Holistic philosophy is ‘characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole’.
In order to live holistically healthy lives, it’s important to ensure that our bodies are well taken care of through exercise and properly nourished by organic and nutritious foods. It’s equally as important to ensure that our minds and emotions are taken care of through self-care and stimulating activities like reading and meditation.
When both of these are done right, they can have incredibly uplifting effects on our emotions and our overall health, allowing us to live and enjoy our lives to the fullest.
The key is finding a balance that aligns with our values and lifestyle choices, not one based on what everyone else is doing.
Here are 10 steps you can take so that you can slowly start implementing healthier habits and positive thinking into your daily life, that will allow you to unlock your healthiest and happiest self.
1. Start cooking for yourself & know that anyone can cook – even you!
If you’re someone who has never used a cooking utensil before then now is the time to change that. Cooking is absolutely not rocket science and it is not as hard as it may seem at first.
It’s important to establish a positive relationship with food in order to enjoy eating our favourite treats without feeling horrible about ourselves. It’s about living our lives with the whole rainbow of nutrients we need to keep us alive for as long as possible without falling ill.
In the same way that you make time to go to the gym or to attend a yoga class, it’s essential to make time to be in your kitchen. To connect with the food that you’re making, knowing exactly what and how it’s being prepared and the way that it will do you good. As cliché as it sounds, your body is a temple and should be treated as such.
Too often in this modern world, we find that we don’t have time to think about what we’re putting into our bodies. We don’t have time to cook or to look for healthy restaurant options so it’s easy to get a cheap ready meal or to stop at the fast food joint around the corner on the way home. It’s no wonder why our society has become so moody, stressed and unmotivated. We don’t make the connection between the food we’re eating and the way our bodies and minds feel.
The easiest way to make sure that you are eating a well-balanced diet throughout the week is to make time, over the weekend for example, to prepare and freeze meal boxes. Meal prepping allows you to cook only once or twice a week, thus saving both time and money in the long run. It reduces the stress of having to think about what you’re going to eat every day and will help you stay on track with your health and fitness goals.
The internet has some delicious, and simple healthy recipes that everyone can follow that will help get you into the habit of being in the kitchen. You might even find that you enjoy it!
2. Don’t be afraid of Fruits and Veggies
Every single different fruit and vegetable is loaded with vitamins and minerals that are not only preventative measures against some of the most destructive illnesses but contain healing remedies far more beneficial than even that of modern medicine.
In order to get the best results, it’s advised to eat fruits raw on an empty stomach because being completely natural, they are ready to be digested by the body. If you consume them with or after other foods like carbohydrates or processed foods, their nutrients can get lost and won’t enter your system as easily as they otherwise would. And that defeats the purpose of eating them at all.
Cooking vegetables allows you to infuse them with spices and flavours, so experiment with them any way that you feel will make them more interesting for you. Be sure to eat the full rainbow to benefit from the range of nutrients.
3. Hydration is King
Water and the benefits of hydration is something we all forget about but is so important. Without water, our brain cannot function at its maximum capacity and our bodies feel sluggish and dry. The human body can go for up to three weeks without food but we can die of dehydration in three or four days. Drinking warm water instead of cold water, especially after a meal boosts the enzymes in our digestive system and makes so we don’t feel so bloated or full up.
It’s such a simple thing but it’s one of those things that not all of us have a habit of doing. If you have a water bottle with you at all times throughout the day you’ll be more inclined to fill it up and that way you’re more likely to get at least 3 litres of water into your system.
5. Read some books & then read some more
The written word is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful pieces of art mankind ever invented. Whether it’s to escape your day to day life through the beauty of poetry and fiction or to learn something new about the world or about yourself through non-fiction and self help books, reading is one of the best things you can do for yourself if you want to continue to grow.
These days you can’t even use the excuse that you don’t have time or that you don’t like sitting down with a book because audio books have revolutionised the world. Listen to your books on the tube, in the car, on the bus or as you walk to school or work.
Books helps stimulate your mental health and are one of the best ways to learn about different habits, hobbies and passions that you can develop within yourself. (See point 8)
6. Get moving
It doesn’t matter where and it doesn’t matter when or how. All you have to do is move your body a few times a day. Whether you’re going to the gym, doing yoga, attending a class or dancing in front of a home workout video in your living room, working out not only allows you to get into better shape, but it releases all the feel-good hormones that improve your mood, energy and productivity.
Watching a series? Stand up and do some squats every 10 minutes. Going up a few stories in a building? Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Going grocery shopping? Take a long way and enjoy a brisk walk. Not to mention that now is the best time to join the gym and get involved in all the promotions and classes they’ll have going on for the start of the year.
7. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself
Life is too short to deprive yourself of the foods that make your taste buds explode! It’s okay to indulge in your favourite comfort food; that slice of cake, or that sweet treat. As long as you practice self-control and keep your ‘treat’ for when you’re really craving it. It’ll make the experience of having it that much more enjoyable than if you were having it every day.
8. Do more of what you love
Make time for the things you love doing and start doing the things you think you’ll love but haven’t gotten round to trying.
By incorporating your hobbies, interests and things you love doing into your everyday life, you’re giving them as much importance as the things you absolutely have to do in life; like showering and paying bills. This will allow you to value all of your days and will allow you to continue to develop.
None of us was put on this earth to do one thing, we are all capable of doing so many different things and there are so many opportunities around us that it would be a waste for us not to live curiously and to try as many as we can.
9. Remember, less stuff = less stress
Now this is me throwing in some minimalist thinking into the New Year. If you read my post on why I embraced Minimalism you’ll know that I’m a firm believer in the idea that if you declutter your life, you’ll not just make more space in your physical world but also in your emotional and mental sphere. Space that you can then fill with more of what you love (step 8), new things you want to try (step 1) and activities that will enrich your life (step 5).
If you can dig deep down and uncover the reason why you may be so attached to your material possessions and the ephemeral ‘pleasures’ and ‘necessities’ of modern life, then I know that you’ll unlock your most free self and you’ll begin to see yourself living the life of your choice.
10. Consider writing a journal
Taking care of our mental health and understanding the vast range of human emotions that we possess is one of the keys to unlocking our happiest and most peaceful self. I’ve been writing a journal now for as long as I can remember and it’s one of the things that helps me the most when it comes to dealing with events and experiences that I have in my life, the good, the bad and the ugly.
You don’t have to be a writer to journal, and you don’t have to do it every day. There is no right way to write a journal because your pen is an extension of yourself, and each and every one of us is different. So, if you feel like you need an outlet for the things you’re thinking and feeling, consider writing a journal.
Writing can be one of the most therapeutic ways of organising and dealing with life. Write down your goals, your dreams, your plans and your emotions, catalogue them and watch yourself blossom into your best self.
Once you’ve mastered all of the above, you’re guaranteed to be well on your way on a beautiful journey towards living your best life. It’s not about finding perfection in one part of your life, it’s about creating that perfect balance in all aspects of your life, so that on the whole, you’ll be healthy and happy.
If you begin to understand the power of holistic living, your positivity and motivation will skyrocket and you’ll be able to tackle even the most difficult tasks that life throws your way.
Sit back, grab some Oreos (because it’s all about balance!) and I can’t wait to see what life has to offer us next !