When it comes to the topic of holistic health, it can be easy to get lost in the jargon and the “do’s and don’ts” of living a holistically healthy lifestyle. You may find yourself treading in an ocean of articles, books, and journals just trying to understand the basic lingo of the word “holistic” and coming out of the experience feeling exhausted and even more confused than when you started the process. What does holistic mean anyway? How do you incorporate the concept of holistic living as it relates to your health as a minimalist? How can you simplify the mumbo jumbo in order to make it clearly understandable and adaptable to your life? How can you live holistically simple?
What does “holistic” mean anyway?
The word holistic refers to the ideology of the whole being the sum of its parts. For example, an individual is not just his or her physical self, but also his or her mental, spiritual, and emotional self. In order to be holistically healthy, you must be able to dissect each area of your health and how it connects to your greater sense of self. How might sleep impact not only your physical health, but also your mental and emotional stability?
This concept of living a holistically healthy lifestyle actually is quite easily understood by most minimalists. Why? Minimalists navigate their lifestyle choices with meaning and purpose. Everything is done with intention including the foods they eat, how they spend their time, and the decisions they make on a daily basis. Simplicity is also a major player in the minimalist vocabulary. If an item or activity does not add value to a minimalist’s life, then it does not belong in their space. Both of these components aid in living a holistically healthy lifestyle, because the individual will only incorporate something into their lives if it is meaningful and adds value to one’s life. Thus, living a holistically healthy lifestyle should come fairly effortlessly to you if you approach it with a minimalist perspective.
Step One to Holistic Health
The first item on the agenda for immersing yourself in a holistically healthy lifestyle is to determine why you want to be healthy. What would it mean for you to be healthy in your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional state? How would improving in these areas impact your lifestyle as a whole? As a minimalist, it is important that you have meaning and intention behind embracing a change in your holistic health. Perhaps you want more energy to play with your grandchildren. You want to get your “happy” back, so you can embrace genuine moments spent with close friends. Maybe you wish to reduce your risk of heart disease in order to live a long meaningful life. Whatever your “why” is, it is important to define it clearly and specifically. Take the time to reflect on what it would mean to you to have a holistically healthy lifestyle, write it down, and then remember it moving forward with your holistic journey.
It is also important to break down what it would mean for you to be holistically healthy in each aspect of what makes up your life. Again, explore what being healthy physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally would mean to you and your life as a whole. Write out your conclusion for each area and perhaps a few ways you may be able to embrace a more holistic perspective in each.
Select One to Focus On
It can be rather easy to want to improve all aspects of your health at once. For example, many often want to improve their eating habits, exercising more, having more time for friends, reducing stress, getting more sleep, drinking more water, having a better balance of work and home life, etc. and they want it to happen all at the same time. Although all of these aspects of your life are, in fact, tied to living a holistically healthy lifestyle, it is not manageable to change everything overnight. Embracing this kind of lifestyle takes time and is a process rather than an end goal.
As you approach this holistic journey as a minimalist, select one area of your life you seek to improve first. To help you narrow your focus, consider which area of health may also benefit several of the other areas. For example, getting more sleep may give you the energy to exercise more, be more present in your relationships, and more effective in the workplace. You can also consider which area of your health is most critical to change in the current moment. Do you have an issue that is greatly impacting your ability to be healthy overall? Do you have a negative relationship in your life that is creating stress for you mentally and physiologically? Is your junk food habit wreaking havoc on your arteries? If an area is tugging at your heartstrings more than the others, take action to resolve that aspect before you explore the others.
This is the beauty of holistic health; making one adjustment is very likely to impact other aspects of your life as well. When you simply allow yourself to experience your minimalist perspective as it is applied to holistic health, the process unfolds naturally in sync with how you wish to live. The key is to not overreach or overthink your holistic health journey. When you use your minimalist approach, holistic health becomes a subject filled with meaning and intention aided by simple solutions you hand select.