A to Z Guide to Thriving in Life Health & Wellness

‘H’ is for Holistic Health – Creating a healthy lifestyle for life

April 9, 2018
Creating a Holistic, Healthy Lifestyle for Life

Creating a Holistic, Healthy Lifestyle for Life


Health is an obvious choice for ‘H’ in my AtoZ Challenge Guide to Thriving in Life. Without good health and well-being there is no way we can Thrive. We tend to our families and ensure they are healthy. We even care for our plants with food and water so they thrive, rather than wither and die.

But what about ourselves? Often we put ourselves last and forget about our own needs.

In her book, ‘Mastering Your Mean Girl’, Melissa Ambrosini talks about ‘Being Fabulously Healthy’.

“How you feel about yourself is reflected in every choice you make and ever action you take.”- Melissa Ambrosini

Taking an Holistic Approach to Health

The American Holistic Health Association defines Holistic Health as :

Holistic Health is actually an approach to life. Rather than focusing on illness or specific parts of the body, this ancient approach to health considers the whole person and how he or she interacts with his or her environment. It emphasizes the connection of mind, body, and spirit. The goal is to achieve maximum well-being, where everything is functioning the very best that is possible. With Holistic Health people accept responsibility for their own level of well-being, and everyday choices are used to take charge of one’s own health.”

My approach to a healthy lifestyle is to not just focus on one area but the three areas of life – physical, mental and spiritual.  You cannot be totally healthy unless you are taking care of each of these areas and each area is connected.  For example when you exercise your body becomes fitter, but your mind is also affected in a positive way by relieving stress, your spirit feels uplifted.  Exercise is a wonderful holistic approach to your health.

10 tips to Creating a Holistic, Healthy Lifestyle for Life

1. Acceptance

The first step is to accept that you will change your lifestyle for life.  Not just for a few weeks but for your life time.

2. Build a positive relationship with Food

Forget the fad diets and quick fixes.  Use the JERF principle which is JUST EAT REAL FOOD.  Crash dieting or following the latest fad may help short term but unless you change your relationship with food you will continue the spin cycle of losing weight, gaining weight, feeling bad.

3. Avoid Processed Foods

Try to eat natural produce as much as possible and avoid packaged or processed foods.

4. Abstain from or reduce Alcohol & increase your water intake

I have recently decided to abstain from drinking alcohol.  I wasn’t a heavy drinker but felt I wanted to take the focus of drinking during the evenings as a habit rather than actually enjoying it.  Alcohol has become such a huge part of society – after work drinks, drinks to relax, drinks for celebrations.  That doesn’t mean that I won’t have the occasional glass of bubbly on special occasions but I have found that removing the alcohol has had positive affects on my body as well as my mind.  I have proven I don’t need alcohol to enjoy myself and my body and skin are looking and feeling much better.

Staying hydrated by drinking water regularly throughout the day is important for good health.  Carry a water bottle with you always and keep drinking! (Water that is!)

Did you also know that sometimes you think you are hungry or craving food when in actual fact you are dehydrated?  So before you reach for a biscuit, reach for your water bottle!

5. Sleep

This is the time our bodies recover and our minds relax.  Getting a good night’s sleep is important to our overall health and well-being.  Not sleeping well?  You could be anxious about something or it could be as simple as leaving the mobile phone and laptop outside the bedroom.

6. Stay Socially Connected

Make time to catch up with family and friends or join a social group.  Studies have proven that staying connected is an important part of staying healthy especially into later life.

7. Self-Care

Make time each day to have some time for yourself.  Include time to pamper yourself with massages or indulge in a long soak in the bath to relax.  Nourish your soul by doing something you really enjoy – just for you!  Make regular check-ups a priority especially tests such as mammograms, cervical tests and a general health check up.

8. Practice Mindfulness

Being present in the moment can help to reduce anxiety and stress.  Focusing on something as mundane as brushing your teeth will clear your mind of the worries of the day.  Taking a few moments to breathe slowly will help you to stay clear headed and able to cope with the stresses of life.

9. Daily Movement

Notice, I didn’t write Exercise?  To many people, ‘exercise’ can be a chore but if you look at incorporating some movement into your day you achieve the same results.  Go for a walk and explore your surroundings, try yoga or pilates or even dancing!    Simply doing some stretches when you get out of bed each morning will help to strengthen your body. Find something you enjoy doing and move! 30 minutes each day is optimal and you will definitely feel the benefits in body, mind and spirit.

10. Focus on a positive attitude

Being positive is important for your mental health but it isn’t always easy to be upbeat all the time.  It is important to recognise that humans cannot be happy or positive 24/7.  Accept there will be times you are feeling down or out of sorts and find ways to overcome these feelings. One way is to write down or reflect on what you are grateful for in your life.  Another way is to get outside and enjoy some fresh air.  Moving rather than moping about will lift your spirits.  If you find that keeping a positive attitude is difficult, then seek professional help – there is no shame in asking for help.

By following these 10 tips you will discover that life can be happy and healthy and you will find the motivation to make this a permanent lifestyle change.

Creating a Holistic, Healthy Lifestyle for Life



What is one thing you can do today to start making changes towards Creating a Holistic, Healthy Lifestyle?


In my next post in the A to Z Guide to Thriving, I’m discussing ‘I’ is for Inspiration – 7 Ways You Can Inspire Others

If you have missed previous posts in the AtoZ Challenge 2018 just click here to find them all.

You might also like to check out my Over 50 & Thriving series.  In this series, published every Thursday, guest writers give insight into what ‘Over 50 & Thriving’ means to them.

Want practical and motivational ways to learn to Thrive rather than just Survive in life?  Click here and Subscribe to receive my daily posts as they publish plus a FREE COPY of my E-Book ’10 Ways you can start Thriving Today’.





Women Living Well After 50

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  • Reply Jo Tracey April 9, 2018 at 07:56

    I’ve recently cut back on alcohol during the week and am noticing the difference in how I wake the following morning. I’ve never been terribly moderate in anything but as I’m getting older it’s something that is necessary.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2018 at 11:43

      Hi Jo, we have gone 5 weeks alcohol free now and that is the longest for many years. I know I don’t have to cut it out completely but actually I haven’t missed it too much and will enjoy it more on social occasions. You do feel better in the mornings that is for sure!

  • Reply Donna April 9, 2018 at 08:27

    Hi, Sue – Once again, your tips are spot-on! I believe that I have (mostly) healthy eating habits , and I have a high vegetable diet. Still, my current goal is to clamp down further on your #3. Thank you for this additional motivation!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2018 at 11:40

      Hi Donna, we probably know all of this but it is good to be reminded occasionally. As I write posts like this I’m reinforcing the message to myself. Have a great week!

  • Reply Natalie April 9, 2018 at 09:27

    Hi Sue – Excellent tips! I believe I’ve been doing well with most of them. Like Donna, I’m making more efforts to avoid processed foods. Congrats on your nomination for the ABBA 2018! I’m glad to see a few bloggers that I’ve been following are nominated. I voted and hope that you’ll all win.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2018 at 11:41

      Yes processed foods is a hard one but we try not to have many of those in the cupboards these days. I’m very excited about the nomination as it was a complete surprise. It was lovely to see some of my other blogging friends nominated and fortunately, most were in a different category to me so I could vote for them all. xx

  • Reply Vanessa April 9, 2018 at 10:46

    I swapped to a smaller waterbottle during the week as it was lighter in my handbag but have found I’m drinking less water! So now I want to bring a bigger one to work for my desk so I get back to my good habit that I used to have. (Well, it’s not terrible now, it was better in the past is all!)

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2018 at 11:39

      Hi Vanessa maybe keep one at work and one in your bag? Have a great week!

  • Reply Jennifer Jones April 9, 2018 at 11:55

    I find myself looking forward to your A-Z posts Sue. This one has been a great remunder. I believe I’m following most of your tips. But the one I’m falling behind with is mindfulness. My days are often busy and hectic and I do find myself always thinking of what is next and not being mindful of the current task. Will make an effort to work on that

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2018 at 12:03

      You are so good for my ego Jennifer and I thank you for your support. Mindfulness is difficult for me too and it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Have a great week and look forward to reading more of your AtoZ. I read your health one today and am jealous of your home gym!

  • Reply Leanne | crestingthehill April 9, 2018 at 13:02

    These are all great tips Sue – another thing I’ve noticed is how a lot of us who don’t drink alcohol tend to replace it with soft drink in social situations (and we tend to drink several glasses because it won’t affect us) What we don’t appreciate is the sugar content and all the chemicals soft drink contains – water is definitely the way to go!

    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
    H for Hang on to your Dreams

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2018 at 13:36

      I know, my PT was always on to Mike and I to drink water all the time. We have water bottles all over the house now and my daughter always carries one with her. She is teaching Ethan to be the same and he has some pretty cool water bottles which encourages him to drink.

      • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au April 11, 2018 at 13:01

        Hi Sue – this just reminded me to get up and have a glass of water! Shared it on my SM everywhere and here’s to another great #MLSTL link up xx

        • Reply Sue Loncaric April 11, 2018 at 13:49

          Thanks Leanne, I’m running behind but will start commenting soon xx

  • Reply Gail April 9, 2018 at 13:40

    It was unfortunate that I read this post AFTER I had consumed three helpings of a nighttime snack, when all I should have/needed to do was have a drink of water! haha! Okay, tomorrow is another day…
    Seriously, you’ve provided some great advice here, and I think the one I need to work on is getting enough sleep, so I’m signing off for the night!
    Gail Park
    Making Life an Art

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2018 at 18:58

      Hi Gail and we all have those days! Sleep is an issue and one I struggle with as well. Hope you get a good night sleep tonight and have a great week! x

  • Reply Mrs. Dash April 9, 2018 at 14:11

    Nice tips.
    I do try to follow them after my doctor told me so and realized, after a while it made me feel so good, that now its a part of me.

    Tongue Twister for H

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2018 at 18:57

      That is good news. Sometimes we just need a nudge from the doctor and I like that you have made it all part of your life.

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl April 9, 2018 at 14:39

    Eat Real Food and Daily Movement. I love how you’ve made both goals sound as positive as they are. Diet and Daily Exercise bring up resentment whenever I see them and I’m usually a healthy eater and daily exerciser.

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2018 at 18:57

      Yes I think over the years diet and exercise have had a negative connotation and sound like a chore. Movement and eating real food sounds much easier to do. Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful week!

  • Reply Sue April 9, 2018 at 15:15

    We gradually switched to a “real food” way of eating over the past few years Sue. So much so that I’ve forgotten how we used to cook and eat! No going back, we both love this change. My current challenge though is to get better sleep……….. still working on that one!

  • Reply Shirley Corder April 9, 2018 at 16:47

    Hi Sue. Excellent post. I love the fact that you use the word movement instead of exercise! As I’ve share with you, exercise was always a dirty word in my vocabulary but since getting a fitbit I’m finding it such fun slotting regular “movement” into my day! My next a to z post is Hearing Loss and how we can deal with it or prevent it.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2018 at 18:53

      Hi Shirley yes sometimes it is the choice of words that can make us motivated or the opposite. Exercise is always portrayed as a chore, whereas if we use the word movement it doesn’t seem quite so hard. Good for you with the fitbit!

  • Reply Debbie Harris April 9, 2018 at 19:00

    Such good tips and hanks for the reminder Sue. I rarely drink alcohol except for very special occasions and and don’t miss it at all. Good for you! I like the sensible nature of your tips and they are all achievable. I know I should drink more water during the day and will make this my mission.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2018 at 19:04

      Yes I’m like you Deb that I can take or leave alcohol but we were falling into a bad habit of almost daily. I feel so much better after 5 weeks without it and haven’t missed it at all. I will keep it for special occasions as well. Water is a must but it is harder during winter to remember isn’t it! Have a great week!

  • Reply Candi Randolph April 9, 2018 at 22:17

    Great tips! I’ve been working on eating more clean foods, and it really does make a difference. You’ve got me thinking about that evening glass of wine…

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 10, 2018 at 10:27

      I don’t think the odd wine hurts Candi but we really needed to take stock for a while and have a complete break! Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day. x

  • Reply Archana April 9, 2018 at 22:50

    Excellent suggestions! Staying mentally active is very important as it gives a sense of purpose and intellectual satisfaction. As you have rightly said ‘daily movement’ as exercise is a word that may discourage some! 😉

  • Reply Dorothy Berry-Lound April 9, 2018 at 23:10

    I agree with all of these points 100%. Mindfulness makes a huge contribution to lifestyle. By the way, at age 58 I love the idea of sizzling towards 60.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 11, 2018 at 09:50

      Ho Dorothy! Lovely to meet you and I hope we can connect in the future. I actually had to add ‘& Beyond’ to my website name because I have now turned 60 and now way am I going to stop Sizzling! Have a great day! xx

  • Reply Melanie Crouse April 9, 2018 at 23:25

    This is a great one for me! My thoughts are slowly shifting away from short-term quick fixes to caring for my body to improve my health for the rest of my life. If only it was something I had really understood a decade ago!
    Melanie’s Stories

  • Reply Karen April 10, 2018 at 00:24

    Really wonderful tips for a healthy lifestyle. I agree that we need to approach our health and well being from multiple areas. I’ve known people with chronic illness and those that are positive and nurture their spiritual as well as physical side always seem to do so much better.

  • Reply Victoria April 10, 2018 at 00:43

    We eat very little processed foods because I try to stay low carb. The moving is where I can get into trouble. lol Staying positive also can be hard sometimes but we are all a work in progress. Great tips Sue.

  • Reply Karen Hume April 10, 2018 at 02:22

    All good advice for a healthy lifestyle, Sue. As I was reading your list, it struck me that a major difficulty for people is that if we don’t do a majority of those ten actions, the efforts we do make probably won’t be long lasting or as effective as we’d wish. Sleep, for instance, is a foundational one that affects daily movement, food choices, and positive attitude!

  • Reply Deborah Weber April 10, 2018 at 04:14

    A very comprehensive holistic list. I’m currently focusing on more water and more movement. I always feel a bit like I’m coming out of winter’s hibernation when Spring hits, and these two areas have taken a hit and need attention.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 11, 2018 at 09:49

      Hi Deborah! It is so easy to forget about drinking water during winter but it is just as important year round. I’m fortunate to live in Brisbane where the winters are very mild so I can still run and exercise outside. Enjoy your Spring!

  • Reply Erin Gill April 10, 2018 at 11:31

    I can’t say enough about what a positive impact has come from following much of this advice. Living a more holistic, intentional, focused existence is the reason so many of us are entering midlife with all this vitality!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 11, 2018 at 09:38

      I totally agree Erin and wish I had known about this lifestyle earlier in my life. Never too late though and living this way certainly does make you feel more alive! Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day. x

  • Reply Kalpanaa April 10, 2018 at 14:49

    You touched on all the points that constitute Holistic health. I was delighted to learn this new term JERF. Your point about alcohol is one I’ve been thinking of lately – to decide not to have a drink every now and again – because my body feels better when I don’t drink alcohol when I’m stressed out about other things.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 11, 2018 at 09:40

      We have gone 5 weeks now without alcohol Kalpanaa and even though I won’t rule out drinking for celebration in the future I certainly do feel better and my skin is looking great!

  • Reply Christie Hawkes April 11, 2018 at 07:00

    These are all great tips, Sue. My recent focus has been on eating cleaner–fewer processed foods and a strong focus on lean protein and fresh vegetables. I was surprised at how easy it really is to eat that way with a little planning. Of course, I’m on vacation now, and not eating as healthy–but I’m in Mexico where there is an abundance of fresh fish, vegetables, and fruit, so it’s not all bad. I hope you are having a lovely day!

    Thanks for the #MLSTL party. Probably the only thing that could bring me out of my holiday from blogging. I couldn’t bear to miss one. 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 11, 2018 at 09:24

      Oh I feel honoured that you took time away from you holiday to join us Christie! Have a wonderful time and yes, it is surprising how easy it is with fresh food rather than processed. We hardly eat any processed foods now and feel so much better for it. Enjoy your holiday! xx

  • Reply Denyse April 11, 2018 at 09:38

    Great post Sue which I can see has been appreciated by your many commenters.

    I have always had water with me and never been a fan of alcohol. I tended to use food to deal with feelings for many years.

    For the past few years, that has not been how I can do that as I have had IBS and anxiety…and then the jackpot, gum cancer!!

    However, I am more mindful now, I make the opportunity to walk/move more by re-engaging with my fit bit (but setting it at a realistic goal for someone with low iron and whose legs are slightly changed for a lot of walking since surgery)

    I hate the word diet as it was a nightmare for me to ‘try’ to follow for many, many years.

    Cancer has taught me much…mostly to be grateful for what I have in my life and how many people are caring for and about me.

    Thanks for joining #lifethisweek 15/52. Next week’s optional prompt is “what is friendship?” Denyse x

  • Reply Min@WriteoftheMiddle April 11, 2018 at 10:47

    You’re totally speaking my language here – no surprise there! lol I also don’t like the word exercise. It’s always held negative feelings for me. As a short girl with no real sporting prowess it reminds me of horrible experiences at sport and PE at school. Movement or Activity are much nicer words and the good thing as adults is that we can choose what we enjoy doing! xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 11, 2018 at 12:41

      Oh gosh Min, I was always at the end of the line at PE at school. I’d wait until there was a group on the other side and quickly run over. I was hopeless. I just think that as you say Movement sounds much more encouraging and easier than exercise which sounds like a chore. Have a great day! x

  • Reply Jo Castro April 11, 2018 at 19:03

    Such great tips Sue. I was just thinking today about the part alcohol plays in our lives as I was tossing up whether or not to attend a social gathering because I’m trying not to drink wine in the week and the drunk monkey in my mind said, “Well you won’t enjoy yourself. You can’t have a glass of wine, so why go?” And I had to pull myself up short! Yes, a holistic approach is so important. But it’s hard to get the balance right.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 12, 2018 at 06:54

      I know Jo, I’ve been thinking the same way since I have tried abstaining from alcohol. Society seems so focused on equating having a good time with drinking. I’m not suggesting we have to be alcohol free all the time but I’m feeling so much better inside after 5 weeks that I’m definitely keen to keep going and just keep the bubbles for special occasions. Have a great day! xx

  • Reply Cherie April 11, 2018 at 23:22

    Lots of great tips and suggestions. I find my eating has improved greatly since moving to Germany. Nearly everyone here cooks meals from scratch, nothing boxed or pre-made. I am not working outside the home, so that makes meal making easier and more fun(less stress). I also like that you use the term Daily Movement instead of exercise. I agree, exercise can sound like a bad word, but movement seems more doable. Nice post, as always.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 12, 2018 at 06:53

      Hi Cherie! Thanks for the positive comments and I find it so much easier to cook meals from scratch because you know what goes into them and they really don’t take too long to make. It is just a matter of being organized and having the right foods on hand. Yes Daily Movement sounds so much easier doesn’t it. Have a great week and thanks for stopping by xx

  • Reply amy April 12, 2018 at 00:06

    These are all such great points, especially the alcohol one. I don’t drink alcohol at all.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 12, 2018 at 06:51

      I’m not a heavy drinker of alcohol Amy but in 5 weeks of being alcohol free I do feel much better inside and out! Have a great day! xx

  • Reply Heather Erickson April 14, 2018 at 01:11

    Hi Sue. These are such fantastic tips! I like to think of our body as a car. You wouldn’t just rotate the tires. You also have to check fluids and change the oil. It needs to stay clean. The hoses need to be replaced every so often, and a whole lot of other things keep your car running smoothly. We need to look at all the parts of who we are, as well. Great post!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2018 at 11:49

      That is so true Heather. I look at it the same way. We make sure our family is healthy, we get the car serviced, we make sure our pets are okay yet we forget to look after ourselves. It needs to be a holistic approach definitely xx

  • Reply Jan Wild April 15, 2018 at 06:11

    Great and very doable tips Sue. We eat very little processed food and I am constantly amazed at what I see in trolleys at the supermarket. And then there’s Costco! I cannot imagine what that does to the brains of those consuming so much rubbish. We are relishing the lovely fresh produce we have been able to find at Noosa and are off to the Farmers’ Market this morning to add to that. Yum!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 15, 2018 at 09:30

      You will love your new home Jan and the Farmers’ Markets have such fresh food why would you want to buy packaged and processed. I despair when I walk around the supermarket and see the junk that people put into their trolleys. Sure treats are fine but not as a staple diet. Don’t get me started on Coke and Soft Drinks LOL:)

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