5 Dec 2011
When we think of healthy gifts, we often assume they involve things wrapped in fancy paper (recycled?) and placed under a tree. Because holistic health involves the whole person, my healthy list includes something to benefit each aspect of your being. Each part that’s healthy contributes to the health of the whole person.
The 5 Gifts
Take a digital Sabbath: Many of us spend hours online working and investing in relationships. A healthy social life contributes to your wellness, but it’s important to know your personal limit—that point when you’re crossing over into the not-so-healthy zone. Social media is a wonderful place to foster positive relationships, but when it becomes draining and interrupts all your offline relationships, it might be best to do a bit of digital detoxing. There are lots of online productivity tools to help you make the most of your online time and still have plenty of hours for the other aspects of your life. Take advantage of those offline hours and invest in face-to-face relationships.
Be mindful before you munch: Nourishing your body is much different than feeding your body. You can feed your body donuts, but you aren’t nourishing it. Unlike in the past, I begin the day with a healthy breakfast choice like Uncle Sam Original cereal or Erewhon Raisin Bran cereal, two of my very favorites. I skipped breakfast for years, thinking I was fine without it. Now my whole outlook on breakfast has changed and I’ve noticed a huge difference in my energy levels and eating patterns the rest of the day. The right breakfast sets the day’s nutrition tone. You feel good not only because you nourished your body but also because you made a healthy choice right from the start.
Begin the day with 5 minutes of meditation: A recent study suggests that experienced meditators’ minds wander less and spend less time in what’s called the brain’s default mode. The CNN article states “Typically, drifting thoughts tend to focus on negative subjects, creating more stress and anxiety.” Our minds are the first place health starts. But it can also be where it ends too! Begin each day in a positive way to focus on your personal goals and plan your success.
Embrace gratitude: Staying in a state of gratefulness is powerful. In a moment your view of your life will change. When my kids were younger, when they would start complaining and arguing, I would tell them both to say three things they were thankful for. It was incredible how their moods transformed and their faces changed. I find it much easier to do for someone else than myself but, with practice, it’s become much easier.
Exercise your heart and spirit together: We know the benefits of exercise and how it’s good for our hearts; combine it with a purpose outside yourself and you benefit on the inside and the outside. Maybe there’s an elderly neighbor who would love her dog walked, or a friend who wants to try the local gym but doesn’t want to walk in alone. If you exercise using a stationary bike treadmill, use the time to phone a friend who needs some uplifting words.Check out my latest posts here