(Published in Natural Awakenings magazine – October, 2010)
Copyright © 2010 Martha Reed, PhD

Doesn’t it seem like time is speeding up? Our life gets busier and busier and we begin to realize that time is being gobbled up with very little “free” time leftover. The complications of family, business, jobs, friends, schedules, obligations, needs, goals, and desires have pushed us into problems, stressors, and overload, which is usually where poor health and wellness habits tend to surface, as well. Soon, this process becomes a habit and a way of life. You are aware of it, you see it clearly, and yet you simply cannot change it.

So, how does one simplify life?

The answer is eliminating things in your life that don’t truly matter and instituting healthy ways to keep things simple. Shake things up a bit. It can be as easy as committing to work one hour less per week. Give up one hour of television a day. Or, simply saying “No” (which is a complete sentence, by the way) to the next obligation that takes you away from balance and well-being. Engaging the entire family in chores and household needs is another opportunity to open time for family activities and relaxation.

Probably most important is to schedule “down time” on your calendar as if it were an important business meeting. Having open time on the schedule can allow you to slow down and keep things in perspective and obligations manageable. Give yourself time to think about what is most important and what can be crossed off the “to do” list.

Taking care of yourself during stressful times is key to good health. When you look and feel healthy, everything becomes more clear – and simple. Carve out time each month for something relaxing – an outdoor walk, a massage, or an hour on the patio observing the clouds passing by. Each break from the normal routine can rejuvenate the soul and keep things more relaxed. When you’re relaxed, everything seems more simple.

In these economic times and with the approaching holidays, make a plan now to keep life simple – draw names for gift exchanges, engage the kids with gift wrapping, encourage potluck gatherings and share in the responsibilities of preparation and cleanup at gatherings. Keeping it simple is the first step in creating a better life.

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Dr. Martha Reed is the owner of Insights For Life a Center for Naturopathic Wellness
located at 20325 North 51 st Avenue, Suite 112 in Glendale, Arizona 85308.
She holds a PhD, specializing in Holistic Life Counseling, Hypnotherapy, Transformational Life Coaching, and Energy Medicine.
For a private consultation call 623-249-5888 or email Martha@insights-for-life.com.