The 8 Elements of Holistic Health and Wellness

The 8 Elements of Holistic Health and Wellness

Holistic health and wellness is a term in circulation nowadays. It was in fact, a very popular concept in ancient India and China, where they believed in considering all aspects of health to treat a disease. The practice gradually fell out of favor due to the radical shift in modern medicine.

Nowadays, lifestyle diseases are on the rise due to high stress, exposure to harmful chemicals via pollution, and abundant junk food. Modern medicine can regulate these diseases, but not eradicate them. They can only be fought with the power of holistic health and wellness. Holistic health looks beyond the symptoms of an individual and seeks to heal from the root of the issue. Even conventional medicine has started recognizing the importance of holistic health, increasingly intertwining it in traditional treatment plans.

What Does the Term Holistic Health and Wellness Mean?

The word holistic means of the whole, and wellness means the state of being in good health. Holistic health and wellness refer to the practice of taking into consideration, the body, mind, and spirit when treating an illness. It recognizes them as one interdependent and interconnected unit. When the issues affecting these are treated individually, the overall health of the body improves. Holistic health considers the whole person and how they interact with their environment. Usually, holistic approaches use a combination of nutrition and activities for healing. These activities may include movement, chanting, prayer, meditation, mindfulness, etc.

The basic steps in achieving holistic health include:

  • Listing down your health problems
  • Finding the root cause through various diagnostic tests
  • Eliminating the potential causes with natural methods
  • Purifying the body of toxins
  • Introducing healthy nutrients in the body to heal and replenish

Levels of Holistic Health and Wellness

There are 3 main levels of holistic health and wellness – Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary. Each of these levels encompasses certain elements.

At the primary level, the wellness elements are physical, intellectual, and spiritual. Physical wellness is achieved by exercise, nutritious food at the ideal time, and adequate rest. Intellectual wellness concerns learning capabilities, problem-solving, and nurturing creative skills. Spiritual wellness is accomplished by meditation, self-actualization, and self-awareness.

At the secondary level, the wellness elements are emotional and financial. Emotional wellness involves emotional awareness, understanding, and acceptance of feelings. Financial wellness is accomplished with good earnings, potential savings, and secure investments.

At the tertiary level, the wellness elements are vocational, social, and environmental. Occupational wellness is achieved by leveraging talent, capabilities, responsibilities, and goals. Social wellness is attained by empathetic capacity, social skills, and building trust. Environmental wellness is attained by using green and organic products, undertaking green initiatives, and optimum resource utilization.

The 8 Elements of Holistic Health and Wellness

Let’s look at the 8 elements of holistic health and wellness in detail.

1.   Physical

The physical element of holistic health and wellness refers to the body. A healthy body is one that is free from injuries and diseases. Since all the elements are intimately connected, a decline in physical health directly affects other forms of health. Staying physically healthy allows you to carry out your daily activities without undue strain or fatigue.

You can take care of your physical wellness and stay healthy at home by:

  • Exercising regularly for at least 10 minutes to combat diseases
  • Eating nutritious food like fruits, vegetables and avoiding junk food.
  • Eating meals on time and refraining from skipping meals.
  • Following intermittent fasting, if suitable.
  • Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water to detoxify the body and maintain its pH. 

2.   Intellectual

Intellectual wellness implicates lifelong learning, application of knowledge, and sharing knowledge. Increasing mentally engaging activities helps improve your overall health while simultaneously decreasing your risk of developing mental illnesses. Intellectual wellness boosts your decision-making skills, focus, and memory.

You can take care of your intellectual wellness by:

  • Exercising your mind to engage in finding solutions to problems.
  • Striving to grow intellectually and remaining curious about your environment.
  • Avoiding the use of drugs, excessive drinking, and harmful activities which can interfere with your cognitive skills
  • Indulging in healthy discussions through community platforms for knowledge sharing
  • Trying out new and creative things or nurturing old hobbies.

3.   Social

Social wellness is about connecting with members of your community to form positive relationships. Having an in-person connection helps you feel interconnected and tethered to the world. It is a powerful tool that can help you experience and respect diverse cultures. Social wellness enables you to adapt to new situations and people with confidence and ease.

You can develop and foster social wellness by:

  • Volunteering for community activities and participating in social causes.
  • Listing your social needs and reflecting on the values you would like to share and build with your community
  • Meeting and networking with new people for career growth
  • Treating other people with respect and maintaining healthy boundaries.
  • Letting go of relationships that do not serve you any longer.

4.   Emotional

Emotional wellness means the ability to navigate your feelings. This means identifying, assessing, and effectively sharing those feelings with others. Being emotionally sound makes it easy to identify stressful situations and seek help. Emotionally well people retain positive emotions for a longer time and are comparatively more resilient.

You can cultivate and improve emotional wellness by:

  • Journaling regularly to evaluate your experiences and increase self-awareness
  • Practicing being present at the moment with gratitude
  • Feeling your emotions rather than trying to suppress or deflect them
  • Creating a list of those who support you and how best to contact them
  • Seeking out a certified therapist or counselor in times of need.

5.   Spiritual

Spirituality is commonly viewed as having a sense of purpose, direction, or meaning in your life. Spiritual wellness refers to building a secure mind and body connection. It is built on the foundation of values, beliefs, faith, and ethics. Spiritual wellness allows you to find your inner peace and tide over life’s challenges.

You can identify the aspects of spiritual wellness and develop them by:

  • Spending time alone and reflecting on your thoughts
  • Praying, practicing yoga, or meditating either individually or in group guided programs
  • Traveling and exploring places to experience natural, geographic, and cultural diversity.
  • Participating in activities that are consistent with your beliefs and values.
  • Being aware and appreciating the differences in opinions and values

6.   Vocational

Vocational wellness refers to finding satisfaction in the work that you do. Participating in work that provides personal growth and is consistent with your values, goals, and lifestyle is important. Vocational wellness is subjective, based on your conditioning.

You can foster vocational wellness and career growth by:

  • Increasing your awareness of the career opportunities available to you
  • Pivoting towards work opportunities that are personally meaningful and rewarding.
  • Maintaining a positive relationship with your colleagues.
  • Finding a sustainable balance between work and personal life.
  • Creating personal benchmarks to measure work satisfaction and productivity.
  • Keeping your workspace clutter-free to inspire creativity and productivity.

7.   Financial

Financial wellness is your ability to meet current and future needs using monetary resources. It is measured by your preparedness to handle a financial crisis. It encompasses the ideas of living within your means and making informed financial decisions. Increasing financial wellness also increases your quality of life.

You can make sound decisions for your financial wellness by:

  • Setting realistic financial goals and working around them.
  • Prioritizing paying off debt.
  • Creating an emergency fund.
  • Setting aside a fixed amount of money every month as savings
  • Preparing for short-term, long-term needs, goals, and emergencies.
  • Creating a retirement plan if you’re in your mid 30’s or above

8.   Environmental

Environmental wellness refers to your interaction and response to the natural world. It is affected by your immediate personal surroundings as well as the larger community in your neighborhood and workplace. Going the extra mile to live an environmentally friendly life and conserve the world’s natural resources, serves you as well as the planet.

You can cultivate and improve environmental wellness by:

  • Understanding how your social, natural, and built environments affect your well-being.
  • Surrounding yourself with positive people that support you.
  • Fostering a culture of respect and gratitude.
  • Taking steps on an individual level to mitigate pollution, by reducing, reusing, and recycling.
  • Reducing your carbon footprint with conscious consumption.

Keep Exploring Holistic Health and Wellness

A holistic approach towards health is the path to a happy and fulfilling life. It can help you achieve deeper levels of wellness and prevent diseases. You can start by focusing on one pillar at a time and move ahead gradually. Practices like water fasting, juice cleansing, and plant-based eating are good stepping stones to initiate the first pillar i.e. physical wellness. Other pillars can be approached subsequently, to build a solid foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

Balance For Life is an active promoter of wellness-oriented lifestyle choices. We offer retreats that help you recharge, refresh, rejuvenate and take control of your body. Begin your journey into holistic health and wellness with us!

8 elements of holistic health and wellness pinterest image


How to Plan the Ultimate Detox Holiday

How to Plan the Ultimate Detox Holiday

Every once in a while it is important to pause, reset and reconnect with yourself and nature. Taking time out to focus on your health or simply relax is known to benefit your overall health and increase your productivity. A detox holiday gives you the best of both worlds, a relaxing vacation as well as a health check.

It can be hard to take a complete break when you’re in the usual setting of your home, which is why people are increasingly turning to a detox holiday. It is the best way to get away from the city’s hustle and bustle, unwind and prioritize your wellness.

Read on to know the importance of a detox holiday and how you can plan one for yourself.

What Is a Detox Holiday and Why You Should Plan One?

Every day our body is exposed to various external and internal toxins. If left unchecked, these toxins can damage our organs, contributing to illnesses. Detoxification is the process of eliminating these toxins and cleansing the body from the inside which results in a healthier physical and mental state. Our body has a unique ability to detoxify itself, but nowadays, due to pollution, stress, and poor lifestyle choices, this ability gets compromised, resulting in both physical and mental health problems.

A detox holiday is a wellness getaway that helps you move away from your regular life and indulge in healthy food and activities. It gives your body’s natural detoxification process a helping hand. Your body is replenished with a diet rich in essential nutrients and vitamins, giving it a much-needed break from the over-processed, fatty and sugary foods. There are various types of detox retreats varying from cutting out meat, wheat, sugar, and dairy to living only off of pure, fresh-made juices or plain water.

A detox holiday can present a series of life-changing benefits. It can be the fastest remedy for many of your health concerns. It can kick-start weight loss, renew energy levels, and boost your immune system, further giving you a fresh start and motivation for change when you get back.

Steps to Plan the Ultimate Detox Holiday

1.   Set Your Goals

The first step in executing a detox holiday is setting a precise and attainable goal. Have a clear sight of what you would like to achieve. Start by asking yourself about the major problems that you want to address in your lifestyle. Consider your short and long-term goals regarding any issues plaguing you. Jot down modest health goals that can help you with these issues and be accomplished over the holiday.

Think about what you would like to explore and why. Do you want to focus on your mental health? Are you looking to work towards attaining a healthy inner balance? Or do you simply want to reconnect with nature? After setting your goals, you can think of preferable methods to reach your set goal like yoga, diet plan, western spa, or a combination of all.

2.   Find Out How Much Time You Need

Once you have decided on your goals, a dedicated time window will help you prioritize them and fit in as many important things as you can in the holiday period. Consider your needs, budget, and holiday restraints.

On average, the most recommended duration is of minimum 7-10 days. This might depend on the techniques and diets you are planning to rely on to achieve your goals. Different techniques and diets have different time requirements. It can also further depends on the severity of your problems. A more severe problem can extend the detox by several days or even weeks.

3.   Partner With a Wellness Professional

Find a wellness professional who understands your body and commits to your vision. Look for trusted professionals who have a wide experience and expertise in helping people achieve their personal detox goals.

A wellness professional can offer you a personalized program that works well for your body. You can closely work with them to figure out the diets and exercises or yoga to integrate on your holiday. The expert will prepare a wellness chart for you including special dietary preparations based on your body type, lifestyle, age, health condition, and primary wellness goal.

Having someone who is committed to their mission and truly believes in the science of detoxification can be very empowering. Usually, detox retreat programs like the ones offered by Balance For Life, are medically supervised by wellness experts and include pre-planned meals and activities tailored for you.

4.   Find a Relaxing Place for the Holiday

Look for retreats and wellness centers that fit your vision. When the surroundings are right, they reinforce and act in synergistic ways to help you achieve your goals. Watch videos on YouTube, read blogs and testimonials about other people’s experiences to zero in on your ideal detox holiday destination. This will also give you a fair idea of what to expect.

Once you have an establishment in mind, check out its website to know their booking prices and the services they have to offer. Set up a call to discuss and book your stay.

5.   Outline Your Daily Agenda.

Outlining your daily agenda will help you check all the goals you’re planning to achieve through the detox holiday. Include a healthy mix of holistic activities like yoga, meditation, light exercises, soft adventures like hiking, treks, or location-based tours, rejuvenating spa treatments, etc. in it. The activities can vary depending on your holiday destination.

The wellness chart created by your healthcare professional will also play an important role in your choice of activities. You need to make sure that the activities are not detrimental to your body. If your diet is going to be light with low-calorie meals, it’s best not to indulge in intense activities that require a lot of energy. It’s always good to consult your wellness professional before adding such activities to your agenda.

6.   Plan Your Meals

Detox meal plans usually comprise water fasts, juice fasts, plant-based meals, or a macrobiotic diet. Make sure your holiday destination has a restaurant or meal service that provides meals adhering to your chosen diet. You can enquire with the manager of the establishment to know these details. Check out the available menu and decide on the meals you would like to have during your stay.

You also need to be mindful of portion sizes. Just because you are doing a detox doesn’t mean you can binge on healthy foods. Sticking to the meal portions suggested by your wellness professional is the key to avoiding overeating. This way you can also sample a wide range of dishes available.

how to plan a detox holiday

7.   Prepare for the Detox Holiday

A few weeks prior to your detox holiday, start changing your diet in preparation, to avoid putting your body in “shock” or “detox crash”. Clean up your diet by cutting down on alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, refined sugars, carbonated drinks, and saturated fats.

Prepare your body by including more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, and nuts in your diet. Keep yourself hydrated with plenty of water, juices, and herbal drinks to aid your detox transformation. The sooner your body can adapt to these changes, the easier it will be for you to maximize your detox process. Avoid over-exercising or doing anything that will put your body under stress. Instead, complement light exercises with yoga and meditation.

8.   Journal Your Experiences and Plan For the Future

Carry a journal with you to make a note of what worked and did not work for you during the holiday. A detox retreat shouldn’t be a one-off event but rather a start to a much healthier lifestyle that is physically, mentally, and nutritionally fulfilling.

Keep a tab on online resources and books providing insightful information, tips, individual experiences, and advice. Develop a fitness plan with small but achievable goals for healthy habits along with a wholesome natural diet post the detox process. Stick to this plan and make adjustments wherever needed to ensure that the benefits gained from the detox retreat aren’t lost.

Start Planning Your Ultimate Detox Holiday

It’s essential to get away from the daily stress and break your routine to relax and recharge. A detox vacation focuses not only on cleansing your body but also on rejuvenating your mind and soul.

Planning your detox holiday beforehand is crucial to make the most out of it and gain the best results in a short time. If you don’t have enough time to plan a detox holiday of your own, you can discover our selection of detox retreats or contact our wellness experts to decide on the right program for you. Thereafter all you need to do is come and enjoy our plant-based SOS and beach getaway. You will have the best experts on hand to monitor and guide you throughout the process and resources to help you with your post-detox journey.

How to plan the ultimate detox holiday pinterest

Mental Wellness Retreat Florida

Mental Wellness Retreat Florida

Here at Balance for Life Wellness Retreats, we strive to help you stay on top of your health with our vegan retreats, juice cleanses and fasting retreats. But we want you to make health and wellness a priority even when you can’t be with us enjoying a healthy beach vacation.

There are many things you can do at home that are simple and easy to accomplish but bring tremendous health benefits.

Tips for Staying Healthy at Home

Sometimes you need a boost or a little help getting focused and motivated, but wellness shouldn’t be a priority only when you are on a cleansing retreat. There are simple steps you can take to make wellness part of your every day routine. 

  • Water is your friend.

People forget that drinking water is always important, especially during hot summer months. It helps your body with waste removal and blood circulation, improves your skin elasticity, and more. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAM) suggests around 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters of fluids for men and about 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters of fluids a day for women.


  • Eat seasonal fruits and veggies.

If you eat fruits and veggies in the season when they grow, you’ll get more taste and more nutrition. Summer favorites include cherries, corn, watermelon and tomatoes.


  • Support your immune system.

Zinc and vitamins C and D are well-known immune boosters. These days, we all want our immune systems in good working order, so be sure to include foods containing these important vitamins and minerals in your diet, and of course, get outdoors more, while the weather allows, to get vitamin D from the sun.


  • Take time to chill.

Meditation, smelling essential oils, drinking herbal tea after taking a soothing bath – all of these can benefit your health by helping you relax. In other words, take some time for yourself to stay healthy.

If you would like to give your wellness journey a jump start, contact us for more information about our ocean retreats

The Health Benefits of Fasting

The Health Benefits of Fasting

Some people know that a water or juice fasting retreat is a great opportunity to get away and recharge. But there are many people who have never been on a fasting retreat. Understandably, they have a lot of questions. (For the record, we have never come across anyone who isn’t clear on the concept of an ocean retreat, however!)

“Fasting is a practice that dates back centuries and plays a central role in many cultures and religions,” says  Rachael Link, MS, RD, writing for Healthline. “Defined as the abstinence from all or some foods or drinks for a set period of time, there are many different ways of fasting.”

There are water fasts and cleansing juice fasts. There are fasting retreats and then there is intermittent fasting, which involves refraining from eating for certain hours of the day. Some people fast as part of their spiritual practice, for others it is an essential aspect of their wellness routine – and for some the two seem to combine. 

What Are the Benefits of Fasting?

“Fasting has been shown to have many health benefits, from increased weight loss to better brain function,” Link says. She shared a number of those benefits, each of which is backed by scientific research, with Healthline readers.

Among the benefits of fasting, she says, are: 

  • Improved blood sugar control. “In fact, one study in 10 people with type 2 diabetes showed that short-term intermittent fasting significantly decreased blood sugar levels (1),” she says.
  • Enhanced cardiovascular health. Link says, “One study in 4,629 people associated fasting with a lower risk of coronary artery disease, as well as a significantly lower risk of diabetes, which is a major risk factor for heart disease (11).”

Supports weight loss. Link says there is research that indicates short-term fasting may help to boost your metabolism.

Reset – and Feel Rejuvenated – After a Crazy Year

Reset – and Feel Rejuvenated – After a Crazy Year

As the weather warms up and we say goodbye to winter, thoughts turn to a getaway to the beach – with the freedom of the sun, the sand and the waves. Thoughts also turn to your bathing suit, which likely hasn’t been worn since last summer.

If you put on some weight over the past year, you are not alone. Lots of people have gained weight as a result of the pandemic – between the stress and the gyms being closed, it’s not surprising. 

Even if you have done your best to maintain a healthy routine, you may not have been able to avoid a little weight gain. Don’t beat yourself up about. We are going to repeat that: Do. Not. Beat. Yourself. Up! 

And now that you can get vaccinated, it’s time to start thinking about getting back on track with your wellness journey. 

Time to Hit Reset

The best place to start is by giving your brain a little bit of a workout. Think about what your goals are now as we all look forward to starting a new chapter in our lives.  Do you want to lose weight? Enhance your overall wellness? Just feel good?!

Again, don’t be too hard on yourself. Map out some reasonable goals for yourself given the situation. You may not feel comfortable going back to the gym yet, but there as we have all learned over the past year, there is always another way to get things done. 

Instead of heading to the gym, you can enjoy the great outdoors – whether that means taking your dog to the park or joining us for a cleansing retreat on the ocean. 

This would be a great time to start getting back to your healthy eating habits or to begin a whole new relationship with food. Start small by focusing on eating enough healthy fruits and vegetables or hit reset with a fasting retreat or juice cleanse. 

If we can help you hit reset – and help you feel rejuvenated after a crazy year, please contact us. We would love to help and maybe one of our ocean retreats is just what you need.

Study Indicates Fasting May Benefit IBD Patients

Study Indicates Fasting May Benefit IBD Patients

Whether your goal is to lose weight, take your wellness journey to a new level or get help managing a chronic condition, a fasting retreat may be a great way to start the year. 

“Fasting has been shown to have many health benefits, from increased weight loss to better brain function,” the health experts at Healthline report. “Some studies have found that fasting can help decrease levels of inflammation and help promote better health.” 

If you have been diagnosed with an irritable bowel disease, such as Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis, one of the studies indicating the benefits of fasting will be of particular intertest. 

Fasting Offers Hope for IBD Patients

A recent study published by Elsevier Inc. added to the scientific literature indicating the benefits of fasting. 

Priya Rangan and Inyoung Choi of the Longevity Institute at the School of Gerontology in the University of Southern California’s Department of Biological Sciences are the lead authors on “Fasting-Mimicking Diet Modulates Microbiota and Promotes Intestinal Regeneration to Reduce Inflammatory Bowel Disease Pathology,” which reported that, “Dietary interventions are potentially effective therapies for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs).”  

The researchers tested the effect of a four-day fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) on a model reflecting the symptoms and pathology associated with IBD. “These FMD cycles reduced intestinal inflammation, increased stem cell number, stimulated protective gut microbiota, and reversed intestinal pathology caused by DSS, whereas water-only fasting increased regenerative and reduced inflammatory markers without reversing pathology,” the report says. 

Balance for Life, which offers a variety of wellness retreats along the sun-drenched coast of Southeast Florida, is one of only two centers in the country that currently provide fully supervised water-only fasting retreats

If you would like information about a fasting retreat that is also a beach getaway, we hope you will contact us.