Diwali is a pretty well-rounded festival when it comes to celebrations. On Diwali, we usher in hope, prosperity, mindfulness and the best in family health.
This is also the time for new beginnings (specifically when it comes to family health). There's a little bit of everything, for everyone. There's pretty lights, delicious food and, best of all, GIFTS!!What better way to set your loved one on a healthier path than a gift? Gifting, if done right, is a pretty powerful channel when it comes to motivating or inspiring others. You might end up creating an incredibly positive impact rather than just picking something up that sits in a dusty corner of the house.
I remember, a few years ago, a colleague gifted her father-in-law, a gardening enthusiast, a complete gardening kit, with pots, seeds, a sack of organic earth, and tools. I saw a complete transformation, the 63-year old grows a major part of the food they cook and eat at home. Inspiring, isn't it?
Not only is it a better way to eat, gardening can help a senior build back strength as well as help deal with stress. The list of benefits is quite extraordinary.
Here's another, rather unique example - This colleague also gifted herself a handmade journal with beautiful dried flowers on the cover. This got her to start keeping a journal, which helped her tackle her loneliness and panic attacks better. While festivals are a great time to give to others, celebrating yourself is another way to go.
Little actions, big Impact! This Diwali, can you think of gifts that might nudge the family towards growing their own food in the terraces and balconies and thereby, assume better control on their health?
Great gifting, more than anything, is driven by observation and intuition. To get this right, you need to make the effort to understand the person and their inclinations and personality. When considering family health, is there something in the gift department that can help your loved ones overcome their barriers and adopt healthier, stress-free habits?
Health as a Hobby
Often a keen interest in an activity is the easiest way to foster healthier habits. The discipline and focus associated with a certain activity, helps bring out its benefits and the person's interest keeps them going. They end up continuing the activity long enough for it to be impactful. The range of activities here is very vast and depends on what habits/behaviour needs to be inculcated. For example: learning how to play the guitar can help you accomplish a multitude of things like improve motor coordination, keeps your brain nimble, aiding in developing greater neuroplasticity.
A virtual gaming version of the same activity will couple all those benefits with some physical activity. In fact, this could become a group family activity enjoyed by all.
When it comes to the list of activities – your imagination is the limit. From any form of dance to pottery to swimming to gardening to arts & crafts; name it and, with the right recipient, you'd have found yourself the perfect gift!
Health as a Regimen
In other instances, a guided, regimented approach with clearly marked milestones and a long term progress plan holds more appeal. Being challenged and bettering oneself everyday becomes the driving force and seeing physical presentations of one's efforts is a constant motivator.
This list of things can be regimens to begin with like pilates and crossfit or nutritional/diet programs or, lastly, can be hobbies that have taken form of a regimen like pro-tennis or basketball or marathon trainings
While these may have a more pronounced impact on physical health, these regimens come as a package that impact your eating habits, sleeping habits and thereby, have a positive impact on a person's overall well-being. A demo session of either of the above mentioned activities can be a great way to get someone kick-started.
Health as an Education
And then there are people who thrive off information, the more they know, the more they imbibe and the more they desire to know. The best way to inculcate habits, here, is to build understanding of how your body works i.e. how your body breaks down food? How your body processes it? How it impacts your brain? How does your brain learn? How are your gut and brain connected? What makes your immune system tick?
There are a plethora of books, e-books, audio books out there that can help build a better understanding of our health and things that impact it. There are some great titles and programs such as 'Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ', 'don't lose your mind lose your weight' and 'It all starts with food' (from the Whole30 program)
Health as an Experience
For our final segment, we have a more tangible and direct approach – Technology i.e. wearable tech. We've all become familiar with fitness bands and activity trackers that measure your food intake, all that you do during the day, give you guided programs for meditation, running etc. and how it plays out for your heart rate, stress levels, O2 saturation, sugar levels, calorie count. They bring all measurable aspects of your health to you in a dashboard, so to speak.
These are great for people who might be easily distracted and need instant gratification when it comes to undertaking a new project/activity. Having somewhere to constantly 'check-up' on progress keeps them motivated and committed; even if it is to maintain an ongoing streak. Once again the list is pretty extensive and it is only going to get bigger as technology advances. Test and see what fits the bill.
The Perfect Gift for Me
As for me, Zentangling changed my life. I gifted myself a Zentangle kit last Diwali. This was a bunch of papers and colourful pens, handy for when I was happy and alternately, pressured. I consider this a beautiful gift that does not require any prior skill or qualification, yet encourages one to be expressive.
So, let this Diwali be your time to give yourself and your loved ones the push they need and deserve. That right gift is as easy as "match-the-column –to- the right person to the right classification". Make new resolutions, revisit your life and take your health seriously with these innovative gifting options.
Disclaimer: This publication/editorial/article does not constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation of any Products. Please consult your doctor/healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication or exercise.