Retirement offers an opportunity to shift from searching for work-life balance to embracing an overall balanced life. Regardless of what your retirement plans are, once you have more time available you can choose to invest in yourself and pursue a more holistic approach to living.
What does holistic mean? A holistic life is one that addresses body, mind and soul.
You will be strongest, healthiest and happiest if these aspects are integrated and balanced.
If a holistic life sounds appealing there are many resources available to help establish a simple routine that will not intrude on the pursuit of your other retirement interests.
How do you do this successfully?
One interesting and effective approach is the ancient Indian wisdom of Ayurveda. Ayurveda means “Science of Life” and centers on seeing each human being as an extension of nature and consciousness; an integrated system built to be self-balancing and integrated with the environment leveraging the body-mind connection.
Ayurveda is based on the premise that disease is the natural end result of living out of harmony with our environment. Natural is an important word because Ayurveda understands that symptoms of disease are the body’s normal way of communicating disharmony. With this understanding of disease, Ayurveda’s approach to healing becomes obvious: to reestablish harmony between self and environment. Once reestablished, the need for the body to communicate disharmony diminishes, symptoms dissipate, and healing is said to have occurred.
Ayurveda teaches that we all are blessed with divine intelligence and an inner pharmacy at birth. In a YouTube video, Dr. David Simon talks about how to use your inner pharmacy to stay balanced.
Ayurveda is just one approach to help reach balance, health and happiness. Another important element is social connection. Studies have found that the single most important aspect to a long, healthy, fulfilling life is good social relationships, such as, a life partner or family, close personal friends or a group with a shared passion, like hiking, volunteering, art or gardening.
There are many resources available to discover groups and people that you can connect with, such as, online “Meet-up groups”, volunteer opportunities, and educational trips like Road Scholar. The choices are varied and very easy to access.
Probably the most overlooked aspect of life is your soul. A religion can connect you with soul to some extent but finding your unique way to connect with and nourish your own soul is important.
Nourishing your soul can be accomplished by meditation (moving beyond your thoughts), sitting in silence, experiencing nature, exercising compassion or even star gazing, any activity that develops a sense of wonder and connection to the Universe at large will help.
Whatever your plans, retirement can be a time to heal, to discover your authentic self and become truly balanced. Breaking old habits may be difficult, but the payoff can be a life of health, joy and fulfillment.
Nourish yourself- spoil yourself- establish “Project You”. Everything you need is at your fingertips. All you need is a commitment to love yourself and take the first step.