It has been said that a holistic approach to our lives is needed to reach a space of balance. But what does that look like in a practical way? For me, it is comprised of the basic pillars that make up my daily experience: physical health, emotional health, food, and my space (home). These are the ways in which I can personally affect my everyday experience, and always determines how I show up in the world. Whether that’s in my personal relationships, my work, or to the stranger in the grocery store. When these aspects have been tended to in a nurturing way, I am more grounded, less agitated, and generally enjoy my own company more. Though four areas every day may seem like a lot, I usually go easy on myself and do what I can on any given day.
PHYSICAL HEALTH | Though I love a long, drawn-out hike on the weekend, during the week, physical health is usually my biggest challenge (bless those of you who wake up at 5am and make it to the gym, this will never be my reality). That being said, I can always find time for a short Pilates routine, a few yoga poses, or if nothing else, a brief series of stretches (sometimes in the kitchen!), which seems to do the trick.
EMOTIONAL HEALTH | This is a big one and one that most of us have been taught not to prioritize. I do what I can every morning to start my day in a balanced state. The quickest way for me to do this is with some deep breathing in the morning, even spending 5 minutes before I get out of bed, taking deep breaths to connect and check in, will start me off on the right foot. The next part of this is honoring what comes up for me during the day, if I get irritated or frustrated, I will process through those emotions either by myself or with a friend and then I can let it go and move on. Of course, there are days when emotions run high for one reason or another. The important thing here is to allow them to move through as opposed to suppress, bury or numb them. Most days, simply sharing them with someone you trust will defuse their intensity and if you can get to a place where you can laugh about it, that’s even better.
FOOD | I’ll be doing a post in the future on intuitive eating which is what I practice on a daily basis. This basically means paying attention to how foods make me feel, listening to my body and what it needs from me on any given day and generally making choices that feel good and satisfying. I will not punish myself, I will not restrict myself, and I don’t involve guilt or judgments like “being good” or “being bad” to enter into the equation. Eating mostly whole, unprocessed foods, always leaves me feeling more energized and less driven by cravings throughout the day.
SPACE | My home and personal space is a huge contributor to feeling a sense of balance and ease in my everyday life. A space that is uncluttered, functional, and serene does wonders to ground me regardless of what else is happening in my world. Creating a nurturing environment, whatever that looks like for you can be a rewarding way to care for ourselves.
Think about these four pillars in your own life. What small things can you do on a daily basis to tend to them in order to nurture yourself in a more “whole-listic” way.