevalence of Stress and the Effectiveness of Relaxation Training on Stress among School Teachers of Perambalur Taluk, Tamil Nadu (Doctoral dissertation, Dhanalakshmi Srinivasan Medical College and Hospital, Perambalur).

Posluns, K., & Gall, T. L. (2020). Dear mental health practitioners, take care of yourselves: A literature review on self-care. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling42(1), 1-20.

Shadrina, M., Bondarenko, E. A., & Slominsky, P. A. (2018). Genetics factors in major depression disease. Frontiers in psychiatry9, 334.

Ssekubugu, R., Makumbi, F., Enriquez, R., Lagerström, S. R., Yeh, P. T., Kennedy, C. E., … & Nordenstedt, H. (2022). Cardiovascular (Framingham) and type II diabetes (Finnish Diabetes) risk scores: a qualitative study of local knowledge of diet, physical activity and body measurements in rural Rakai, Uganda. BMC Public Health22(1), 1-12.

Stein, D. J., Shoptaw, S. J., Vigo, D. V., Lund, C., Cuijpers, P., Bantjes, J., … & Maj, M. (2022). Psychiatric diagnosis and treatment in the 21st century: paradigm shifts versus incremental integration. World Psychiatry21(3), 393-414.


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