What does money have to do with holistic health?
So if you didn’t know, I’m a big advocate of holistic health. What do I mean by that? I mean a lifestyle where you feel good about the “Big 5” areas of life: physical health, your relationships with other people/love, money, your career or calling, and your connection to something greater. How we feel about all of these different areas of our lives affects our health just as much as the food we put in our bodies: if one feels out of whack or seems to lack, it can feel very heavy on our back. (I started rhyming and just had to go with it! I'm a poet and I don't know it!) But, for real, if one of these areas feels out of alignment, it can cause us lots of stress and health issues. It can cause us to be anxious, feel uncontrollable cravings, lose sleep.
Today I wanted to talk about money. Weird that our relationship with money is connected to our health, but it is! If we don’t have enough of it, it can cause a great deal of stress, and stress has terrible effects on the body. Feeling like we don’t have enough money can cause us to not take the best care of ourselves out of necessity: not eating as well as we could, not joining a gym, working multiple jobs and not having time to relax.
But, if we are fixated on having more money, to the extent that it takes importance over other people or areas of our life, that can cause us to act in ways not in alignment with who we want to be.
This is not saying that having a lot of money means you have a bad relationship with money: it is how you approach that relationship. Is it something that consumes you? Are you acting out of pure greed (greed being an intense and selfish desire for something)? Or is it possible that having a lot of money will allow you to take care of your family, be generous with your friends and to causes you care about and to live comfortably? Are you ignoring money and not paying attention to your finances...and are they going a little haywire?
My relationship with money is something that I struggle with. I have been feeling broke for years: working for a tiny non-profit while trying to start your own art/yoga/health coaching business is not the most lucrative venture in the world...at least not yet! But I have been telling myself the story that “if I have more money I am greedy”; deep down, part of me was tied to that feeling of working hard to serve others from a place of altruism.
For a while it was working. I was making ends meet...even saving a tiny bit. But then I had some big, unexpected expenses a bit over a year ago. I started really really feeling broke...and going into debt to pay those expenses.
I’ve been incredibly stressed about it, especially in the past few months. It’s affected my sleep for sure, and occasionally it sneaks into my eating habits too…
The thing that I’ve learned from coaching that is helping me deal with stress is being able to identify and acknowledge why those things are happening. When I feel a craving, or am lying there awake at night, I ask if it is because of stress? For me the answer is usually yes...money related stress. Knowing the cause of the craving makes it feel more manageable: it allows me to pause and decide if I want to indulge it in that way. Sometimes the answer is no, and sometimes its yes. But it doesn’t feel like an out of control issue.
I am very lucky to have been hired for a new job that will take away a lot of that money stress, and still allow me to help people, and to coach.
Money is just one of the things that can affect cravings and stress, but it is one that is often overlooked. I just wanted to share that bit of my story with you...and if you’re interested in learning more about how a health coach can help you manage cravings or bring your holistic health back into focus, schedule a time to talk!
To your health,