The immediate idea of a healthy lifestyle is that of an individual with a fit body, eating salad for lunch, joining, and maybe even winning a marathon. But beyond this image, we don’t know what a person with a healthy lifestyle is like. A healthy structure is not enough to represent an entire lifestyle.
A lifestyle is not just about physical appearances or even an eating habit. Rather, it is a holistic approach to life. It should mean a more open and flexible mind, a good understanding of how the world is. It is like when people say being vegan is a lifestyle, it’s not just about eating vegan food. It’s also about a person’s preferences in clothing materials, in his or her position about important issues related to being a vegan.
What then do we do to have a holistic experience of life? This is also to say, what could we do to have a healthy lifestyle?
Travel far and wide
The problem with many people who never go out of their countries it that they are not exposed to diversity. Because of this, they and often resistant to what is different and can be narrow-minded about a lot of issues. So see as much of the world.
Some travelers would advise you to skip the capital and just go directly to the beautiful countryside. But the capital is a very good representation of a country. It is an amalgamation of the different cultures brought by people from different localities. The capital usually has the best universities, and the best opportunities for employment so people congregate there. Capitals are interesting on their own. Paris, London, Buenos Aires, Baghdad — they all have their charms and stories to tell. Stay at a hostel in a central location so you could go around and see the city leisurely. Traveling even within your own country is good. Inside a country, there is already a wide variety of cultures and traditions.
Be media literate
Unfortunately, jet-setting life is not for everyone. There is the reality of financial limitations and work commitments. But don’t worry. There are ways to learn about different cultures and norms in the world. Read. Read beyond the social media platforms. But be wary. Understand the processes in media.
With communication technology getting better and reaching more people, we are constantly consuming bits and pieces of information. They are not always correct or true. Understand how to sift through the information you are being fed because this would shape your thoughts, how you will perceive others, how you will perceive the world. It will even influence you in how you perceive yourself. Understand why and how the messages you are reading or hearing are produced.
Cultivate a hobby and keep it as such
No matter how busy you are, have time for yourself. There is pressure from society that you could only be interested in something you can be good at. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You do not need to learn the piano to become a professional. Not all who play football aspire to become part of the national team.
Find something that makes you feel warm or motivated doing. It could be doing crochet, doing woodwork, or maybe gardening. Do it for yourself and not for others to admire or criticize.
Be interested in people
They say a real interest in people is an intrinsic trait. This is what they attribute to a ‘people person.’ But this trait could also be learned. It’s a part of being curious about life, of wanting to know more. An interest in people keeps your mind open because people are not the same. It keeps you always ready to expand yourself, to accommodate others who have different experiences from you.
Following this and going beyond people, have a respect for all living things. Don’t be cruel to animals, even to plants. It’s as simple as not kicking stray dogs or cutting down plants for no good reason. If you are angry, don’t vent your feelings on these creatures. However you feel, it’s not their fault.
A lifestyle is an entire way of living. You can’t claim to be healthy just because you are in good shape when your mind is so closed, or so corrupted. Another way of saying it is don’t be pretentious. If you want to develop as a balanced person, you have to look at all the aspects of your life and how you approach them. Be self-aware, and always, be open to improvement.