Holistic health focuses on multiple areas of wellness, focusing on the whole person. When most people think about getting healthy, their main focus is on physical health— although more and more people are incorporating mental health into their wellness routines. However, there are many more areas of health to look at when it comes to holistic health.
Physical health is pretty self-explanatory, especially since most people focus on this area of health first. There are three major components of physical health: nutrition, physical activity and sleep.
Eating a diet rich in a variety of nutrients is the first step in taking care of your physical health. The body needs these six essential nutrients:
Sources differ on how much water one is supposed to drink. Some follow the general 8oz rule, while others consume much more. The amount of water one needs varies from person to person, so an exact amount can’t be calculated (you should also keep in mind that you can get some of your daily water intake from the foods you eat). One of the best ways to determine if you’re hydrated is if you have light-colored urine.
When it comes to the macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein), you should focus more on complex carbs, healthy fats, and lean or plant-based protein. As for micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), you can consume these by eating a variety of vegetables and fruit.
Getting enough exercise is the next step in taking care of your physical health. Like nutrition, there’s no “one size fits all”, but a general rule is moderate to intense physical activity for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Depending on your ability level, some forms of exercise may be better than others. However, some of the best exercises to try include:
• HIIT (high intensity interval training)
The average adult needs at least seven hours of sleep every night, but nine is ideal. It’s also important to rest your body (and your mind) often, whether it’s taking a short break from work/school or taking a short break from your workouts.
More and more people are beginning to focus on their mental health these days, because they’re aware of the impact that past events can have on their current actions, behavior, and way of life. For example, abuse (of any type) can leave lasting impacts for the rest of one’s life. There are also three components to mental health: emotional, social, and spiritual.
Emotional health can be negatively affected by a variety of things, so it’s important to prioritize this part of mental health. For those who have experienced a traumatic event, such as abuse, reaching out to a therapist and even a lawyer (such as Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers) can help with emotional healing.
Social health is just as important as emotional health. Studies show that connections with other people can improve happiness. This is why those who isolate themselves from others are more likely to experience feelings of depression. Just keep in mind that while it’s great to interact with a variety of people, it’s just as important to set certain boundaries to protect your mental health.
Spiritual health doesn’t necessarily mean you have to practice a certain religion— although there is a lot of overlap. However, if you are religious, continue practicing your faith to strengthen your spiritual health. You can also meditate and spend time outdoors as a way to nurture spiritual health.
Intellectual health is another aspect of whole health that many people may not think about— especially if they’re out of school. It’s important to continue learning and strengthening your mind, even when you’re out of school. Ways to do this include:
• Doing crossword and jigsaw puzzles
• Enrolling in continuing education
• Improving verbal skills
• Keeping up with social and political issues
• Learning a new skill
• Practicing problem-solving
• Reading newspapers/magazines/books
Learning is a lifelong process, so it’s necessary to continue learning.
All of these aspects of health interconnect and have an impact on each other. For example, eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep each night all have a positive impact on mental and intellectual health. On the other hand, issues with mental health can cause issues in other areas, with insomnia being an example. For a truly healthy lifestyle, you must take a more holistic approach to your health.