What is Holistic Living
Updated: Oct 16
I like to call it Wholistic …
Holistic living and the whole idea of Wholeness are topics that literally light my soul up. I’m always growing and stretching on my wellness journey but I can say I have come to the realization that we are such complicated beings and our path to wellness is a journey on which we choose to embrace all aspects of life.
Health isn’t to be chased and achieved but it has to be a way of living our one precious life.
Some of the healthiest populations on earth (such as in Sardinia, Ikaria – Greece, and Okinawa – Japan) with the highest number of people living over 100 all have something in common and that is: People living the way life was meant to be lived. Eating local real food, living simple, with a little work and a lot of rest and community.
They are just doing the things each and every day that feel natural to their bodies and their cultures and they are living long, healthy lives.
8 Holistic Living tips:
1. Learn to eat and enjoy real foods
There are several different paradigms in the holistic health space but Nutrition is a key component of holistic living and overall health. The foods we eat have a direct impact on our health.
Real whole foods from the earth are essential to live a healthy life. Spend a fun afternoon researching recipes or meal plans that use real foods. Try a variety of new vegetables every time you grocery shop, even make traditional comfort foods out of real, nutrient-dense ingredients.
2. Create a symptom or food and mood journal
Check in with yourself throughout the day and at the end of the day to document your activities and foods and how they impact how you feel. This will help you get in touch with your body and determine patterns of activities serving you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
These journals will give you an idea of what makes you feel energetic and happy and what makes you feel less energetic or less joyful.
3. Self care (But not just your physical health)
This may sound silly, but this practice of taking care of yourself as if you were a child can really help you learn to rest when you need to rest and eat when you are hungry, and so on. Children innately know their limits and what their bodies need, and we are trained out of following this wisdom as we enter society.
We are not often taught to treat ourselves with patience, kindness, and grace. However we can learn to re-parent ourselves. This may require the assistance of a qualified therapist, but the work is extremely important, and can be transformative.
Treating yourself gently and with care, as you would a child, is one of the important aspects of self love that I have recently started focusing deeper on. Self-talk and the dedication to be aware of our emotions all the time is a gamechanger. You won’t believe how much better you can feel when you start taking really good care of yourself and listening to your real needs.
4. Take it one day at a time
We are human beings and can’t expect every day to be the same or to be perfect.
Every day is a new opportunity and we are constantly growing and learning. If you slip up on your eating or sleep habits or choose to do something not in your best interest, give yourself some grace.
5. Recognize your ability to heal so you don’t feel stuck in illness and self doubt
Your body wants and is capable to heal and to feel good. Start by removing limiting phrases from your vocabulary. Stop identifying with illness or your diagnosis; rather than saying you have a disease, say you are a person who experiences the symptoms of a disease.
Recognize that all symptoms are individual, often temporary experiences and that you have the power to try and heal from.
Getting help when you need it is the key.
6. Value good rest
My goal is to teach life shouldn’t be all about how hard we can hustle, but how well we can balance work and rest. It encourages recovery, and good sleep…and good sleep in so many ways is the foundation for healthy hormones, a healthy mind, and a healthy body.
7. Prioritize connecting with nature
We are deeply connected with nature and the environment around us. Humans naturally gravitate towards nature and research has shown that just 15 minutes spent in nature can reduce cortisol levels (our bodies main stress hormone) by 16%. Less stress means a healthier body and mind.
8. Start to find joy in your life
Multiple different studies have indicated that positive emotions like happiness and joy help your health. Write down the experiences that bring you joy.
After identifying what makes you truly happy, begin making a plan to bring more of these experiences into your life. Focus on the positive and allow negative experiences to just be temporary.
Holistic health is a broad idea of viewing yourself as a complex being that needs nurturing and care both inside and out. By practicing some basic holistic health techniques, you can feel better and start to improve your overall well-being.
As always, please check with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.
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