Our mind, body, and spirit are intimately connected.
If you neglect one part, many times another will start to fail.
If you start to consume junk, your thoughts will be junk. If your thoughts become junk, you might start creating it too.
Here’s what I like to do, when one part of the triad fails. In the long run it’s always better to slow down and regain health, rather than to ignore the problem until later.
How to focus on minimalist health:
1. Slow down. Usually health starts failing because you’re going too fast. We tend to think that we’ll get healthier by going faster, but I’ve found the opposite is true. We run all day, and this makes us tired. When we’re tired we tend to eat worse, and we want to drink, this is a vicious cycle. Health and rest are intertwined. Stop moving so fast before everything else can begin.
2. Disconnect. It’s incredibly hard to stretch for an hour if you’re checking Twitter every five minutes. Turn off the computer, turn off the smart phone, before you move to the other steps. Communication cracks out your mind when you’re constantly plugged in and makes it difficult to concentrate developing good health.
3. Take the time to begin eating right again. Good food is a commitment, one it takes time to fulfill. The worst food is also the easiest to consume quickly. Dedicate an hour for each meal, start to finish. Create each meal with fresh and raw ingredients that we’re just purchased from the market.
4. Walk to and from the market before meals. I know this isn’t possible everywhere, but I find that it helps me focus on what my body needs and gets my body active. You can’t always plan ahead for what your body will need for dinner. Be conscious of what your body is telling you to eat, sometimes it might want something you don’t have in the fridge.
5. Take the time to stretch. Not everyone is like this, some people are gumby. But I’ve found that stretching is one of the most effective ways to improve my health. Set aside one-two hours a day for calm relaxed stretching positions — don’t force anything, listen to your body’s needs. Mine needs an hour of stretching today, I can hear it. Start slow with forward bends and calf stretches, move on to pigeon pose and plow at the end.
6. Only then move to intense exercise. I often fail if I try to exercise without first doing the above. Slowness, food, and stretching are the basis for everything that comes after. If food is hard, only focus on that. If stretching is hard, only focus on that. Everyone has their favorite method of strengthening their bodies and burning calories. I stick with Yoga and biking, you may like running and acrobatics.
It’s easier to injure or burn yourself out without first slowing down, eating right, and stretching. Start with foundation for good health before hitting the hard stuff.
I dedicate today to minimalist health. I will slow down, disconnect, eat right, stretch, and then move for health.
I hope you will dedicate this day too.
Two things worth checking out, if you’re more interested in my work.
1. Matt Cheuvront posted this video review of The Art of Being Minimalist, which is excellent.
2. John Anyasor interviewed me on his blog about designing your minimalist life.