Even if the term holistic wellness makes you roll your eyes and go reaching for your Doritos, most of us understand it instinctively.
Living your best life means adopting a well-rounded, balanced lifestyle.
Of course, this is easier said that done. With constant screen time, traffic, noise, and the razzmatazz of social media ideals, finding harmony often feels impossible.
The trick is to seek out imbalances in your life and constantly recalibrate—all without judging yourself or those around you.
When we think of wellness, we often single out one aspect of ourselves to the exclusion of all the others. Only addressing your body’s needs, but not your mind’s, or ignoring your spiritual life at the expense of your material one, only leads to more disharmony in the long run.
Interestingly, this striving for balance embodies the essential values of a green witch.
Here are a ways to slow down, take a deep breath and get more out of life.
Please note: This article is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness. The term “holistic wellness” is used here in a spiritual context, not a medical one. So, go see your doctor or appropriately credentialed homeopathic practitioner for all that. Obviously.
Ultimately, green witchcraft comes down to the magic of making things grow.
In the garden, and in your life.
Of course, in the art of green witch holistic wellness, this means different things to different people, but let’s begin with the literal.
Start a small garden. Even just one plant. An easy one. In a pot, if need be.
Tend to that plant or garden for an entire season. Think of it for what it is: a living, breathing thing with needs.
Develop a relationship with it. I’m not saying you need to have a candlelit dinner together. (Although maybe? Live plants on the table are always a nice touch at a dinner party). I’m just saying, really make room for it in your life.
Notice that as it grows, you grow.
This is a perfect metaphor for a relationship with the natural world.
Eat the wild things.
Okay, now don’t go crazy.
You should really know your local plants, and how to find ones that aren’t polluted or spray down with pesticides.
But learning what things in nature you can safely eat is so powerful.
Take a foraging class from a local expert, do some research and get it out of your head that the only things fresh things to eat are in the produce section of the grocery store.
Eating wild connects you to your roots and to nature.
It’s also incredibly empower to learn to live off of the land, even in a small way.
Practice natural self care.
Your body is a temple. Worship it.
Think about all the ways you take care of yourself, and then learn to do them more naturally.
Experiment with making your own natural toothpaste, lotions and soaps.
Making your own body care items from scratch is a tranquil kind of meditation all by itself.
Take time to appreciate the smell of whole beeswax. Feel the satisfying grittiness of a coarse sea salt between your fingers. Inhale essential oils deeply and learn to blend them into pleasing scents.
It’s downright sensual.
Reduce synthetic chemicals.
Even the most dedicated green witch isn’t perfect.
In a world where plastic dominates packaging, bleach lives in nearly every laundry room and the body care industry pollutes us with parabens, escaping synthetic chemicals entirely isn’t realistic.
But do what you can.
You’ll find that you can clean almost anything with some combination of white vinegar, baking soda and/or alcohol.
The more you eliminate toxic elements from your life, the more natural it becomes to spot them and eliminate more.
Stay in tune with the seasons.
We’ve all heard it before. It’s practically a mantra in earth-based spirituality:
“Stay in tune with the seasons!”
But what does that really mean? And how do we do that?
Simple things, like maintaining a season altar, taking time for nature walks, and shopping the farmer’s market for fresh, seasonal, local ingredients are all great ways to reconnect with your inner wild.
Find natural exercise that you love . . . and that loves you.
I once had a conversation with a tai chi instructor and he told me something I never forgot.
“In the West, you think of exercise as something that happens on the outside. In the East, we think of exercise as something that happens on the inside.”
To be honest, as a younger person, I never much enjoyed exercise. When I thought of it, I thought of aggressive weight lifting, stinky gyms and high-impact hard bodies setting an impossible standard of beauty and perfection.
But I enjoyed dance, and I began to discover the more spiritual side of it. Learning new styles kept me interested, and maybe even a little preoccupied. I leaped into studying belly dance, classical Indian, and even New York burlesque.
Suddenly, exercise didn’t feel like a chore. It felt like making art.
Around the same time, I started developing a yoga practice. And I noticed that I didn’t just look better. I felt better. And not just because I felt more flexible, and stronger. Even my sleep and digestion improved.
This, I thought, is what they mean by “holistic wellness.”
I started looking forward to exercise, and feeling quite unbalanced if I missed it.
For me, the key came down to finding ways to love moving my body and doing it a little every day.
As a green witch, the most refreshing, invigorating way to get exercise is to do it in the natural world. Get outside. Do that Sun Salutation actually in the sun.
Develop a magical mindfulness practice.
Recently, I wrote about mindfulness as the foundation of witchcraft.
In green witchcraft, mindfulness is arguably everything.
When you stop to listen to the sounds of the forest on a nature walk, that’s mindfulness.
Even noticing the temperature when you walk out the front door in the morning, and how it feels on your skin, is a kind of mindfulness.
Practicing mindfulness acts as a kind of magic in your life. You need less, do more and appreciate everything.
Spend time with your spiritual community.
Your social well-being is as important to your holistic wellness as any other marker of wellness.
Emerging research suggests what our elders always knew: loneliness isn’t just unhealthy.
Taking the time to find and develop a network of people you rely on pays off in ways you don’t know until you really need it.