How many times have you started off on your plan to just lose weight only to see it fail after a few weeks without results? I know I have. Like many people, I’ve struggled with easy fixes to lose that extra weight that seemingly came out of nowhere as soon as I hit 30. It wasn’t until I got serious and put in the effort needed that I actually saw results. I also came to learn something else along the way: taking care of myself physically was only part of my health plan.
Once I started putting into effort into getting my body in shape, and caring about what I put in my body to power it I found myself caring about my health in other ways too. Now I also wanted to take care of my skin, I wanted to take that same effort and those same results I was getting from the gym and the kitchen and show them off in other ways! Healthy isn’t just a number on the scale, it isn’t just being able to lift heavy things, or run long distances. It’s being happy with who you are as a person, it’s handling stressful situations with ease, and it’s knowing that the food you put in your body nourishes it, and the strength you build helps you not only do things you never thought you’d do, but realize the potential you had all along. You don’t need a diet. You need a holistic health plan. A guiding document that helps you become healthy and happy with your whole self: mind, body and soul.
How to Create a Holistic Health Plan
Step 1: Physical
This is probably one of the most obvious places to start when creating your holistic health plan. Changing your body for the better can lead to many more positive changes down the road. I suffer from chronic migraines, part of my health plan included getting those under control. My first step was going to the doctor so I could better control them. I was put on medication to prevent them from happening, and given medication to stop migraines that do happen right in their tracks. This meant I was no longer stuck in bed for 3 days of the week! The second phase was to get myself to the gym, and eat better. I found a fitness program that appealed to me and tried it. It was simple, quick and best of all got real results. I also took my nutrition seriously. I got a food scale and logged what I eat. I learned how to eat so that I could stay within my calories and not feel hungry. The result? I lost 17lbs, gained a lot of strength and I started to love my body. (Seriously, I love you thighs. You look great and I’m pretty sure you’re made of IRON.)
My Sample Physical Fitness Plan:
- Lose 20lbs to reach the weight I was before I started gaining.
- Get stronger & more endurance.
Actions To Take:
- Go to doctors and get migraines under control.
- Find a physical fitness program.
- Follow the program.
- Find my TDEE, and eat under it. Eat 30% protein, 30% fats, 40% carbs.
- Loose 20lbs
It’s been almost a year since I started this. I’m now much happier, not only because I have fewer and less severe migraines, but I’ve discovered things that help me feel confident, and reduce stress. The exercise is a part of it, but so too has been my recent foray into skincare. My face looks great, that’s something I never, ever, would have said before. It also is something I do 100% for me. It’s relaxing, it’s pampering, and it’s fun. The reason I took the jump into skincare was because of my fitness gains. I saw that I could make my body better than it was, I could change it. If I could do that at the gym, why not with facial care? I discovered that it’s fun to do stuff just for me. That I am deserving of self-care, and you know what? So are you.
Step 2: Mind
Raise your hand if your life is stressful. *raises hand* Stress is part of life, it will always be there, so you have to learn how you can overcome it and keep your sanity. Through my own fitness journey I discovered how to reduce some of the stress in my life. Some of it is just going to the gym and focusing on me. Focusing on the weights, and maybe a nice soak in the hot tub or sauna after. For a few hours I forget the deadlines, I forget the worries, I forget the stress. It’s just me and the weights. I either lift them, or I don’t. There’s nothing else. Worry doesn’t change that. So I just do it. Another of my favorite de-stressors is sheet masking. If you’ve never heard of it it’s basically you put a literal mask of some sort of good smelling stuff that’s good for your skin on your face and relax for 20 min while it does it’s thing. I love doing it on Fri and Saturday evenings just to chill out. You really can’t do much while you have it on or it will slide off, or you’ll get goop all over, so it’s the perfect excuse to chill out with a book, some wine or whatever you want to have a few moments to yourself.
Taking care of your mind doesn’t have to be tied to physical needs. Meditation is probably one of the best things you can do to reduce and cope with stress in your life. In theory it’s simple. Clear your mind, let the thoughts flow in and out without becoming attached to them. Without worrying or thinking on them, just observing. In practice it’s so much harder than that. I’ve tried at various times in my life to build a meditation practice into my day. I’ve failed, every single time. That being said, it’s still something I am trying to improve and make a daily practice.
My Sample Mental Fitness Plan:
- Meditate daily for at least 10 minutes
Actions to take:
- Complete the Headspace Take 5 series.
- Meditate before bed every night.
Easy right? Not so much for me. While I did complete the Headspace Take 5, that’s about as far as I got. It’s hard to build new habits, and you probably will fail a few times, just like me. Keep going, I know we will get it right.
Step 3: Spirit
What makes your spirit come alive? What makes your soul sing? You don’t need to follow any one religious or spiritual path to take care of your soul. You just need to listen to it, and give it a little of what it craves every so often. When was the last time you did that? It’s something I’ve struggled with as well. Yet it’s as every bit important as taking care of your body. So make time for it. Make time to go to that church service, read that book, get out in nature, or simply light a candle and bathe in the moonlight. Alone or with others, do whatever it is that makes your soul breathe and come alive. If possible incorporate that into your daily routine. Sometimes we all need a little help from something bigger than ourselves be that the Divine, Nature or like-minded souls. By taking care of your spirit as part of your holistic health plan, you can find peace, solace, and the power you need to live your best life.
My Sample Spiritual Fitness Plan
- Honor all sabbats & esbats
Actions to take:
- Celebrate every full moon.
- Celebrate every sabbat.
- Incorporate ritual into daily life.
- Meditate daily (see also step 2)
Your spiritual health plan will be incredibly personalized. Include only what resonates most with you. If you aren’t sure, then add that too. Perhaps it’s time to start exploring the callings of your soul.
Putting It All Together: Create Your Holistic Health Plan
How can you put together your physical, mental and spiritual goals and actions into one holistic health plan? It might look a little daunting but I’ve made it easy for you! I’ve created a simple printable that you can download right now. Write down your own goals, and action steps and easily refer to them all in one location. The key is to use this plan as a guide to help you create the life you’ve always wanted. That life is out there, it’s just waiting for you to take action and embrace it. It may seem daunting but by taking it one step at a time, and turning your goals into habits and lifestyle changes you can create that life. Who knows where it will lead you! Just think of where you will be this time next year, the possibilities are waiting for you to embrace.
Get your free holistic health planner printable. Take care of yourself mind, body and soul.
(Or click the image to download your free printable holistic health plan.)
What’s in your holistic health plan? Share in the comments!