Health & Wellness -

Could wellness clutter be holding you back from a healthier you?

Courtney Rupertus
Could wellness clutter be holding you back from a healthier you?

Is your basement full of exercise equipment and DVDs that you are “going to do someday?” Or maybe your cupboard is full of healthy eating cookbooks that rarely see the light of day?

It is not unheard to have what I like to call ‘wellness clutter’ laying around. If you’re anything like me, you purchase these items with the best intentions of changing your way of life, but really you just keep adding more clutter to the pile.

If you are feeling nagged or bogged down by all of this unused stuff, it may be time to consider letting it go.

But, before you start selling every workout DVD and dumbbell you own on the swap and buy, take a few moments to make a list, or in this case, a more simplified wellness plan. That means one cookbook, one activity (like yoga or getting on your neglected elliptical machine), and just concentrate on getting manageable chunks done.

Sometimes, all of the ‘wellness clutter’ lying around paralyzes us by keeping our minds in a trap of thinking, “Well, what am I going to do today? There’s yoga, and my crystals, and my meditation CD, and my exercise bike, etc.” until our minds are so worn out we just need a nap.

It keeps us locked in a very negative cycle of thinking - “I haven’t used that thing I bought last year yet, I’m a terrible person. I deserve to be unhealthy.” Which is of course nonsense, but try telling that to your brain.

My suggestion: take stock of every piece of wellness clutter you have laying around. Did you buy it on a whim or have you actually used it and felt great while you were doing it? Do you think you will use it again?

If it’s just a case of it being the wrong time and you may go back to it, simply put some items in storage. That way, the lonely running shoes won’t be haunting your thoughts every single time you walk by.

Secondly, ask yourself, are certain aspects of your wellness routine taking more energy than what they are giving back?

If you are say, running 5 km a day out of obligation rather than for the rush of endorphins and the sensation of being truly alive, cut it out. Do something that does give you that rush. Exercising and eating need to be about more than just good health and superficial appearances. We are meant to live and enjoy life, which includes eating a delicious meal and moving our bodies around.

For the best health results, let go of the wellness clutter, embrace simplicity, and begin to integrate joy into your daily life, whatever form that may take. It can be as simple as having a ten-minute dance party when you feel the urge, taking some slow and delicious stretches, or going for a meditative nature hike.

Lastly, cut out the need for comparison. Easier said than done, but don’t waste your precious time and energy getting stuck in a healthy lifestyle version of keeping up with the Joneses. Yes, some folks love to run marathons. It feels good to them. If it feels good to you, try it out. If you hate it, let it go without another single worry.

Continue to filter out the things you feel you need to be doing but don’t enjoy, and eventually you’ll have a personalized wellness routine that feels great!