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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Reflecting on Holistic Health

By Jamie Bain, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

It can be difficult to focus on health and wellness in December. It seems like everywhere we turn there are sweets and treats and parties to attend — all centered on large portions of yummy food. No one’s saying that you shouldn’t indulge a little here and there. Just remember to enjoy every bite and everything in moderation!

But healthy eating isn’t all what this post is about. It’s mostly about another aspect of health we often don’t think about — our emotional and social well-being. So go ahead and make a resolution to eat healthy and exercise more in the new year. But you can adopt a holistic vision of health right now, and start practicing two aspects of that vision that are often overlooked: mindfulness and reflection.

According to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, “reflective practices are a way for us to become aware of our own state of being. Mindful reflection brings us back to ourselves, allowing us to come closer to our own body, emotions, thoughts, and spirit. This gives us an opportunity to settle into a fresh harmony and balance.” Now doesn’t that sound nice!

As this year comes to an end and holiday activities take our worlds by storm, now is the perfect time to step back and reflect on the wonderful work you’ve done this year. Following are 10 questions to get you started.

  1. What single achievement are you most proud of?
  2. Which of your personal qualities turned out to be most helpful this year?
  3. What new things did you discover about yourself?
  4. Which new skills did you learn?
  5. What, or who, are you most thankful for?
  6. What topics did you most enjoy learning about?
  7. What one thing would you do differently and why?
  8. What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes you want to bust out laughing when you think about it?
  9. Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?
  10. What advice would you give your early 2015 self, if you could?
If you’d like to learn more about mindfulness and reflection, you can check out the Center for Spirituality and Healing web page Reflective Practices.

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