Across the country, millions of people are living with a chronic illness, and I am one of those people. I never thought of minimalism as a healing modality, like nutrition or stress management, until I started noticing its effects in my own life.
Yes, eating the right foods and getting enough sleep have been crucial in my quest for wellness, but so has eliminating clutter and redefining my priorities. We don’t often think of simplicity as a means to better physical health, but I can tell you from my personal experience they are inextricably linked.
You can drink all the green smoothies you want, but if you’ve got piles of stuff bursting from your closets, and an inbox that is constantly overflowing, you’ll never know what it’s like to experience profound and lasting healing.
Living with intention, clarity, and spaciousness can be more powerful than any drug on the market today, because it calls us to examine what really matters on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.
So if you or someone you love is struggling with a chronic or complicated diagnosis, here are five ways minimalism can help create space for healing.
1. More time.
When you’re not tending to your cluttered kitchen or pages of unread emails, you have more of the most precious resource there is — time. And I’ll be honest with you, your wellness requires a hefty time investment.
Between cooking fresh and healthy meals, practicing your yoga or meditation, and getting to a variety of doctor’s appointments, there aren’t many hours left in the day. So why would you want to spend those cleaning your oversized home or scrolling through endless social media feeds? Pare down, and have more time to invest in your pursuit of health and meaningful relationships.
2. More money.
One of the best side effects of a minimalist lifestyle for me has been the economical one. When I’m not spending money on useless trinkets, household goods, or subscriptions I’ll never use, I have extra cash to put into things that will help me get better.
Cutting out the superfluous means you’ll be able to afford better quality foods and supplements, you’ll be able to see your therapist/naturopath/coach more often, and maybe you’ll be able to attend that healing retreat you’ve been eyeing. You are the best investment you can make — far better than those candle holders you found on sale.
3. More space.
A spacious and uncluttered home can make more of a difference in your physical health than you realize. When you make space in your environment, you’re less likely to stub your toe, but you’re also more likely to use that space for spontaneous play, whether that be stretching out for some yoga, dancing with your partner, or bonding with your kids.
Our surroundings can either hamper or ignite our desire to move and express ourselves, so wouldn’t it be great to swap that decorative chair for a play area or workout corner? I agree!
4. More calm.
Keeping up with your social media feeds, work obligations, and to-do lists is very taxing on the brain, whether you realize it or not. It takes a good chunk of our mental energy to maintain our status, in both digital and physical manifestations, and all that clutter is stressing us out.
I know for me, the choice to simplify, declutter, unfriend, and unfollow has lowered my stress levels significantly, which has allowed my body to relax as well. And it’s in this state of calm that true healing really takes place.
5. More meaning.
The minimalist lifestyle invites us to determine what is meaningful to us, and discard the rest, and that kind of clarity can give your life an incredible depth and significance you may feel is lacking right now.
We all know that minds, spirits, and bodies work together to create our state of health, so wouldn’t it be great to give ourselves nourishment in those areas?
I know that choosing to invest in balanced relationships, enriching experiences, and an inspiring habitat is a far better move for my health than choosing to pursue more stuff, more prestige, more followers, more likes. Make space for what moves you, and your attempt at better wellness will come easier.
For those living with a chronic illness, minimalism can be a conscious commitment to getting better. There are many reasons why people choose to pare down and simplify, and physical health doesn’t have to be an exception.
When you live a life of intention and clarity, you are automatically supporting your innate ability to heal and regain balance in all the areas of your life. Clear the clutter, cultivate stillness, and identify the things that truly matter to you, and your body will often follow suit.
And as you wake up feeling a little bit better each day, the white space you’ve cleared in your life will provide room for your joy and energy to flourish!