If you’re anything like the rest of the world, life seems to be getting busier and busier. When it comes to bettering your health, there’s definitely no shortage of advice, programs or videos to help try to get you there. Despite the obvious benefits of engaging your health on a day to day basis, it’s so important not to forget that sometimes doing nothing is all you need. I’m not suggesting you give up on your health, wellness and fitness goals, however sometimes we all need a reminder that slowing the pace is exactly where our health needs us to be.
I don’t know about you, but as much as I actively try to slow down the pace of life, it just seems that another chore, obligation, or necessity arises in place. If I’m not fulfilling one of my life’s purposes as a naturopathic doctor, then I’m trying to keep up to preparing meals, exercising, maintaining my home, and spending time with my family, not to mention all the stuff I don’t enjoy (such as keeping up on finances, doing paperwork, or paying bills). All that being said, I can say with certainty that I really am making a hard earned effort to minimize the non essentials in order to truly simplify my life. So where am I (and others like me) going wrong? And why does it sometimes seem like such an effort to properly maintain my health? Well, as the adage goes, maybe I need to let some things go, as at the end of it all, maybe less (or nothing at all) is actually more.
As a naturopathic doctor, I’m continually helping people realistically incorporate better health choices into their lives. The problem here, however, is that many people (as I’ve mentioned above) are just so bogged down with life itself, they feel like there’s no more wiggle room for anything else. Well, as much as I’ve admitted that I also feel this way sometimes, the priority here needs to be doing less in order to achieve more. So let’s take a quick look at what exactly doing less or nothing can mean, and how it actually benefits your health.
Our body’s, minds, souls and lives all tend to thrive better when in balance versus not. If you feel your health is suffering, rather than stressing your life and health more by trying to do more in less time, here is truly what you need to do:
- Acknowledge your ‘to do’ list and accept that, for the benefit of your health, some of the items are not as important and can be put on hold (such as washing your floors, spending time on social media, texting friends, attending that meeting).
- Remember that life will not fall apart if you scratch items off your list (yes, even the ‘necessary things’), as believe it or not, you might ultimately find more time to do less.
- Doing nothing means better sleep. Proper sleep allows your body to recover, recuperate, and rebuild for the day(s) ahead.
- Although you may want to get on board with the newest ‘health fad’, remind yourself that the only real fad that has stood the test of time, is proper rest and recuperation.
- When you’re sick, you need to stop, as at the end of it all (life), the only true commitment you need to make is to that of your health and happiness.
- Medications, natural or otherwise, are helpful without a doubt, however if you’re sick or unwell, it’s rest that will be the only medicine to truly speed your recovery back to better health.
- Healthy or sick, listen to your body. When your body is telling you it has had enough, in most circumstances, listen to it, slow down or allow it to rest.
- Research is clear that long term stress plays a massive toll on your health. Nothing in life is worth losing your health over, especially if it’s caused by stress.
- Remember, much of today’s health issues have to do with self imposed commitment. Although life can be blamed for being busy, it’s ultimately up to you to control many of the parameters currently driving your life pace.
- It’s well known that those who really try to make room for less, ultimately end up creating more commitment and stress by trying to fit less in. Although doing nothing seems simple, allow a reasonable period of time to incorporate less into your life.
When it comes to slowing down, maximizing your health, and doing what it right for you, never forget the old adage that your car can’t run on an empty tank of gas, so why do you think your health can? One of the best ways to ‘refill the tank’ of health is to let your foot off the gas pedal, allow the stores to replenish, and begin accelerating at rate that supports a journey toward a more realistic approach to health for you.
Dr Jeremy Hayman, ND helps patients at Cornerstone Naturopathic Inc. feel better, live better, and achieve optimal wellness and health. Years of patient care coupled with dedication to personal life balance has helped Dr Jeremy employ the adage that “your approach to health should be simple”.