As a mental health professional with a holistic approach to helping clients, I take the subject of preventative holistic healthcare seriously and I want to help people understand that having the experience of mental, physical and emotional wellness is something we all have to work toward on a daily basis. When we think about health and wellbeing, often one’s mind goes immediately to physical health, diet, and exercise. However, when it comes to achieving true wellness, the physical is only one chapter of the story. As humans we’re complex creatures, and real health and wellbeing comes when we look after both mental, physical and emotional health. It’s also important not to engage in healthy actions as a reaction or response to pain or illness. Be proactive! A holistic approach to preventative healthcare will ensure your entire being is attended to without waiting until you are sick or hurt.
Tips for practicing holistic preventative healthcare:
For your Physical Healthcare. . .
- Stop the dangerously bad habits. Quitting dangerous vices such as smoking, binge drinking and recreational drugs prevents dangerous cellular changes from occuring which can lead to all kinds of health issues.
- Eat the right balance of micro and macronutrients. It is recommended that we all consume 7 servings of vegetables every day. That seems like a lot if you’re accustomed to inhaling a drive-thru sandwich on your way to a meeting as your and subsisting on coffee and other quick foods. It’s essential to avoid degenerative conditions and other diseases by ensuring you are getting plenty of leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, a variety of colorful other fruits and vegetables and a clean protein source along with some healthy fats. Your body and your brain will respond by being sharper, stronger and more capable.
- Schedule regular check ups. Seeing your medical professionals for annual checkups is key. Get blood work drawn at least once//year and request the doctor check your Vitamin D, B12, Thyroid and all the markers for heart health as well. Go to the dentist for your teeth twice a year and if you are 50 or older see a GI doctor for your annual colonoscopy.
- Get up out of the chair. Stop sitting for so long and so often. Every 30 minutes get up and go for a 5 minute brisk walk around the building and do some stretches making sure you’re stretching the front, the back, the arms, the legs, the neck and your side body. Keeping your body moving on a regular schedule every day will prevent muscle tension and lack of flexibility which can lead to degenerative conditions. It will also help with mental focus and positive mood.
For your Mental and Emotional Healthcare. . .
- Practice attitude of gratitude. Your mental and emotional health will more likely stay on an upswing if you consciously practice finding opportunity to feel thankful (not just saying thank you but actually FEELING thankful) for all the people, experiences, things, support, good stuff in your life. There is ALWAYS a bright side and a silver lining no matter how grim a situation. I’m not suggesting you adopt a false “pollyanna persona” rather dig deep for feeling palpable gratitude for what is good and right with your life and the world around you.
- Take a page from the Danish. Spend quality time with people that matter. The people of Denmark practice something called Hygge which Kristina Cooke, LCSW, RPT-S, originally from Denmark, describes this practice as follows, “It’s about being together with those you are connected too in a way that enhances quality of life for everyone. In psychotherapy lingo, it’s a time when those mirror neuron’s are firing and we are really tuning into each other; in other words, essential for attachment. It’s also a time when people are generally de-stressing, a time to re-charge and re-connect. Definitely essential for well-being and having a high quality of life.”
- Feel your feelings. Suppressing emotions is unhealthy. Allowing yourself to authentically feel and express what you feel is a way of releasing stress and allows for health moving forward. Don’t camp out in your difficult emotions, but allow them to be felt, acknowledged and expressed through journaling or talking with a trusted friend or a therapist.
- Be sure to play and play often. Play at all ages has been shown by research to help improve and maintain our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Make it a point to engage is pure play whether that be board game night with friends, going bowling or roller skating, swinging at the park, playing Marco Polo in the swimming pool with the kids or engaging in a fun art activity.
- Practice mindfulness everyday. Mindfulness is the purposeful practice of noticing, paying close attention to what you see, hear, feel, sense without judging the experience. There are many ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life and research has shown that regular mindfulness meditation changes your brain for the better.
Want some help developing a plan for how you can practice holistic preventative healthcare in your daily life? I provide holistic lifestyle coaching services out of my Wonders Wellness virtual office. I’d be happy to speak with you to discuss how I may be of service in supporting your desire to lead a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle. Contact me personally and we can set up a brief complimentary consultation.