No matter where you are in your journey toward simple living, you want to have energy and focus for your next steps. We all want to be centered and strong as we move forward toward a life of less busyness, less clutter, less meaningless stuff — and more purpose, more clarity, more of what matters.
We want to be healthy and present for our families. We want to have focus and creativity for our projects. We want energy for ourselves and for our lives.
Cultural messages about airbrushed bodies and diet foods are just another kind of clutter we don’t need. Instead, we can choose to be our best, healthiest selves. You can create wellness routines with intention and simplicity.
You don’t have to learn everything all at once. You can start small, or you can simplify what you’re already doing. You don’t have to invest in every health program and wellness product out there. You can choose what’s right for you — start by making small changes that add up.
When you’re ready to go deeper in any of these areas, you can learn more. We’ve included links to more in-depth information for you to read from our friend Katie at Wellness Mama to help give you some direction.
1. Eat simple food.
Every body is different, but as a general rule, we can all benefit from eating more simple, nutrient-dense foods and fewer processed ones.
Eating more real foods might seem less simple at first. It takes practice.
You might have to learn new skills and new habits, and eating well requires preparation. (Meal planning can help.)
Once you have a routine, eating foods that fuel your body will give you more energy, help you fight illness, and leave you feeling more awake and alert.
Drinking plenty of water is another simple step towards nourishing your body. Rehydrating helps flush out your digestive system, leads to clearer skin, and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Drink more if you’re exercising, or in hotter weather. If you want to up your water game: consider lemon water first thing in the morning.
2. Choose intentional movement.
If you find yourself sitting in front of a computer often, you probably already know you’d feel better if you incorporated more movement into your day.
Start small and inexpensively. You don’t have to invest in programs or equipment that you might not even use. Walking, running, sprinting up stairs, at-home yoga: any of these can help you get started without investing in a whole lot of extra stuff.
If your work doesn’t involve movement, get up and take a stretch break or a short walk every hour. The important thing is to commit to your exercise routine, rather than leaving it open to consideration each day. If you have to decide every day whether or not to exercise, it’s easy to find reasons to skip it.
Having an exercise habit that you don’t question means you don’t have to use up mental resources convincing yourself to get moving. You just do the exercise, reap the benefits, and have mental energy left over for your own creative projects.
3. Prioritize sleep.
Most of us don’t get enough sleep. There are so many good things to do with our time that it can be hard to convince ourselves to come to a complete stop. If we keep pushing ourselves to work through our exhaustion, though, our health, our well-being, and even our productivity suffer.
Your whole body benefits from getting better sleep. Your immune system, your energy level, your memory, your ability to focus — even signs of aging and likelihood of developing disease are improved by getting more sleep.
A before-bed routine of slowing down, turning off screens, and unwinding with a cup of herbal tea can help signal your body it’s time to sleep.
4. Spend time in nature.
Being in nature has a surprisingly powerful effect on our health. Time spent in the great outdoors can leave you more calm, more creative, more focused—and less anxious and less stressed.
When you make a practice of being in nature regularly, you’ll absorb more Vitamin D, get more fresh air, and get more exercise.
Even beyond those measurable wellness benefits, being in nature restores your perspective. It helps you remember your place in the world, and helps you disengage from the cultural pressures that distract you from what matters.
5. Detox your environment.
As you simplify your life and eliminate the unnecessary in your space, you often feel more light, more free, and more appreciative of your surroundings. It makes sense to make sure those surroundings are as life-giving as possible.
To clean the air in your home or office, try these two simple strategies: open widows every day that the weather allows, and bring in plants. (Believe it or not, some plants absorb pollutants right out of the air.)
You can improve your indoor air quality by choosing simple, nontoxic cleaners, and by skipping synthetic fragrances or candles.
Keep wellness in mind as you sort through your personal care products, too. Your skin will absorb whatever you apply to it, so choose products that have an ingredient list you’re comfortable with. (And only keep your favorites! That makes storage and organization simpler, as well.)
You don’t have to do everything all at once, and you don’t always have to buy more stuff to be well. Instead, intentional steps toward health and wellness can actually support you on your simplicity journey.
You’ll have more energy, more focus, and be more present as you pursue what matters. You can be well, simply.