5 Aspects of Holistic Health We Must Nurture


Article by: Mourine Achieng'

Publication date:

Life doesn't come with a manual. As we grow older and experience different situations, we become wiser and make better choices. Rearview Mirror Reflections Podcast ‌‌is a‌ ‌conversation‌ ‌between‌ ‌two‌ ‌Kenyan‌ ‌women‌ ‌sharing ‌their‌ ‌perspectives‌ ‌on‌ ‌life‌ ‌and‌ ‌what‌ ‌they‌ ‌are‌ ‌learning‌ ‌along‌ ‌the‌ ‌way.‌ ‌The‌ ‌conversations‌ ‌are‌ ‌a‌ ‌reminder‌ ‌that‌ ‌life‌ ‌and‌ ‌our‌ ‌perspectives‌ ‌keep‌ ‌evolving.‌

Taking care of your health involves more than just the physical body. To be truly healthy, you must focus on the five aspects of holistic health. Therefore, to help you wrap your head around what you should do to improve your overall wellbeing, we take a sneak peek into the ninth episode of Rearview Mirror Podcast Reflections.

Spiritual health

Spirituality means different things to different people. Quite a number associate it with religion. But, there's more to it than religion. Spiritual health implies connecting to your soul. It's being in touch with the world around you. Spirituality is connected to a higher being.

Cultivating spiritual health takes different forms depending on what works for an individual. Some practices like meditation, mindfulness, prayers, and journaling are known to strengthen spiritual health.

Apart from these practices, other things, like the values that give you meaning and direct you to your purpose, equally play a significant role in your spiritual wellbeing.

Thus, to strengthen your spiritual health, you have to keep your values close to your heart. Let them guide you on your day-to-day decision making.

A clear value system guides you in choosing the things and people that align with your beliefs and avoiding what doesn't sit well with your conscience.

Emotional health

Emotional health implies the moods and feelings you experience every day. Often, past traumas and pain taint your emotional health, which can manifest into physical or mental illness. Emotional problems affect how you conduct yourself and everything you do. It curtails your potential and keeps you in a loop of hopelessness.

Seeking therapy to overcome life's challenges is an essential part of maintaining a positive outlook on life. It's also crucial to maintain robust emotional and mental health.

In the ninth episode of Rearview Mirror Podcast Reflections, Susan Njoroge asserts that "When you are struggling with emotions, feelings, or past experience that's hard to process, it's important to get therapy". Damaris Agweyu reinforces the same, "seeking help is not a sign of weakness. It's a sign of strength."

Other practices like journaling your thoughts is a great way to process the things you are going through. Gratitude journal, in particular, can be empowering, especially when things are going downhill.

Mental health

Mental health overlaps with all the other areas of holistic health and directly affects your overall well being.

Mental health constitutes all the things that impact your cognitive function. And so it's crucial to watch what you feed your mind. This constitutes the food you eat, the activities you engage in, the things you watch and even the people you relate to.

Supporting your mental health involves stimulating your brain with learning opportunities, challenging games, and thoughtful conversations.

More than that, nutritious foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can go a long way in boosting your brain health. In addition, foods that improve gut health are equally important. That's where bone broth, famously known as "supu" and yoghurt plus many other foods, come in.

Additionally, therapeutic practices like hypnotherapy can help snap your brain from unhealthy habits and past traumas to new healthy beginnings.

Social health

You've heard it said over and over again that you are the sum total of the five people closest to you.  Research shows that people that have deep healthy connections with friends, family or a community live happier, more fulfilled lives. The opposite is also true.

Since social health plays an important part in holistic health, it's important to be part of volunteer programs, local community projects, or membership clubs. And it's not a matter of just being part of a community but finding initiatives that give you meaning and being an active member.

Even more important in social health is cutting out people who drain your energy with their negative attitude. If your circle of friends or even family members are a source of stress, cut them out.

It may come out as selfish, but it's exactly what you need to cultivate your social health. Don't be afraid to pick selfishness when your health is at stake!

Also read: 8 Typical Toxic Behaviours You Should Look Out For in a Relationship

Physical health

Physical health is what comes to mind often when you hear about health. Perhaps this is because symptoms of unhealthiness manifest in the physical body.

And yes, physical health is an important aspect of holistic health because it's your body that helps you carry on your day-to-day activities.

Several practices can help boost your physical health. Enough sleep is important when it comes to keeping healthy. 7-8 hours of sleep daily helps your body and mind to relax, rejuvenate and repair. Secondly, a healthy, balanced diet is also important for a healthy body. Healthy eating also involves eliminating processed food from your diet or at least minimizing your intake.

Also read: ‘We Were Not Designed to Sit’: Japheth Amimo on Investing in Your Health

Lastly, excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, and indulging in drug use is harmful to your physical health and mental health.