We’ve all been there: You’re at work, and you can’t stop yawning because you stayed up late watching a movie, or you get home from work too tired to go for your usual run. You have so much on your plate that the only thing that sounds good for dinner is diving headfirst into a bag of chips on the couch.
We’ve all experienced moments when our lives feel out of balance when we’re not putting enough time into caring for ourselves or doing enough of what makes us happy. In those moments, we may think the answer is to do more—to try to cram even more self-care activities into our already full days. In reality, though, we must slow down and focus on creating healthy routines rather than just checking off another task on our daily list. And that’s where holistic health comes in handy!
Holistic health is the practice of caring for all parts of yourself.
Holistic health is a practice that encompasses all aspects of well-being, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It’s about caring for your mind and body with the same attention you give to your home or work life.
The term holistic comes from the word “holism,” which means “the theory that complex systems (such as organisms or societies) have properties that cannot be derived from their parts.” When you think holistically about yourself, consider all aspects of your life—your spiritual needs and practical ones like eating healthy food or exercising regularly—and recognize how they all interact.
Holistic health begins when we understand ourselves as a whole being—a sum of our parts—and then commit to caring for each part accordingly.
Practicing holistic care means eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly.
Eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly are the cornerstones of holistic care. Eating various foods is important to provide your body with all the necessary nutrients. Fresh, whole foods are best, but if you can’t get organic produce, at least wash your food thoroughly before eating it. Processed foods tend to be higher in sugar and fat—both of which can increase inflammation—so try not to eat them very often. Also, remember that fiber helps reduce inflammation, so keep your intake high!
Holistic health means sleeping well every night.
- Sleep is important to your physical and mental health.
- If you’ve got trouble sleeping, it’s time to take some steps toward a better night’s rest.
- The quality of your sleep matters as much as the quantity.
- A regular sleep schedule helps promote healthy patterns that stick all night long.
Practicing holistic care means caring for your mental and emotional well-being.
- Your mind and body are connected, so it’s important to relax.
- Be kind to yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, or say no when you need that too.
- If something isn’t right in your life, listen to your gut, and don’t be afraid to change if the situation demands it. Change is often scary but necessary for growth!
- Finally, don’t forget about yourself! Taking care of others takes a lot out of us sometimes — learning how to recharge yourself will allow you more energy for everything else
A part of holistic health also means setting boundaries to protect your time and energy.
Practicing holistic care means setting boundaries to protect your time and energy. It’s a way of saying no to things that would take up your time or exhaust you, or yes to things important to you, like spending time with family and friends. Setting boundaries is also a sign that you’re worth your attention—that you deserve to care for yourself in ways that will enrich the quality of your life.
Practicing holistic care means spending time on what you love.
Regarding your health, the focus shouldn’t be on what you need to do. It should be about what you love. If something makes you happy, then by all means, do it! As long as it isn’t harmful or dangerous, there’s no reason not to enjoy yourself. Whether that means a day at the spa with essential oils or bike riding, you should do your favorite activity!
Someone who loves art might spend a day at an art museum; someone who loves animals might volunteer at their local animal shelter; someone who loves music may find themselves listening to their favorite album repeatedly until they can almost sing along with every lyric.
If you’re spending time doing something that brings joy into your life—whether that’s working in a garden or playing video games with friends—then chances are good that what you’re doing is contributing positively toward your overall well-being and mental health.
A critical aspect of self-care is taking the time to make sure you’re happy and healthy in all aspects of your life.
When discussing self-care, it can be easy to think we mean taking care of our physical health. But in truth, self-care is about taking care of yourself in every way possible—mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Here are some ways to practice holistic health:
- Give yourself time for yourself. Make sure you take time each day (or week) to be with your friends and family or just enjoy a hobby you love. It’s good for your soul!
- Be aware of what you’re doing and respect your limits. If something is stressful or difficult, don’t push yourself too far past the breaking point—that’s unhealthy!
- Set boundaries with others, so they know where they stand with you. Hence, there aren’t any surprises later down the road when things come up unexpectedly during stressful times throughout life, such as moving into college dorms at school next year when classes start again after winter break ends this coming January 20th (which happens every year).
Self Care is the Best Care!
Hopefully, you’re ready to start incorporating some holistic health practices into your life. It’s always a great idea to take stock of how we’re doing and start making positive changes, and this self-care style can make a huge difference in your life. Of course, if you struggle with issues like stress or anxiety, it’s important to seek help from qualified professionals with experience helping people through these tough times. Holistic health is a great tool for self-care, but it’s not meant to replace professional mental health care for those who need it.