National Simplicity Day
Love Your Gut latest blog looks at how to de stress for National Simplicity Day.
National Simplicity Day falls on the 12th of July every year. This is the birthday of Henry David Thoreau, the founder of National Simplicity Day. Henry was an American poet and philosopher who wrote, ‘Walden’, a book published in 1854, which champions simple living. He believed that there were four necessities to life; food, shelter, clothing and fuel, and after this people should focus on personal growth.
According to a YouGov survey carried out in 2018, nearly three-quarters of people felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope. Some of the reasons for feeling stressed include, health of friends and family, debt, body image and wanting to succeed in life.1 A little bit of stress can sometimes be beneficial for you, and is often a regular part of daily routine, however, long-term chronic stress can affect your psychological and physical health.
Overtime, stress can contribute to mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, or insomnia, as well as physical health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.2,3 There has even been research to show that stress can affect our gastrointestinal system and digestion.4,5 Although the idea of only focusing on food, shelter, clothing and fuel seems overly simplified, we could all learn a thing or two from Thoreau and take some time to reflect on the things that are really important to us.
Simple steps to follow
Here are a few things that you can incorporate into your daily, or weekly, routine to try and lead a simpler life and de stress for National Simplicity Day:
- Limit the amount of time you spend looking at a screen. According to the annual Ofcom report nine in ten people watched TV every week in 2017, for almost 3.5 hours per day.6 Try to set yourself a target of being technology free for one day a week, or limit yourself to the having tech free evenings or weekends – giving you more time to focus on your family and friends.
- Practice mindfulness; the ability to be fully present in a moment. This can be interpreted and implemented in many ways, with yoga being a popular option. Other ways to be mindful include filling out a gratitude diary every day, addressing the things that you are grateful for that day, or trying something new, such as taking a new route to work or, going somewhere new for lunch. This will help you to be present and notice new things around you.
- Declutter. Decluttering is a great way to simplify the environment around you. Remember, only keep items that ‘spark joy’… as Marie Kondo would say.
- Do nothing; as simple as this sounds it is often hard to fight the urge to do something. The more you practice just sitting and doing nothing the easier it will become, and you will start to learn to switch off and feel content.
Love Your Gut
Learn more about your gut health here: http://loveyourgut.com/getting-gut-healthy/
The 12th of July is a day of simplicity. Whether you spend the day practicing mindfulness, decluttering or doing nothing, make sure to leave the stresses of everyday life behind you and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. Happy National Simplicity Day!
- Mental Health Foundation. (2020) Available from : https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-stress
- National Institute of Mental Health. (2019) Available from : https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml
- Medical News Today. (2018) Available from : https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323324#health-consequences
- (2000) Gut 47(6): 861-869. doi: 10.1136/gut.47.6.861
- (2019) Available from : https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/five-lifestyle-tips-for-a-healthy-tummy/
- (2018) Available from : https://www.ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data/multi-sector-research/cmr/cmr-2018/summary