Our lives are demanding. We have a lot going on, have a lot of stressors and frankly, a lot of responsibilities. And sometimes, all of these “things” that we have going on, or that we are taking care of, or managing, cause us to get run down and cloud our ability to be the best person we can be. Which is truly a crime, because we are all great humans that have amazing things to offer the world. Given that we are heading towards the new year, we thought this would be a prime opportunity to encourage everyone to pause and check out a few ways that you can take care of yourself more holistically in 2020.
Holistically taking care of yourself is about understanding, and feeding your mind, body, and soul. There’s a connection there. Your mind, body, and soul support each other and makeup who you are as an individual. And when one area is not performing at its best, the others suffer. This is the idea behind a holistic approach to self-care. When you take care of all three areas, you can flourish in ways you may not have thought of, which is pretty darn magical.
So, let’s take a look at a few ideas that can be utilized to help you be your best you!
Your mind is constantly active and thinking about so many things. Give your mind an opportunity to rest by practicing meditation. Find somewhere that you are comfortable, sit or lie down, close your eyes and breathe. Breathe naturally and focus your attention on how you are breathing – not to change it, but simply to notice it. Meditation for just a few minutes can have a positive impact on you and can reduce anxiety and stress.
Practicing gratitude can occur in many forms. You may choose to write down what you are grateful for, you may choose to say them out loud, or you may choose to say them in your mind. This is totally up to you. But the art of being grateful helps bring to mind the good in your life and helps you focus on the positives that surround you every day.
Journal your thoughts.
Sometimes we need to get our thoughts out of our mind, and a good way to do this is through journaling. Find a notebook, keep it by the side of your bed and use it to jot down your thoughts. Don’t worry about grammar, punctuation or even what you are writing. Simply take joy in writing your thoughts down on paper.
Take deep breaths.
This can be done in an elevator, at your desk, sitting in traffic or waiting for a friend. Take a few, truly deep breaths starting from your abdomen rather than the upper chest, and be aware of the process of taking these deep breaths.
Transition to positive thinking.
This one may take some practice, but the benefits are pretty amazing. The process includes modifying how you think about things, and how you verbalize things. For example, instead of “I have to go to work”, modify that statement to “I get to go to work”. That one-word change puts you back in the driver seat of your life and positions what you are doing in a positive way.
Try something new.
This could be a class, a new podcast or even a new route to work. Trying something new helps expand your mind and triggers your mind to think differently, see things differently and stimulate creativity, which can ripple into other areas of your life.
You’ve likely heard the phrase you are what you eat. And, that phrase is true. Think about how you feel when you eat fast food, compared to how you feel when you eat a healthy meal that was prepared at home. Likely, the healthy home-cooked meal had you feeling more energized than the fast-food did. Use the new year as an opportunity to incorporate more healthy foods into your meals. Prioritize fruits and vegetables, and de-prioritize processed foods. Try preparing meals at home to ensure you know what ingredients are in your dish. Not sure what to cook? Hop on Pinterest and type in clean eating, vegetarian recipes or healthy meals. You’ll quickly have multiple recipes to take a look at.
What you drink deserves a review as well. Water should be high on your list of what you drink throughout the day. Try changing up the flavor by adding a squeeze of lemon, some berries or even cucumbers. This can change the flavor while giving you an additional vitamin boost.
Exercise also has positive impacts on your body. Find ways to add more activity to your day by taking the stairs, walking or biking to work, walking the dog or meeting a friend for a walk after work. If you are interested in more activity, check out available gyms in your area, or establish a work-out group with your friends.
Express your creativity.
This could be in the form of art, music, dance, writing, cooking, photography, building, etc. Choose the outlet that you enjoy and go for it. Don’t worry about the outcome. It is less about the output and more about the process that you go through. Enjoy what you are doing, while you are doing it. And, try to become immersed in the process and just focus on what you are doing.
Go outside. Be in nature.
That could be the beach, a park, a nature path or a mountain. The idea is to be in nature and observe what is around you. Notice the birds, the plants, the sand, and the wind. Breathe it all in and really take notice of what is living and moving around you.
Read something that inspires you or energizes you. This could be poetry, philosophy, a book on positive affirmations, or an autobiography on someone you find to be a positive being. Reading opens you up to new ideas and can inspire you to achieve new things. Find something that interests you and dig in.
Sure, this could be about making a monetary donation, but it can also be the practice of giving of your time or your talents. Volunteer at a local non-profit organization that you feel passionate about or offer your talents to an organization. There are many needs out there and your time, or talents, could be a benefit to so many others in your community.
As you think about the coming year and changes that you might want to implement, consider adding a few of these ideas to your daily life. Small changes can result in major positive impacts, which can help you become your best you. And, keep in mind that becoming a better you is a journey – a journey that we hope you enjoy!
What does your holistic health look like? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on social media.