Have you ever thought about what your pillars of health are? What you stand on, lean on, act on… regularly, to make sure you keep vibrating at your highest self?
Healthy, strong, enthusiastic about life. These are acts and routines that you keep up to feel this way.
I am healthy, strong, and enthusiastic about life because I prioritize a certain five pillars of health throughout my week. Every week. I don’t miss a beat. I may have days when I don’t check every box as well as I would have wanted, but nothing is ever perfect, and what matters are that these 5 pillars never fall by the wayside for long with me.
I give myself grace. But I am also diligent in these!
The five are physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual.
Today we are talking about the physical aspect. It’s the first one.
The Physical Pillar Of Health
This has to do with my physical body and how I am treating it. The foods I am eating, how often I am intentionally moving my body, the sleep I am giving myself. All of these are physical factors.
Eating food is a physical act.
My body, my skin, is physical.
Choosing to move my body or not? Physical. And has physical consequences, good or bad.
Sleep? It will physically impact me, and it’s something physical I do.
We cannot neglect the Physical pillar of health.
I say this to you to first put in your minds that this step should be simple, intentional, and never ever put by the wayside. Your health will suffer even if you are on top of it with the other pillars.
It’s still not the most important one (spiritual is the most important) but it simply cannot be neglected if you want to achieve your greatest physical health. With interconnects with mental and emotional and even social! You will find they all connect.
To better nail down your own physical pillar of health, you need to establish what makes you feel the best. What makes you be your most optimized self? When you feel rested, light on your feet, with a strong immune system and vitality radiating from your core?
What would it look like to get there for you?
When it comes to food, I highly rely on a plant based diet. I believe God created plants that were meant to heal and he knew that with his faith, we had everything on earth we would need to stay healthy. That’s not to say bad things won’t happen, but that God is all around us answering prayers through the resources he has given us. I use food as a resource, and make sure daily that I am nourished with foods that will vitalize me.
I am not against meat, but I do believe in a mostly plant based diet as I believe it does help ward off disease.
What does this look like? That means every meal I am making sure there are greens. That means almost daily I am intentionally trying to eat all colors of the rainbow. That means crowding out my plate with things that are not processed.
Processed foods have their place, they can be associated with happy memories (like a giant pretzel from the carnival with your kids) and they can make certain parts of life more efficient (grabbing a protein bar to go when your day is packed) but overall processed foods should always be kept to a minimum.
I live, I’m relaxed, but at least 80% of the time I am eating whole food plant-based. That keeps me feeling great.
This isn’t tough for me either. You can learn to love vegetables. You can learn to love fruit. I swear taste buds can change. Years ago, I didn’t even know what kale was! Now, it’s one of my favorite vegetables! Alongside maca, celery, and cauliflower.
Put good food into your body. A variety of plants. Diversity is good for the gut. Incorporate superfoods and plants that bring your tastebuds joy. You will feel and be so much better for it.
Physical eating also comes down to the amount of food you eat. And how often. I do great with small meals and multiple snacks. Some people do best with little snacks many times throughout the day. Some do best with just three big meals. The latter is usually the best, but again, everyone is different. Try not to overeat or undereat. Really listen to your body.
When it comes to intentionally moving my body, I am all about not staying stagnant. The body is meant to move and sweat! I enjoy stretching and pilates and long walks with my family. When I move my body, it helps me feel less stuck. It helps me feel less stuck in two areas: physically and emotionally…because ALL pillars are tied together.
Movement helps me deal with my emotions better. My emotions run deep, I need a physical outlet to help channel them in a way that best serves me and my purpose.
Movement also keeps my body healthy! It helps me build muscles and keep my bones strong. When my body is more mobile, I am able to be mobile for longer in life with people I love. Once mobility goes out the window, life is still beautiful and purposeful but it is limited.
So I always, always move.
If you can’t achieve sweat through exercise, I highly recommend trying sauna sessions! Physically sweating helps remove toxins from the body. It helps your circulation. It helps your skin. It’s so important to do.
I am not saying that you have to be in hardcore exercise classes 5 days a week and in the sauna once a week. Even just a long walk every day is great for the body.
Even just getting up and doing small tasks throughout the day that require a little strength or balance or great for you. The point is the intent to move and the intent to sweat. And that you get to it most of the time.
The last of physical needs within this pillar is sleep! It’s not about the hours you stay asleep but more about the quality of your sleep! Dark rooms, no caffeine too late, a soothing environment…sleep is one of the most important parts of this pillar.
I prefer eight full hours of sleep. I don’t always get it, but often I do, and I strive for it! If I didn’t make it a priority, it wouldn’t happen.
It is physically impossible for us to function off of no sleep after a certain amount of time. We are physically impaired to certain degrees when we get bad sleep the night before. Especially when bad sleep adds up.
Please take sleep seriously, as I firmly believe that no one can be operating at their highest self if they are not getting good sleep.
Sleep is restorative. It’s when our body heals. It’s when our body detoxes.
Often, we even have spiritual moments in our dreams.
Sleep was created by God for a reason, do not neglect it!
Stay tuned to the next pillar: Mental! We will build upon each one and you will see how each one is connected and needs the other for balance.