What does it even mean to be healthy?
If we’re checking out famous magazines or internet sites, it’s easy to buy into the idea that being healthy means losing weight and that only people who can be healthy are the ones who are thin and “fit”.
However, in a lot of cases, pursuit of “health” by losing weight results in overwhelm, stress, anxiety, isolation and food/exercise obssesion. Sounds like health?
WHO defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
If you’re spending hours researching meal plans, counting calories, staring at yourself in the mirror hating everything you see and avoiding friends and family because there will be food – are you really pursuing health?
Fortunately, food and weight obsession aren’t the only ways to take care of our health. Lots of other options are available that directly affect your health, but don’t include restrictions, starvation and other food miseries.
Today, we’re going to explore ways you can take care of your health that have nothing to do with food.
Meditation is one of the most effective ways to take care of your health in general. Studies show that people who meditate regularly have more gray matter in different brain areas. Moreover, people in their fifthies who practice meditation regularly are shown to have brains half their age. Pretty amazing, right?
After only eight weeks of regular meditation, study participants have shown positive changes in brain structure, mostly in areas dedicated to learning, memory, compassion, emotional regulation.. (1)
For these exceptional results it’s enough to meditate 15-20 minutes daily.
Maybe it’s time to spice up or create your Morning Routine of Self-Love.
You can add journaling to your morning routine as well. Use it to describe what are your intentions for the day, what could be the best to happen today, how would you love your day to go..
When you have a bit more time, use your journal to describe your perfect day, life, future event.
Both of these options help you activate your RAS (reticular activating system) which will then filter all the information you need to make your intentions happen.
Aside from creating your future, you can use your journal to make gratitude lists. Studies show that gratitude promotes well-being, mental health. It also has positive effects on our relationships with people, emotions, and even benefits our work results and helps us achieve goals.
All you need is a couple of minutes every day.
As a dairy you can use any notebook you find suitable, but if you’re a beginner or want to make your journaling a special experience, you can use journals as Blossom up, girl! which is specifically designed to help you improve your mental and spiritual health. Aside from gratitude tracking, daily intentions and creating your future, Blossom up, girl! is filled with captivating prompts specifically made to help you connect to the core of who you are, help you define your deepest desires and become best version of yourself.
3. Taking loving care of your body
Not just from the inside.
Use face masks, hair masks, baths, body lotions, peelings, massages – all of these will allow you not only to take care of your health, but also to spend time with yourself, loving yourself.
If you have time, it would be amazing to create an entire self-love atmosphere – luxury bath with candles, your favorite drink and book, after a long day of kicking ass! Sometimes, this is all we need to improve our health.
Even if you don’t have time for a full blown bath, you can surely make time for a hot shower and rubbing in your body lotion with love and care. I recommend coconut or olive oil – both of them are very nourishing for the skin!
Making yourself a priority can be such a challenge in our fast paced lives, I know. However, it’s worth remembering that you can serve others and do your best work to the best of your abilities only when you’re feeling your best. Self-care is essential and necessary, it’s not selfish.
4. Spending time in nature
Being in nature has a therapeutic effect on our bodies, minds and souls.
It doesn’t matter if it’s sipping your morning coffee in your garden while listening to birds singing or going for a walk in a nerby forest, time we spend in nature does wonders for our health.
Reducing stress, improving memory and stronger immune system are just a few of many benefits we get when spending time in nature.
Aside from that, spending 15-20 minutes a day outside increases our vitamin D levels and helps improving our sleep quality because it regulates hormone melatonin.
Also, considering how much time we spend staring at the screens, it’s no wonder at all that spending time in nature helps our eye health by giving our eyes a break.
Those amoung us who are spiritual see time spent in nature as grounding. It also reminds us that we’re all a small part of much bigger, magical Universe.
What did you love doing as a child?
Painting, dancing, writing, singing? Maybe you love knitting?
All of our creative work has therapeutic effect and is a great for stress reduction. While you’re using your bodies, minds and souls to create something you love, you’re relaxed, joyful and fulfilled – stress cannot survive in this state.
Creativity will also help you value your work and raise your confidence.
When you’re spending time creating something you’re really passionate about, you are free to express your deepest self and your truth. This allows you to get to know yourself better than ever, while also raising your confidence and self-love.
Remember all the things you loved doing as a kid or express your courage by trying something completely new. Maybe that’s exactly what you need to experience joy, relaxation and fulfillment, who knows!
Aside from that, learning keeps our brains young and healthy.
6. Relaxing afternoon with a special book and a cup of hot tea
Taking loving care of your health doesn’t need to inculde any special actions. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is just making a cup of tea, grabbing that book you’ve been eyeing for a while and forgetting about everything else.
Reading positively affects our brains, keeping them young. Whether you’re learning new stuff, traveling to exotic locations in your imagination or both – stress cannot exist when you’re lost between pages. Your health will be grateful!
Reading helps you grow not only your knowledge, but your vocabulary, memory and analitical thinking skills.
And the tea you’re drinking?
It has relaxing effects, and most of them have healing properties.
7. Yoga or gentle stretching
Working out is amazing, however, sometimes gentle movement is much more useful for our health. Slow, gentle moves allow you to connect with your body, to be mindful of every part of your body, to notice where it moves easily, where it’s uncomfortable. To notice where you need to breathe more, and where you feel comfortable and free.
Yoga and gentle movement will allow you to focus on the present moment and work kinda like meditation. It’s a mindfulness practice that’s healthy for your body, mind and soul.
Aside from that, it will help you get more flexible, which is amazing for your body. Flexible body results with flexible mind.
As you can see, losing weight and obsessing about food is definitely not the only thing you can for your health. Lot of other amazing activities have great effects on your health, without creating extra stress, deprivation and obsession.
Remember that the best thing you can do for your health is to avoid stress as much as possible – human body isn’t made for chronic stress.
Stress is one of the greatest triggers for many diseases, hormonal imbalances and even weight gain (while you’re stressed, your body carefully choses what functions it needs right now to survive; digestion is not one of these).
Relax and enjoy everything life offers you – that’s the best way to achieve health, no matter your weight.
Are you enjoying any of these activities? What’s the next one you want to implement?
Remember to share this with a friend who can benefit from these ideas!