By: Tess DiNapoli
It’s no secret that living a modern lifestyle goes hand in hand with stressors of all kinds. There’s no way to avoid the daily grind of going to work, maintaining a social life, and chasing progress, progress, progress! However, when you only pay attention to external markers of success, you will find it hard to be content and even harder to stay that way.
Imagine if you had tools in your back pocket that kept your body, mind, and spirit healthy and peaceful no matter what was going on in your daily life. Living a holistic lifestyle is all about respecting your deepest intrinsic needs no matter what’s on your to-do list. The best part about this lifestyle is that it doesn’t require huge changes to your daily life. Just take these 10 steps to get started!
A healthy diet is essential for good mood, longevity, and energy levels. Whenever possible, try making healthier swaps in your diet. Choose to eat as many organic, local, seasonal, and non-processed foods as you can. Reduce sugars and sodium without cutting them out entirely. It’s also important to make sure you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need. If you’re following a vegan diet, for example, consider taking a Spirulina capsule to help keep you energized and healthy.
Regular meditation leads to many benefits for the body and mind including reduced stress, and enhanced self-esteem.
“Establishing a meditation practice doesn't have to be a big deal,” says Toby Sola, co-founder of the guided meditation app, Brightmind. “You practice 10 minutes, most days, your skills will increase and that will positively impact your thoughts, speech, and actions. Most people log their 10 minutes first thing in the morning because this allows them to get to it before anything else gets in their way.”
There are also many different types of meditation out there, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that can help you. Mindfulness meditation, for example, is all about observing and accepting your thoughts as they occur. It’s a great way to come to terms with difficult life experiences and self-judgment. If you’ve never meditated before, a meditation app or class is a great place to start! Other great stress-reducing mindfulness activities include journaling, aromatherapy, yoga, zentangle drawing, and coloring books.
Humans are one puzzle piece in the giant puzzle that is the natural world, and it pays to get in touch with the amazing creatures, plants, and landscapes around you. Taking a hike or stargazing is a great way to put your problems into perspective and get back in tune with the big picture.
A regular exercise regimen helps you stay healthy and feel more confident. “We all know working out is hard,” says Nick Bare, U.S. military veteran and founder of Bare Performance Nutrition. “But the benefits we can receive from getting our heart rate up for even 30 minutes is tremendous! Working out for as little as 30 minutes a day has been proven to help increase energy levels … and make you happier in the long run.”
Going to the gym is a great way to exercise, but it certainly isn’t for everyone. Other great fitness activities to try include dance classes, spin classes, swimming, yoga, or even just walking your dog at a brisk pace around your favorite park!
Thinking about your life, your career, and your health is important, but it can also be exhausting. Making some time to help others who are going through hard times can give you a break from your own problems. Make it a habit to reach out to friends you haven’t spoken to in a while or volunteer in your community.
The busier you are, the easier it is to miss out on your recommended water intake. Because water maintains all of your body’s essential functions, poor hydration is one of the first habits you should correct when switching to a holistic lifestyle. Yes, drink the recommended water intake for your weight and age, but also improve the quality of what you drink. Instead of soda and sugary drinks, try making your water more tasty by adding chunks of seasonal fruit such as watermelon and grapefruit. Collagen Water is also a fantastic grab-and-go option as it is made with real fruit juice and contains 3g of sugar or less. Another great option to keep you hydrated is to drink tea. There are also many different types of teas out there to suit every taste and nutritional need – you just need to find one that you like!
We’ve all heard of (and stressed over) FOMO, the Fear of Missing Out. But 2019 is the year of embracing the Joy of Missing Out! This mindful, put-yourself-first strategy is all about being intentional with how you spend your time. Taking a step back from social media, practicing self-care, and learning to say “no” if that’s what your mind and spirit require, are all ways to live a more fruitful, holistic lifestyle.
We live in a world that strongly values work and productivity. It can be easy to feel like you must fill up all of your time, even your free time. Because success is as much about working smart as it is about working hard, a little brain refreshing can do a lot of good. Take some time off and do something that serves no productive purpose, such as reading for pleasure, going on an aimless drive, or taking a bubble bath.
Being unforgiving does no one any good. Yes, you or someone in your life may have made a mistake, but the next step should be to try and do better, not to focus on blame. Of course, if someone has overstepped an unforgivable boundary and hurt you, do what’s best for you.
The people you surround yourself with have a huge influence on your mood and who you end up becoming. If your heart is set on adopting a holistic lifestyle, then it can help to make some friends with the same goal. They will help you grow and perfect your own healthy living strategies. Yoga classes, online health forums, and hiking clubs are great places to start looking for that new like-minded friend!
When you adopt a holistic lifestyle, you become better at spending your time in ways that serve yourself and those you care about rather than external concepts of who you should be. Try one of the steps above, or try all 10 of them at once! Remember to be patient and kind to yourself during this process of restructuring your life. If you believe in yourself, know that anything is possible.