Have you been indulging a bit too much over the holiday season and are you feeling the effects now? In the past, my body was often complaining about the way I treated it during the Christmas break. Too much food and alcohol, not enough exercise. With the slower Christmases of the last couple of years, this has not really been happening. But January is still a time to take stock and make sure I’m where I want to be with my healthy habits and targets. If this sounds like a good idea to you, maybe you find using some of the permaculture ethics useful to get back on track as well.
Observe and interact – What changed and how did it make you feel? Did you do things differently over the holiday period? Is your body complaining about having eaten too many treats or is it thanking you for being nourished?
Catch and store energy – For me this time of year is for resting and gathering strength for the coming year. Did you manage to do that or are you starting the year exhausted?
Obtain a yield – Punishing yourself for the excesses of the last couple of weeks is not helpful. Instead focus on doing things that make your body feel good. Healthy fresh food and gentle exercise will get you back to feeling healthy in no time.
Apply self-regulation and accept feedback – Listen to your body telling you what it needs. Is it rest and slowing down? Joyful movement? Colourful fruit and vegetables?
Design from patterns to details – How can you make it easy to meet your goals? If making the right choice is the easiest choice, you are much more likely to do it. For example, if I have healthy dinners pre-made and frozen, or breakfasts and lunches prepared and ready to go for the week, I am less likely to buy takeaway or open something out of a packet.
Integrate rather than segregate – Everything works together in our health. Exercise or diet alone won’t fix us, but if we integrate both, plus hydration, healthy sleep habits, digital hygiene and stress management, we’ll be on the best track to feeling healthy in no time.
Use small and slow solutions - Sure, you could sign up to an expensive gym, get a personal trainer and an expensive meal plan. But how about going for a daily barefoot walk, doing some work in the garden, and eating a home-cooked meal mindfully? I’m convinced these things will do the same job in the long run and cost less or nothing.
Use and value diversity – Say no to restrictive diets that create a yo-yo effect! We believe our body, just like our garden, thrives on diversity. A little bit of everything, and not too much of anything. Your gut microbiome will thank you.
Creatively use and respond to change – Life happens and there is always stressors and temptations all around us. How we respond to these changes makes all the difference.
How is this permaculture, you ask? One of our ethics is People Care, and that starts with caring for ourselves. We are most effective at our work and in our private life if we fill our own cup first. So, use the start of this year to look after your health, fill your cup with healthy, diverse, and fresh food, get out to exercise and enjoy nature, and nourish your body in all ways it asks to be nourished.
Happy internal permaculturing!