We have started off this new year with a series we are calling:
Secrets From The Vault
In it, we are looking at recovering and retaining health through four topics:
- Sound Nervous System
We are countering a lot of the magazine headlines that roll out over the first of the year, promising amazing results in record time with little effort. Most of us know this isn't true, but it would sure be nice! Just last night, I was watching TV and a commercial came on for losing weight through a cryogenic process. You go into a clinic and they super-cool an area where you have fat you want to lose. Then, over the next 14 weeks, the area begins to shrink. Judging by the before and after pictures, I think you could accomplish the same results or better by eating healthier and taking a walk after dinner every night!
Lasting health and well-being take routine effort over time.
This week, we are going to tackle the concept of Rest.
One of the most helpful ways I have ever found in addressing the concept of rest is relating it to the margin of a book. I first came across it in the early 1990's while reading a book by Richard Swenson, MD, appropriately enough called Margin. In it, Swenson related how stressful it would be to read a book with words all the way up to the edge of the page - no white space, no break, no contrast. He went on to detail how much of our modern-day lives are trending the same way... with no margin!
The definition from his website is as follows:
"Margin is the space between our load and our limits and is related to our reserves and resilience. It is a buffer, a leeway, a gap; the place we go to heal, to relate, to reflect, to recharge our batteries, to focus on the things that matter most."
This is really not a trivial topic when it comes to health. Many of us are so booked up that, if we tried to put one more thing into our lives, we would explode! In fact, that is likely what pushes many people in modern society into hospital emergency rooms and sick beds!
If Our Lives Are A Book, How Much Margin Do the Pages of Yours Have?
Here is a test, how many of the following cultural sayings have you found yourself repeating:
- I'll sleep when I am dead
- Ain't nobody got time for that
- Just do it
- Make it happen
- You got this
- No problem
- I am going to need more coffee!
There is no doubt there are times in our lives when we just have to buckle down and get things done, regardless of how they might cut into our health and well-being habits... a new baby, for instance!
The problem isn't with the ebb and flow of these things. It comes when the constant press without the rest becomes the norm.
- Do you have any down time in your schedule?
- Do you have routine times of just doing nothing?
- Are there parts of your week that don't have a to-do item attached?
- How about your kids?
This Week's Homework
Next week, we are going to go over some ways to "institutionalize" margin in your life. But, to avoid adding one more thing to your to-do list, I encourage you to take five minutes a day this week, and just imagine what life would be like for you and your loved ones if you had just 15% more margin in your life.
- What would your health look like?
- How might it affect your relationships?
- How would it impact your job?
- Your mood?
- Your morning?
This simple exercise of spending five minutes a day considering the possibilities can have a big impact going forward. I am going to do it; I hope you will, as well!
Yours in Health,