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4 Pillars of Health & Wellbeing

29 Sep 2022

Simple steps that will improve your Health & Well-being and unlock Happiness!

With HEALTH being a pre-requisite to HAPPINESS, there are simple steps we can take to improve our health and thereby take control of our health and happiness! 

By prioritising the following 4 foundational pillars of health and wellbeing we can improve so many areas of our lives and support other wellnesses activities that we may choose to pursue: 

  • Relaxation & Stress Management
  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Sleep
  • Movement & Exercise

 With time being an issue for the majority of people in today’s world, many people find it difficult to prioritise their health, believing that an inordinate amount of time would have to be carved out of their already busy lives to support this. However, SMALL daily changes to how we live can keep us healthy and help prevent, and even reverse, illness – Lifestyle can be medicine!

 Many of our health problems today could have their root causes in a poor diet, high stress levels, sub-optimal sleep and a lack of physical activity. Functional medicine suggests that we need to look holistically at the person/patient and tackle the root cause of illness as opposed to merely treating the symptoms, time after time; the 4 key pillars of health and wellbeing look to address the potential root causes of today’s most prevalent health concerns.

As the human body is one complex connected system, the physical and mental benefits derived within one pillar will have an impact across the other pillars too; small incremental steps balanced across the 4 pillars will result in a significant improvement in one’s health and wellbeing.

Lifestyle tips across the Pillars

 What follows is a high-level listing of simple steps/activities that will benefit our health and wellbeing should we choose to incorporate a number of them into our daily lives. A strong recommendation is that we look to introduce these activities in a balanced manner across the 4 pillars as opposed to focusing on each pillar in turn.  As with most things in life, BALANCE is beneficial.

Start small and be selective, based on enjoyment factor, with what you choose to adopt first; momentum will build once you experience the changes that begin to flow.  Carve out a small amount of time initially, whatever you believe is achievable, and build from there.   

Relaxation & Stress Management 

  • Me-time every day (even 5 mins of something you enjoy!)
  • Gratitude practice (start with 3 things that you are grateful for every morning or evening)
  • Daily practice of stillness (could combine with above?)
  • Meditation (again even just a few minutes daily – 10 mins would be the 1% of your day that sets up the remaining 99%!)
  • Breathwork
  • Get outside - walk/run in nature
  • Screen-free time
  • Connect and have fun with others

Diet & Nutrition 

  • Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water daily
  • Reduce your intake of processed food – avoid any food products with more than 5 ingredients
  • Eat 5 different vegetables each day
  • Reduce the amount of refined sugar in your diet

Sleep

  • Create a bedtime routine/wind down prior to sleep
  • Tech-free 90 mins prior to bed
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time each day
  • Go to sleep in total darkness
  • Avoid snoozing the alarm
  • Enjoy your caffeine before noon
  • Spend time outdoors in the mornings 

Movement & Exercise

  • Be physically active – any incremental change will be beneficial
  • Do a form of strength training twice a week
  • Do a form of high intensity interval training twice a week
  • Get outside and walk/run in nature
  • Stretch daily (even 5 mins)
  • Build 5 minute pockets of movement into your day 

Here’s to a happier and healthier life… breathe, eat well, move and sleep!

Credit – Wendy Gray – Wonder Health and Wellbeing

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