“Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” – Monty Python
Nobody expects a pandemic, either, but here we are. As we all face the chaos that comes with a health, economic and political crisis, simple living provides tools for facing the challenges of the moment. Here are some minimum daily requirements for beginning a journey toward simplicity in the midst of crisis.
- Get Some Sleep.
For real, just take a nap. Or, go to bed early. Or, sleep in. Move heaven and earth to make this happen. Nothing is right in the world if you’re tired. It’s the first building block of self-care. Arianna Huffington has written on the irrational admiration our industrial culture gives to lack of sleep and the damage it causes. Here’s her short TED talk. Let go of the notion that sleeping less than you need is making you more productive and know that sleep is the foundation of a healthy, simple life.
Move in a way that brings you joy. The joy part is non-negotiable. We are not setting New Year’s resolutions here – we are surviving during a crisis. We are on the life-saving search for pleasurable movement that expresses your soul. Begin the search with a walk in the sunshine; dance; do some gentle yoga; play with your kids. Move without goals. Feel the stretch, breathe deeply.
- Eat Something Good
Continuing with he focus on joy, find a way of eating that speaks to you. We can all agree on some basics: fruits and vegetables are a good choice; white flour and sugar are doing you no favors, and you need some form of protein, whether it’s from animal or plant sources. From there, the variation you choose is personal preference, but the attention to some type of food strategy lays the foundation for saving your life in many ways. The pleasure of eating should always be starting point.
You may be thinking that you don’t have time to sleep well, move with pleasure or eat with intention. But, you do. Without a handle on these fundamentals, your big life is harder. You can have a big life eating nachos, sleeping five hours a night, or walking to the refrigerator for exercise, but it’s harder. Developing some consistency around these practices creates a foundation for your big life.