Heart-Fully Healthy

Heart-Fully Healthy?

I know I use these few words a lot and you may have been wondering what exactly I mean by them.

Let me break it down for you.

I like to think of it a bit like a recipe for a freshly baked apple and cinnamon muffin, with big chunks of apple in it. There are a whole lot of ingredients that need to be delicately added in, stirred carefully and baked for just the right amount of time. If one of the ingredients are missed out or forgotten about for whatever reason the muffins won’t rise as well or look, smell or taste right.

So what are our six ingredients?  We have Physical, Social, Emotional, Environmental, Spiritual and Mental. Each of these components, are key ingredients.

Let’s take a look at each of them and see what they offer to our recipe (our life).

1. Physical – How well our body (organs, muscles, joints) function.

2. Social – How well we get along with and interact with those around us. The relationships that we have with our family, friends and acquaintances.

3. Emotional – How well we are able to identify our emotions and express them accordingly.

4. Environmental – Our ability to access clean water, air and have adequate shelter and warmth.

5. Spiritual – Our ability to live true to our morals and values and identify with a sense of purpose in your life.

6. Mental – How fabulous we feel about ourselves, self-esteem and how much confidence we radiate. As well as how well we can take on and cope with life’s stressors.

Sometimes the word ‘Healthy’ can be thrown around like it is nothing. But it is truly a complicated and hard state to achieve. For all elements to be aligned is a really tricky thing to do.

Let’s have a look at what we can do on a daily basis to try and achieve optimal health.

The following four areas are what I try to manage on a daily basis. They are also the areas that when I am not feeling ‘Heart-Fully Healthy’ are the ones that need my immediate attention.

1. Nourishment  - Making sure I go back to basics, listen to my hungers signs and nourish my body with a lot of ‘Real food’.

For me that could look like:

Breakfast – Egg whites with tomato and capsicum

Lunch – Pumpkin soup and Banana

Afternoon tea – Protein shake with Almond milk and a Cocoflower ball

Dinner – Zucchini noodles with homemade veggie bolognaise sauce

Desert – Coyo with strawberries and passionfruit.

2. Movement – I have never regreted a workout or getting my body moving. That doesn’t mean that I always want to get out of bed and go training. It just means when I do, I enjoy it.   When we move our bodies, serotonin is released. This is a chemical neurotransmitter that is responsible for maintaining mood balance. Hence, why we feel so great when we finish a workout or any type of physical activity.

We don’t have to go and sweat it out on the treadmill or do things that are overly strenuous to get this feeling. We just need to move our bodies.

When I am in self care mode, I am listening to my body and doing what it feels like doing. If that means just going for a walk, or stretching then that’s what I will do.

3. Sleep – The magic 8hrs. I don’t think I could tell you how many times since I have had kids that I have had an uninterrupted 8 hours sleep. It hasn’t been many.

A good nights sleep has been proven to assist with mood, concentration, memory and help keep cravings at bay.

I am not sure about you but when my sleep has been less than adequate, I feel like crap, am moody, lethargic and it feels like any type of will power I usually possess goes on holiday. Making it hard to make nutritious choices.

Some ways to try and get a good 8hours sleep a night can include – leaving electronic devices out of the bedroom (yep, not checking Facebook just before bed), making sure your room is nice and dark, keeping a note pad next to your bed and writing down thoughts that are running through your head keeping you awake.

4. Stress – Stress is a bit like the annoying younger sibling. We have to have it, it can be beneficial but it can also drive you crazy.  When we start avoiding the signs of stress and don’t get them under control they keep at as, sending us signs that we need to pay some attention to them or they are going to make their presence more well known until we are forced to listen. This usually manifests as an illness and with really attractive signs like cold sores and ulcers.

Some helpful ways to try and keep stress under control can include practicing daily meditation, listening to podcasts, reading or writing in a journal.

The ultimate goal is to have each of these areas of our health dialled in each and every day. I am the first one to admit that this is not easy and I am still a work in progress.

But what if we could wake up each day and sprinkled a lit bit of love and joy on every bite of food we ate, in a back pack when we moved our bodies and in every interaction we had we those around us. What if each day we paid ourselves in kind words and positive affirmations. That to me is the true definition of Heart-Fully Healthy

I do what I can, I listen to my body and honour it. If it’s telling me that I need to head to ‘Self-care town’ for a few days to get my Heart-Fully Healthy groove back, I am going to listen.

What do you find is the hardest element of your health to keep on top of?