I get it. Jobs, children, bills, ill health, errands, and more bills all take an unmerciful toll on our peace of mind and, subsequently, our bodies. It seems that in our attempt to live the perfect life, we have left little space to live at all. Our heads fill with constant worry and lists of things to do, and we get lost in the middle of it all. Simple living can seem like a distant memory reserved for people of a bygone era.
That may be true to a large extent. However, I have found that it is possible to clear our lives of at least some stress and relieve the pressure just a little bit. Here are some pointers that may be useful.
Simplify your environment.
You have probably heard the saying “cleanliness is next to godliness.” For those of us who aren’t particularly godly, I think what that statement could mean is that if we have a tidy, uncluttered and organised environment to live in, it provides space for us to expand our growth. I know that if my home is in disarray, I feel chaotic inside also. If we tend to be chaotic people, our environment can often be the same. We feed off our environment and vice versa.
Maybe it’s time to sort through that wardrobe, empty the kitchen cabinets of out-of-date condiments or get rid of those boxes in the shed (the ones full of who knows what, the ones you’ve had since 1988). Give yourself an achievable time period and go through each room one by one, getting rid of stuff that is taking up valuable space and energy.
I promise, it will make you feel a whole lot better.
Simple quiet time.
Once you have your home in order, your house will seem quieter and calmer. The energy changes, and in return so does yours. I value my quiet time so much. I am lucky enough to have a little porch which is glass on all sides. Our house is surrounded by trees, and on a rainy or windy day, I sit in there and just watch nature take its course. I am cocooned yet still part of the action outside. I have my books and candles and other things that make me feel cozy. I write in there, and generally it is my little haven. In the summer I create a little spot outside and surround a garden chair with pots of scented herbs and flowers, and I find time to sit peacefully there as much as possible.
You can create your own little haven also – somewhere to switch off and just be quiet. Being quiet can be difficult at first. We are so used to constant stimulation that not doing anything can feel weird, or like a waste of time. Stick with it, though. The benefits will soon become apparent, and you will cherish those quiet moments.
Some simple light and air.
I feel that humans’ disconnection from nature causes a lot of our illness (both physical and mental) in our society today. We spend less and less time outdoors as we rush from home in our cars to work and back again. We don’t have time to stop and smell the roses, literally. We speak of nature as being something separate from ourselves, but we are very much part of it.
However, if we find even ten minutes per day to go outside and soak in natural light and fresh air, it can make a world of difference to how we feel. If we can spend those ten minutes outside barefoot, then all the better. Going barefoot grounds us to the negative charge in the Earth. Research has shown that these negative ions detoxify us, synchronise our body clocks, hormonal cycles, and reduce inflammation.
Natural light is also a simple, natural yet powerful force to keep us well. Lack of natural light during the day negatively affects our health in many ways, including our quality of sleep. We need adequate light during the day to kick our body chemistry into sleep at night – and we all know the chaos which lack of sleep brings. Sunlight is essential for our stores of vitamin D, our serotonin levels and a host of other chemical reactions in our bodies. Getting more sunlight is always good.
For me, there is nothing more satisfying than cooking wholesome, nutritious food. There is something spell like in stirring a pot full of fresh, delicious, healthful ingredients and turning it into a yummy meal. Our food is most definitely our medicine, and nourishing our bodies with high quality food staves off a whole host of preventable health complications. I know that cooking from scratch everyday is not practical for all households, but getting into the habit of doing it even twice a week will make a difference. Research quick simple recipes, have fun and get creative. Your body will thank you for it.
The power of simple solutions.
The basic principle of my self-care is to nurture through nature. Sometimes we can get overwhelmed at the prospect of making changes and think we need high priced medical or therapeutic solutions to solve our problems. However, simple solutions are available to all of us, free of charge, and sometimes they are the most effective and transformative. There is always something we can do to help ourselves, improve our lives and enhance our health.