You’re kidding yourself if you think health is just about "eat this, not that" and exercising. We now know that there are many other factors that can enhance overall well-being and quality of life outside of our physical state. This is the concept of holistic health—which takes into consideration the whole person (spirit, mind, and body) and not just the sum of certain parts.
As you can imagine, when one part of us is neglected or missing something, it impacts the other parts of our being. Today, I’m sharing 6 healthy habits that can improve your holistic health!
- Get. Enough. Sleep! It isn’t news to hear how important sleep is for our health. But just like everyone’s need for energy is different, so is the amount of sleep. Just because your friend can function well on six hours doesn't mean you can. Pay attention to the number of hours of zzz’s that help you feel well-rested, and make getting them a top priority of your self-care. I’m a huge fan of the iPhone’s “Bedtime” feature in the Clock app, as it can help keep you on a regular sleep schedule with friendly reminders and peaceful alarms that won’t jar you awake.
- Laugh. (A lot!) There are few things that lift our spirits more than an uncontrollable belly laugh in response to something that tickles our funny bone. Laughing releases those feel-good hormones, a.k.a. endorphins. So the next time you need a little pick-me-up, try viewing a funny YouTube video or texting a funny friend. It’ll turn any frown upside down.
- Take 10-minute timeouts. Whether you’re taking a stretch break from sitting at your desk or tuning in to your personal playlist while walking, making intentional timeouts for yourself can actually increase your productivity and creativity. Because we’re not robots, taking breaks from work really allows us an opportunity to refocus and recharge in order to tackle the next task.
- Say, “No thanks!” Consider this: every time you say yes to something, you’re also saying no to something else. Prioritizing what you really want (and need) in life requires a firm (but considerate) “no” from time to time. If you’re finding yourself stretched thin or always saying, "I’ll start tomorrow," then you may need to practice the power of “no” more often.
- Adopt a mantra. Every week and every day brings its own sets of obstacles and challenges. Instead of letting yourself fold under the pressure and stress of these unplanned chores, adopt a mantra to help energize and empower you to push through the tough times. When we don’t stop negative thinking in its tracks, we spiral into a storm of self-sabotage. Need some ideas? Try these Printable Motivating Mantras to Inspire Healthy Living.
- Honor what your body wants. One of the best ways you can “treat yo self” is to listen to what your body needs. Even if you planned to make boot camp class, but you’re still really sore from yoga the day before, it’s OK to give yourself another day to recoup and get back to physical activity once your body has fully recovered. A truly healthy mind knows when it's time to push and when it's time to pull back a bit. So, pay attention to the signals your body is sending you, and be good to it!
The relationship you have with yourself impacts everything else in your life. So, make sure to take care of your mind, body, and spirit. What’s your favorite way to practice self-care? Tell us on Facebook with #healthyliving.