In the wake of a global pandemic and as we grow older, many of us have reverted to pursuing health as a high priority. Pursuing health is frequently portrayed as a glossy leap into juicing, joining the gym, and taking a seemingly endless list of supplements, but the truth is far less complicated and often far less glamorous. In order to not only pursue health, but to acquire it, there are several valuable components that must be addressed. These include remaining calm, settling the basics of health, and persevering despite setbacks.
The Pursuit of Health
The pursuit of health is certainly an admirable one and a useful one, but many enter this realm excited and determined, and quickly begin to feel overwhelmed and defeated. Health is far from a simple or easy pursuit. Health will require different sacrifices and commitments for different people; some may need to focus on mental health to achieve true health, while others must first focus on lifestyle health. Some may need to hone in on their physical body, while others may want to work on their spiritual practices. The pursuit of health often comes with a wide array of side pursuits and interests, and until these interests are pursued and touched on, health can remain stubbornly out of reach. Fortunately, there are some simple avenues that lead to health and vitality, and many of them begin with small tasks and rituals.
Learning to Breathe
Pursuing health often leads to a number of different side roads and tangents, so it can be important to start with a basic framework of learning to breathe, or learning how to calm and soothe yourself in times of stress or overwhelm. Learning how to breathe can mean literally learning how to utilize breathing practices, but it can also mean learning how to pursue practices and habits that bring you peace, even in the midst of strife or uncertainty. “Learning to breathe” can mean making time to color, write, or garden. It can mean taking long, meandering drives, or exploring your city. Learning how to breathe effectively is just as unique
to your constitution as the hurdles standing between you and health, and it may take time and effort to identify the calming techniques that work best for you. From there, you can introduce the basic foundation for general health and wellness.
Back to Basics
There are often 3 arenas that are identified as the basics of health. Diet, exercise, and sleep. Although not all health conditions—mental or otherwise—can be traced to deficits in these 3 areas, most health conditions can benefit at least partially from improved habits and practices in these areas. To begin with the basics, consider the following:
- Getting enough quality sleep. Getting enough sleep is essential for health and well-being, as sleep provides your body with adequate time to rest, repair, and heal. Getting enough sleep is not necessarily the only component, however; getting enough good quality sleep is vital. If you have a disorder such as sleep apnea, or you are sleeping 10 hours each night, but tossing and turning the whole time, you are likely in need of either more or better quality sleep.
- Eating a healthy, whole diet. A healthy, whole diet is another important facet to address, because your diet forms the building blocks of your entire body. Without adequate nutrition, your vital organs will not function properly, your circulation will not function properly, and your body will begin to experience a decline in health.
- Getting regular activity in. Movement and activity are also vital for general health and wellness. Although not all health and fitness levels will allow people to hit the gym, implementing something as small as a daily walk can help improve health.
Starting with the basics is invaluable, because it gives you a foundation to work from and provides a clear outline of important tasks to focus on and acts as a “how-to guide” as you begin your health journey. If you need some resources to get you started, check out some of the articles here.
Retracing and Relearning
The pursuit of health is not a linear path, and you will likely improve your health and experience setbacks in a seemingly endless loop. Fortunately, each time you experience a roadblock or pitfall, you can learn more about yourself, your needs, and your health, which can further bolster your efforts to improve your health.