The art of creative subtraction
Simply put, sometimes less is more. Often in our busy, frenetic lives we can find ourselves adding more and more to our schedules, without actually taking the time to stop and truly consider what these activities actually add to our lives. As a Nutritional Therapist I often see this marathon plate-spinning wreaking havoc with our digestive system impacting on sleep and causing weight gain, hormonal imbalance and poor mood. I have the greatest of empathy with my clients – as I know only too well how hard it is to strike the balance.
A few years ago, after reading The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin we decided to take some time to consider how we were spending our time as a family. The four of us sat together and wrote on “post-it” notes the activities that lifted our spirits brought us joy, and ultimately made us happy. We were fully expecting the kids (both primary-school aged at the time) to reel off aspirational trips to Disney, expensive family days out and bathing in a vat of chocolate. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised – the common theme was time when we were really present and together, not “cross” or “half listening” – in fairness I think the vat of choc would have made it in there had they thought of it! Our next step was to look at the plan we’d made of our usual weekly schedule to compare it with the things we were truly engaged with – before we got stuck into some creative subtraction. Some activities and clubs were culled, and more time was made for time outside; away from the lure of distractions and it remains a fluid work in progress.
During my online sessions with my clients in my clinic I’m hearing people making more space for these slower, more restful activities. Where time in green space, yoga, meditation or gardening was an extra add on; it is now an essential part of their day. Numerous studies have shown the benefit to our brain, heart, gut and hormone health of regularly undertaking these activities, and for my clients too the results speak for themselves. Those able to embrace the slower pace are planning better, shopping with greater care, enjoying the more meditative activities in a way they never were before and are feeing calmer, more rested with greater energy and vigour.
It brings me to wonder if this time, when so much of our regular life is on pause, might be a great opportunity to consider how we truly wish to spend our time and what creative subtraction we could apply to our lives going forward to promote our overall well-being? Understanding both the short and long-term impact on our whole body systems can often be a powerful factor in motivating and sustaining change for us to live our most vibrant life.
If you’re ready to take action on your health contact Pam for a complementary 30minute consultation; firstname.lastname@example.org; 07916688281.
As seen in the Pershore Times.