As you’ve heard me speak about in my last post, living a healthy lifestyle is not exclusively about physical health, although it is top priority. We need to get enough high-quality sleep, not nightly doses of Z-Quil. We need healthy nutrition consisting of balanced meals, made up of real food. We need to move daily, and strength train regularly.
There are elements that impact our health, but are not commonly looked at in the same manner as the afore mentioned. I call these elements the intangibles.
Life Meets Health outlines this concept as a house. Each component is important to sustain the roof, that is YOU.
Physical Health: Sleep, nutrition, and physical activity.
Environmental Health: Community, relationships, physical environment, and your mindset.
Professional Health: Career goals, education, and finances.
Personal Health: Spirituality, joy, and creativity.
These are things that everyone knows that we need, but many of us haven’t been taught to address them in a systematic and scientific way, like fitness and nutrition. I believe that these items need to be prioritized in the same way that drinking water, eating greens, and sleeping 7+ hours are prioritized, to the health-conscious individual.
Lacking fulfillment in any of these given areas leads to overcompensation in others. We all have our go to’s in our coping mechanism hall of fame, whether it be overeating, partying, shopping, etc.
This is why the work that I do with my clients involves assessing which of these areas needs attention. Are you unfulfilled in your career or relationship? Do you not have the social circle that you really want? Are you spending enough time with yourself? Are you expressing yourself authentically and speaking your truth?
Depending on the degree of deprivation (just like if you had a vitamin C deficiency, for instance), you’ll need initial mega-doses to work up to homeostasis, from there tapering to regular micro-doses, to maintain fulfillment. Once you are maintaining fulfillment in one area, you can then dial in on another that needs attention.
For me, this was a similar revelation as to when I first realized that food changes everything. Eliminating dairy got rid of bloating and constipation. Eating balanced meals cured the afternoon energy dip and mood swings. Removing gluten got rid of brain fog and increased mental clarity and focus. Once I learned how food made me feel, I was motivated to commit to eating with intention.
This is the shift that makes nutrition the gateway drug to radical self care…It just starts with food. But becoming your best self requires intentionality with all areas of your life, not exclusively your physical health. And that is what Life Meets Health is all about.