I am going to talk about holistic health because I think it is really important to start looking at our bodies as a whole system. You have to think about not only physical health but mental health as well. So the first thing we are going talk about is physical health so our physical health is what we most think about when you think about health in general. This is mostly because our physical body is often what tells us that we are or not healthy. This physical science and symptoms are easier to measure and to track. If you are gaining weight or your stomach hurts or you have a headache. Those kinds of things are physical symptoms. This is harder to measure non-physical symptoms like mental health and be more abstract.

In order to support your physical health there are some things you can do to feel your best. Getting sleep is super important for your health, getting around 8 hours of sleep every night but sometimes some people need more than that and some people need less than that. So it can change depending on the person. Eating a nutrient dense diet  so there are a lot of nutrients in your food with lots of fruits.Plant-based fruits have a lot of nutrients and they are eating organic animal products: eggs and meat. Drinking lots of water is super important. Maintaining a balance blood sugar level by eating every 3 or 4 hours. It makes your body feel stable so that your blood sugar isn’t going crazy. Moving your body for at least 30 minutes every day. That movement is obviously different for everybodybut your body benefits from movement at least 30 minutes. Limiting processed foods and oils because those are inflammatory for your system. Not smoking is very important and not drinking too much alcohol. Those are also inflammatory for your lungs and your stomach and your gut.

This is just as important as physical health, but we don’t think about it as often. Especially because your emotional health can affect your physical health we need to think about it more. Because your mental health can actually make us in physical pain. It can actually hurt your body and stress is toxic for your body systems. To support your emotional health sick people are looking for therapy if you need it. Everyone can benefit from therapy just talking, or  you can do therapy through movement or yoga. Those kinds of things are also important for therapy. Practising mind fulness and stress reduction. Mindfulness is really important and it can help manage life daily stresses. So I am going to talk about ways to practise mindfulness every day. Keeping a journal to record your thoughts so writing is also really good for your mental health. If you are struggling with depressive thoughts writing down things that you are thankful for (it sounds silly but ) can be good for your mental health as well to remind yourself that there’s good in the world and to practise gratitude is actually good for your health.

There are several ways to practise mindfulness. It means being aware of the present moment. So what we are going to do is find personal attention. It is hard to slow down and notice things because our world is so busy and it can cause a lot of stress. But by paying attention and slowing down you slow down your nervous system and it is much better for your health. So for example like sitting still and noticing your surroundings or when you eat a meal and you eat slowly and think about the taste of the food it helps you. It is a practice of mindfulness because you are slowing things down and reducing stress. Living  in the moment is finding joy in simple things, finding things to be happy about the sunshine or a dog on the street. It slows down your nervous system and reduces stress in your body. Accepting yourself is really important showing yourself the same amount of care as you would for a good friend. Focus on breathing because it is actually really important. Your breath has a lot of power when you pay attention to it. Reducing , lowering , slowing your nervous system reduces stress and stress is toxic for your body and it causes other unhealthy issues.

When you have negative thoughts try to sit down and breathe, close your eyes and focus on the inhalation when you breathe in and the exhalation when you breathe out. It has physical effects and it is really cool. Practising is a really good way to maintain mental health. Social health, being social has a really good impact on your physical body. Research has shown that the happiest people on earth have very deep meaningful connections with other people. They will probably live the longest. They may not eat the healthiest food or they might drink or smoke but if you have strong social connections your body lives longer you are a healthier human. There are ways to support your social health: If you make time for in-personconnections. So you have bonds in social media, but those things are great for connecting people. But your body benefits so much more from seeing somebody in person and talking. Getting involved in your local community is a really good way to experience social support and network outside your school or organization.

Setting boundaries in your life for people who may be toxic or cause you extra stress. It is very important to set boundaries with those people to maintain a good physical and mental health. It is very important to take care of yourself. And then spiritual boundness which doesn’t necessarily mean religious. That’s not the same. If you are religious that’s great but if you are not, being spiritual can look different. There are ways to increase your spiritual health like spending time in nature. Being outside is really important for your physical health and your mental health. Recognising the natural world has Science insane benefits. It is crazy , breathing fresh air and putting your feet on the ground is really good. Spending a few minutes every day meditating, slowing down the nervous system and focusing on yourself and noticing the sensations and feelings that are in your body. If you are religious taking the time to practise your faith actually has really good benefits.

Meditation for beginners

Starting meditating can be a little bit intimidating because you will be sitting still and quiet. It can be very hard at first. But a way to begin is by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position on a cushion or on a mat on the floor. Then you close your eyes and you don’t try to control your breathing. You just breathe naturally and focus your attention on your breath. And when I started meditating you can count, an easy way to focus on your breath is by counting. Inhale that’s one, and exhale that’s two and you count up to 10. And you can start over. It helps because our minds are going crazy, constantly thinking. But counting your breaths helps you focus and stay centred on your breathing. You can also do a body scanned. You observed the feelings and the sensations starting on your head, eyes, cheeks, mouth, where you are holding tension. You are going down your body, asking where am I feeling in my stomach? And when you focus on the feelings in your body it helps you focus on your life.

It slows down the nervous system. It is very important. You can start by doing this for only one or two minutes and then eventually overtime is much easier. And then there is mental health. This is the last aspect of holistic health. And it overlaps with emotional and physical health. It is a combination of both. There is a big difference between mental and emotional health. Your emotional health is your day-to-dayemotions: stresses and moods, your rises and falls. Your mental health is your cognitive ability, things that are important long term. Ways that you can support mental health are honestly consuming nutrients that is food that has a deep impact on your mental health. Things that are high in micro nutrients, antioxidants and body acids like vegetables, dark chocolate, strawberries, berries, peas and dark green like spinach and kale (col), and beans. These are very good for your body and also for your mind and keep things running smoothly.

There’s too much drinking or too much smoking which is not good for your mental health. Improving gut health with food like yoghourt and cabbage that have probiotics. That support to your gut health is directly related to your mental health and directly affects your mood and emotions. So you have more power over your mental health by eating through nutrition.

Do you practise mental health?

Yes, it’s wonderful.  This is the best thing for my healthactually that I’ve noticed.Because I’ve noticed how I feel less stressed out and less anxious. I can feel it in my stomach. It starts to make me feel bad and have crazy thoughts when I get anxious or stressed out. When I slow down it makes everything better. I can appreciate the present moment. That’s my biggest issue being and staying present helps me be happy here and be kinder to other people. I just feel a better and more functional person when I’m practising meditation. I try to meditate every day but sometimes I don’t. But your goal is trying to get in touch with your body because you are noticing all of the sensations. I try to do yoga every day or walk along the beach or feel the sand on my feet. That’s a practice of mindfulness called grounding. When you are grounding yourself is very good for your nervous system.

How did you take care of your mental health?

That’s a very good question. That’s one of the reasons why I practise mindfulness. That’s how I fInd my body as its best when I stay in the present moment. I am not stressing about the future and I am not worrying about the past. I’ve also learnt that it’s very important to recognise and feel negative emotions. I had hard things that happened in my life. I had some friends that passed away. I’ve been depressed and when I had those hard moments I had learnt that I need to let myself and my body feel them and process the hard emotions. A lot of times writing really helps me get out of my head and think deeper. After I feel those emotions that I choose let them be in the past, you have to process them first. Then you move forward,you do more slow practice like meditation or writing or something to learn grounding yourself.

What is more important physical health or mental health?

I don’t think one is more than the other as they are directly related and they also overlapped a lot. It sounds crazy but your mental health is directly linked to your physical health. It showed that when you experience traumas or bad experiences you can develop physical manifestations like stomach-aches or ulcers or tumors, connected with after experiences (somethingreally difficult or traumas). Dealing with your mental health which is very important because it does have a direct impact on your physical health and also stress and anxiety is toxic for your body system. It is bad for your heart and blood pressure. Physical health is really important like doing exercise and eating heathy food. This affects your mental health. They are equally important to take care of.

How many days do you play sports?

I don’t really play sports like football and volleyball. I usually ride my bike every day around 30-45 minutes. I really like to go swimming but the water is cold. I like to do yoga I love to go hiking when I have time and climbing. I am definitely active every day but I am not playing sports. Does it make any sense? I amy not going to the gym working out. I am moving and being active. You don’t have to go to the gym to have physical movement.

What relaxes you the most being in company or staying alone?

I really like both. I enjoy spending time with others. I do it a lot for being social. I am a very social person. I also need my own time so I definitely make time to spend just by myself. I sometimes need to relax. I need both a lot. There’s  a balance between them.

What food do you need for holistic health?

I think that focusing on food that are nutrients dense is the most important because they are going to benefit your body and mind. Nutrients dense are mostly a plant-based food because they have vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body really needs to stay healthy and functioning. Things like yogurt, fermented food, picked onions, beans or peas. They are also good for your gut health. There’s also organic animal product like eggs or white meat like chicken or turkey and fish. But red meat tends not to be good for your body. It raises your blood pressure. There are also beef and pork that are not very good for your health.

What exercise is the most beneficial for your body?

I honestly don’t know. I think movement and exercise are different for everybody. It depends on what your body needs. Especially for women that can change during the month. Sometimes your body needs more cardio and that can be running or swimming or high intense speed workouts. But sometimes your body needs something that is slower and that can be walking that can be really good for your health. Or you can play sports. I play sports but I am not sure what is best for everyone.


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