We can all stand to take better care of ourselves and focus a bit more on leading healthier lifestyles. The Internet can lead you down a confusing path of nutritional cure-alls, unusual therapies, and detoxifying cleanses that leave your head spinning. While wellness is unique to every individual and is a constantly evolving practice, we’ve put together a small list of tried and true holistic healing tools that will amp up any health regimen.
Holistic healing emphasizes the connection between mind, body, and spirit to treat the individual as a whole. The focus is on how you interact with your environment while considering the intertwining of these three elements. This is a lifestyle that enhances the body’s ability to heal itself by utilizing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual tools to achieve maximum well-being. It is meant to aid health care practices, not replace them. Always consult your physician before starting a new routine.
1. Nutrition: Eat the Right Foods
Your mom was totally right when she told you to eat your veggies. Foods rich in minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, and fiber are massively healing to the body and grounding for the mind. Thankfully, these foods are insanely accessible and super easy to sneak into your diet. Fruits, legumes, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains each contain a myriad of nutrients that do wonders for your health. Try adding a handful of spinach to your smoothie or some black beans to your soup and start playing around with plant-based foods you enjoy! Have you tried our yummy green breakfast bowl yet?
2. Nutrition: Don’t Eat the Wrong Foods
We’re not going to say never but do your best to minimize the processed food in your daily diet. You want to stay as close to nature as possible when considering nutrition. Too much sugar, red meat, and fake sweetener wreaks havoc on your system by loading the body with chemicals and additives that are extremely difficult to tolerate. You’ll see an almost immediate result when you cut back on these processed foods and replace them with nutrient-rich ones.
3. Activity: Move Your Body
Exercise gets your blood pumping, increases endorphins, builds muscle, assists in the waste removal process, and does wonders for your brain. You don’t need to hit the gym for a hefty weight session or run a marathon to achieve these benefits – it’s easier and way more fun than you think. Just 30 minutes daily of yoga, walking, rock climbing, dancing, bicycling, or even jumping on a trampoline will make a huge difference in your overall well-being. We love getting moving with our Vita Collective members! Let us know what activities you want to try out in the comment section at the bottom.
4. Rest: Head to Bed
You know how your cell phone shuts off when you haven’t charged it sufficiently? Well, that’s how your body works. It just happens over a longer period of time. Lack of sleep impairs your ability to make decisions, slows your metabolism, and leaves your immune system vulnerable. Aim for 6-8 hours of sleep each night and develop a routine by getting to bed and waking up at similar times daily. Cutting out caffeine in the afternoon and staying away from screens right before bedtime will improve your quality of rest.
5. Breathe: Consciously Inhale and Exhale
We can all attest to the importance of breathing. It’s a pretty big deal as far as survival is concerned. What most of us don’t consider are the widespread benefits of a deep breathing practice. Breath work is shown to reduce muscle tension, increase oxygen flow, lower blood pressure, release endorphins, and assist the lymphatic system in detoxifying the body. It’s a simple practice with major benefits to your mind, body, and soul. Play around and find a routine that works for you (there are tons of instructional resources online!).
A good place to start is by trying this basic regimen:
Breathe in through your nose, filling your diaphragm to the top, and hold for 3 seconds while “full”. Exhale through your nose fully and hold while “empty” for 3 more seconds. Do this 15-20 times before bed each night and right when you wake up each morning.
6. Meditation: Get Your Head Right
A few minutes of meditation can make all the difference in your mental and emotional states while providing palpable physical benefits. We hosted a meditation class at Vita Collective and noticed an immediate
change in our stress levels. Meditating also promotes melatonin production (meaning better sleep) and antibody development (boosting your immune system). Vita Collective member, Thomas,
commented on his experience, “I found the meditating very beneficial to my inner-self. I tend to be a high-strung person with juggling school, work, and a social life. However, being so busy causes me to lose track of myself. The meditation exercises we were led through really helped me turn down anything ‘loud’ in my life and be in the present.”.
7. Self-Care: Show Yourself Some Love
Doing things that make you feel happy, relaxed, and strong are so important to your overall well-being. Take time regularly to enjoy activities that “fill your bucket”. Think long baths and facials, or listening to your favorite podcast, even movie nights with friends. Self-care is an easy and fun way to make yourself a priority but it often gets lost in the shuffle of daily obligations. Make sure you’re taking care of you and showing yourself a little love each week.
8. Community: Show Your Loved Ones Some Love
Cultivating a quality group of people around you is one of the most important parts of life. In every “blue zone” throughout the world (areas where a large percentage of the population lives to be over 100 years old), community plays an enormous role. Aside from potentially prolonging life, deep connections massively improve our quality of life. You are a happier, healthier person with a greater sense of purpose when you focus on building relationships. The key is to find people who build you up, then focus on developing deeper connections by spending time and energy on those people.
Holistic healing is an inclusive approach to wellness that incorporates all aspects of well-being. Start small and find which practices work well for you! There are tons of online resources available along with a massive community of healthy lifestylers. Again, always consult with your medical doctor before altering your routine – these are meant to complement, not replace.
Join us this month for Grill Your Doc! An evening of enjoying grilled food and grilling our doctors with some tough questions! Tuesday, July 25 from 6:00-8:00