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Less Is More!

April 16, 2012

Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss

“On the far-away island of Sala-ma-Sond,
Yertle the Turtle was king of the pond.
A nice little pond. It was clean. It was neat.
The water was warm. There was plenty to eat.
The turtles had everything turtles might need.
And they were all happy. Quite happy indeed.

They were… until Yertle, the king of them all,
Decided the kingdom he ruled was too small.
“I’m ruler”, said Yertle, “of all that I see.
But I don’t see enough. That’s the trouble with me.”

So begins Dr. Seuss’ Yertle the Turtle’s quest for more “stuff”.  If he could only get up high enough,  be ruler of more…

This seems to be an age-old quest, “he who has the most _______  at the end of the game wins”.  (Feel free to fill in the blank!) Recently I re-posted a video by Graham Hill, in which he questions whether less stuff can make us happier.  Mr. Hill proposes that acquiring less “stuff” can lead to less debt and have less of an environmental impact.

Both of these outcomes are significant and beneficial for the well-being of ourselves and our planet.  I suggest that we take this a bit further, and look at how less “stuff” can improve our physical and emotional health in significant ways.

It is springtime; for many that means Spring Cleaning.  For some, getting rid of accumulated possessions can create significant stress and anxiety.  If so, you’re not alone, and there is assistance for you to make your home a safe environment again, and in the process help you in your quest for improved emotional well being.

If you’re contemplating exercise, you don’t really need a gym membership, or even fancy equipment.  We all know those people who have the latest and greatest workout equipment, but never get around to using it.  As we’ve mentioned here before, less may be more:  if you can walk, you can get started with one of the best exercises there is!  And if you aren’t able to walk, we can show you some chair yoga.

How about your children?  I’m sure they all clamor for the latest and greatest gadgets and games.  But when was the last time they really played?  Can they sit in the car for any length of time without an electronic device?  Do they know how to play “I Spy”?  Or play games outside like “Mother May I?” or “Red Rover” or other games that don’t require special equipment, just their imaginations and their best friends? 

Who hasn’t been faced with the myriad of choices in the grocery isle?  Even here, more isn’t necessarily better.  The more choices, the more processed ingredients, and more than likely, the less healthy these food choices are for you!  I suggest you embrace, “less is more” in your menu planning, as well, choosing lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. 

And what about in your daily routine?  We have so many demands on our time and in our schedules.  Is it possible to “spring clean” here as well?  Can you say, “no” to some things? Can you replace some hectic activities with some time to just breathe?  Or better yet, to practice some mindful meditation?  What a wonderful way to move toward health and wellness.  We at Vista Hill SmartCare would love to show you how.  Please contact us with your suggestions for Wellness Activities and Events in Ramona, Pauma Valley, Campo, and surrounding communities.

Pamela Bryson, LCSW

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