Many of us enjoyed Marie Kondo’s book and Netflix series on mindfully and gratefully clearing stressful clutter. As Dr. Laurie Buchanan stated, “clearing clutter—be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual—brings about ease and inspires a sense of peace, calm, and tranquility.”
For many of us, healthcare has become a cluttered and overwhelming affair. But there are several ways we can “tidy up” our health.
1. First, begin and end with gratitude. Appreciate your miraculous body and commit to thoughtfully treasuring your health. Our body is a temple, but not when we treat it like a dump.
2. Next, focus on medications and supplements. Everything we take must have a clear purpose. How many of our medications are simply crutches for poor habits? Medications are band-aids, not cures. We celebrate with every patient who worked with our team to eliminate dependence on antidepressants, sedatives, blood pressure and heart meds, diabetes or cholesterol drugs. As we adopt healthy diets, exercise, sleep and stress management, our need for medications and supplements diminishes.
3. Some need to tidy up dependence on specialists. Although critically important for complex procedures or issues, once stable, too many patients maintain a slew of “-ologists” to monitor stable conditions – wasteful for the patient, the provider, and the system. Once stable, let them go gratefully, or reduce visit frequency, coordinating with management through your primary care provider.
4. Tidying up testing is the next challenge. Although we have exponentially more tests available and devices that monitor every bodily function. More is not necessarily better. Work with your provider to get strategic on what makes the most sense for you, and chuck all the rest.
Once you gain clarity about your purpose and priorities, it becomes easy to discard what does not support these. As Marie Kondo states, “People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.”