Redefining Holistic Health

Hello, dear friends,

Maybe you’ve noticed, or maybe you haven’t, but I have been slacking on posts this past week or so. I’ve had this mental block recently, because I’ve been reevaluating the type of message I want to convey, and thinking about the insight I want people to take away from my blog. I felt as though I couldn’t proceed with fun recipes and DIY projects until I got something off my mind, and into a post.

You see, holistic living has recently been interpreted as something almost unattainable for the average person, from eating a perfectly clean diet, to using herbal powders and supplements, to using non-toxic and chemical-free beauty and household cleaners, to purchasing ethically and sustainably sourced and produced clothing, to meditating and journaling all day… It’s just not realistic, and it can almost feel as though you may be shamed for “falling short” in one of these areas, whether that’s from society or yourself. Nobody should feel shame for living their life in a way that meets their needs and desires.

Holistic is a term that’s thrown around so much lately, so I wanted to dive into what it actually means. “Holistic” is characterized by “comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole” or “the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just physicality”. Basically, the term holistic takes all aspects of life into consideration.

Nowhere in these definitions does they say that every aspect of your life must be natural or healthy at all times. That’s just unrealistic, and sets people up to feel as though they have failed their family, society, and themselves. Rather than feeling good about making some healthy lifestyle changes, we end up feeling guilty over the changes we didn’t make. It’s actually unhealthy to constantly feel guilt or shame over not being “healthy” enough. I know… It sounds nuts. But it’s true. When we become so fixated and obsessed with living this perfectly healthy and clean lifestyle, we’re actually negatively impacting our mental well-being.

As someone who considers their blog a “holistic lifestyle blog”, I felt as though I needed to be careful about how I share things, because as an advocate for “holistic living”, I wanted to appear as though I live this perfectly well-rounded life, full of veggies, and lacking toxic materials. It’s just not true, you guys. While I love filling my plate with greens, and using skincare products that are free from harsh chemicals, I also enjoy eating a greasy burger periodically, and for a while (meaning until a few weeks ago), ProActiv was the only thing that helped my acne.

Holistic living is so much more than having a perfect diet and a chemical free home. It’s about making sure there’s balance between all aspects of your life. It’s about making sure your nurturing not only your physical well-being, but your mental, spiritual, emotional and social well-being as well. Obsessing over what you’re putting in your body and on your body at the expense of your mental health, and social life isn’t going to help you. Finding the balance between all of these aspects is what will lead to the fulfilling life you’ve been looking for. And honestly, that balance looks different for everyone.

You don’t have to be into yoga and meditation, grounding with nature, reiki healing sessions, green juice, or crystals and moon phases to live a holistic lifestyle.┬áNot everyone has the time to do these things, and not everyone actually finds pleasure in each of these things. That’s absolutely okay, and doesn’t mean you’re living less of a holistic lifestyle than people who do enjoy these things (which is also perfectly okay).

I’m almost embarrassed that I fell into this mental trap, and that I was contributing to this bizarre and unrealistic standard that society has placed on holistic living. If there’s anything I want you to learn from this post, or my blog in general, it’s that living a “holistic lifestyle” is about finding the balance between the different areas of your life in a way that works for you and makes you feel good. It’s not about focusing on eating a plant-based diet, practicing yoga, cleaning your home with only vinegar, using pure coconut oil for all of your beauty needs, or breastfeeding your children until they’re two years old… although if these things work for you, that’s wonderful too! There is no single way to live this “perfectly holistic life”, because “holistic” should be a very individual term, and that’s something society has forgotten. Please, don’t lose sleep over trying to be perfect. Do what feels right for you, and I promise you will live an abundant life.

Naturally,

Ari

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