What is Holistic health and how can I achieve it?

Ivy College Health and Wellbeing

There’s a new buzzword on the health and wellbeing scene and it’s one that we envisage to stick around for the long-haul. “Holistic” health – it’s a phrase we hear at every turn, but what does it actually mean?

Holistic Health can be defined as an approach to life. Rather than focusing on illness or specific parts of the body, this ancient approach to health considers the whole person and how he or she interacts with his or her environment. Holistic health emphasises the connection of mind, body, and spirit. The goal is to achieve maximum well-being, where everything is functioning at the highest level possible. The concept of holistic health encourages people to accept responsibility for their own level of wellbeing, and everyday choices that effect their health.

So how do we apply a true holistic approach to our wellbeing? Do we know what it means to care for our mind, body and spirit as a full package?

There is no doubt that most of us are doing the best we can to give our time, energy and money to one piece of the holistic pie. For example, we commit to exercising regularly and eating well in order to care for our bodies. Yet, we can neglect the health and wellbeing of our minds when we struggle to relax and allow the body time to restore, leading to our cortisol (stress) levels running high.

How many of us submerge ourselves in work or a passion, enjoying the creativity and sense of purpose it gifts our spirit, only to often work long, late hours and compromise our basic need for enough sleep?

You start to see the dilemma that most of us have. Typically, we are good at giving our attention to where it comes most naturally however, it comes as a sacrifice to another area of our life.

Among the buzz and chaos of everyday life, if we stop and pay attention to our thoughts, feelings and bodies we’ll soon find out what we are neglecting.

Wellbeing is made up of physical health, emotional nurture, mental stimulation, focus, clarity and spiritual nourishment. Therefore, in order to feel at our very best we need a complete approach that meets our needs in each of these areas.
The best way to start a holistic self-care path for is to create a personal wellbeing plan. Start by categorising the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual parts and then chose one activity that will serve you in that area, in the most enjoyable and meaning way to you. For example:

Physical – a daily 45 minute walk outside
Mental – commit to a 15 minute morning meditation
Emotional – make time to catch up with a close friend once a week
Spiritual – rediscover a passion, interest or hobby by making time to incorporate in your week

Like introducing anything new, give it time. It may be easier to choose one thing to start with and commit to that so the practice doesn’t overwhelm your current schedule. You’ll soon experience how possible it is to create a balanced state of wellbeing.
When we start to experience the value in caring for all parts of ourselves, we begin to feel more complete, fulfilled, healthier and happier, and we uncover a radiance that shines from inside out.

About the Author: Nicole Schaerer

Nicole Schaerer is Ivy College’s vibrant Social and Content Executive. A young gun with a curious mind, she has over 4 years’ experience in Marketing. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and a Diploma of Marketing, she is always looking to learn something new. Nicole has a passion for writing and producing great content while also obsessing over TV shows, celebrities and really cute photos of puppies on Instagram.

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