Mental Health

Holistic Living — Getting Started

You hear ‘holistic living’, ‘holistic lifestyle’, ‘holistic health’, ‘holistic doctor’, ‘holistic dentist’ a lot now, and it seems anything else can be termed holistic these days, right? True story — about 10 years ago when I applied to nursing school and discovered the nursing school I was applying for was a holistic program I had to look up the actual definition of holistic. I honestly didn’t know what holistic even meant. So, in case you are like me, here is the definition per webster:

“Relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts.”

So basically it’s about the whole picture. Looking at everything vs just one component; focusing on the whole picture rather then just individual parts. In terms of living a holistic lifestyle then, we need to look around and see all the things that may be influencing our health.

I know what you’re thinking — you just got really overwhelmed even thinking about it. You’re thinking, ‘Look around? That means the clothes I am wearing, the air I am breathing, the food I am eating, the product on my face and the water I am drinking may all be impacting my health?! Ah, how does one battle all of these things?’

Right now, I want you to take a deep breath. Ok, now I want you to let go of the overwhelm because we live in a chemical-filled environment and there is only so much we can actually control. So your journey towards a holistic lifestyle is your journey. And the journey consists of just one day and one thing at a time, and is unique to you. The key words are ‘journey’ and ‘unique’ in that sentence.

Let’s dive into the areas of one’s life that most people focus on when starting out on a holistic lifestyle path. Chemicals I think would be number one. Oh that list is huge. We are exposed to chemicals consistently. Our environment is so chemically rich that they have found more than 200 chemicals in the placentas of new born babies. So foetuses are being introduced to chemicals prior to birth.

I am not telling you this to make you live in a bubble, but merely for you to recognize that chemicals are everywhere and as much as we try to get rid of them we truly wouldn’t be able to completely. But we can absolutely limit them and replacing one household cleaning product, one personal care product, and plastic container at a time can start you on the path of reduction.

‘Reduction’ is the name of the game when it comes to chemical exposure. I highly suggest starting with just one area. For me the cleaning cabinet was the easiest because I could just throw it all away. DIY cleaners were the easiest to make. Seriously, if you don’t already have doTERRA essential oils in your home they are a must for cleaners.

I can’t talk about reducing chemicals without mentioning organic produce. Look up the dirty dozens. Take a screen shot of the list and save to your phone. Start with those. They are the produce that has high chemical content, so start with those as organic, and then you can work up from there.

Here’s a link to an article you can read giving you a detailed list:

Health would be the next big topic when it comes to holistic living.

Now the topic of health we can talk for an entire week about because there are so many amazing modalities and ways to help manage your health holistically. When I think of holistic health I think of empowerment. When I made the switch to looking and treating my health in a holistic manner I felt like I gained the power back in regards to my health.

Essential oils, nutritional supplementation, herbs and homeopathic’s is what we have turned to in our home since making the shift years ago. In this shift, I have really tuned into my body. I’ve listened to it and tuned into my kids needs as well. It’s like I gained my intuition back and learned to listen to my body again. Now, with the million modalities where does one get started? Honestly, I think essential oils are a perfect gateway. They are safe, effective and easy to learn and use. I start there with most people and build on the knowledge based off the needs and the readiness of the person. Again every journey is unique. My biggest encouragement to you is to just get started. Be prepared and stock up your tool kit once your get started, because you will want to be prepared for anything that comes your way.

Your body.

How can we not mention the body yet? Well we did in term of health and living more a holistic lifestyle, but we haven’t talked about the body as a whole. This amazing body. Really have you stopped and thought about the incredibleness of body? The way your blood is pumped out of your heart and flows through your arteries and veins. What about the entire process that occurs when you take a bite of a sandwich from start to finish? I have been fascinated with it for so long and that’s probably a key factor to my decision to became a nurse. It really needs to be appreciated. When was the last time you actually said ‘thank you’ to your body. It is constantly working and I am so grateful for a healthy body. How can we show our gratitude? How about by taking care of it? Allowing it to move, feeding it good food, caring for all pieces of it and loving all that it does for you. What if we all started appreciating our body more? Recognized its needs and nourished it, and got curious about how that would impact you.

Let’s move onto the next step of holistic lifestyle. Your mind.

Our mind is a powerful thing. On my journey I was feeling good health-wise and I was feeling confident with reducing chemical exposure. I was feeling in control of my health but I was still negative and resentful. My mind was out of balance with where I wanted to go and the life I wanted to live.

Remember holistic living is the whole and completeness. I was not whole I was avoiding the mind cause I didn’t recognize how it was impacting me as a whole. And that is when my love for personal development started. I started reading, which I hadn’t done really since college, I started listening to podcasts and talks on Youtube and I started to implement what I was learning. Created a gratitude journal and got to work. It was time to bring my mind into the holistic lifestyle.

Spirituality for a holistic lifestyle?

Yes absolutely. I believe we are all spiritual beings no matter what your faith. And this part of us needs nourishment and acknowledgment too. In this connection to your spirituality, something bigger then yourself, is where I discovered much within me. With that connection I felt connected to a meaning and a purpose. This connection may look different for everyone. You may like to go to church, pray at home or meditate. The practice of connection to your spirituality is very personal and individualized. However that looks to you is perfect, but neglecting this piece can create a disconnect to self and feeling whole.

Holistic living is one step at a time and long-term journey. I often think of it as just the road I have decided to take. I don’t know how long the road goes or what turns or stops I have ahead but I just keep trucking along the path. I’m learning more as I go along.

Which one of these segments spoke to you the most? Start there. Welcome to the holistic lifestyle.