We have so many conveniences at our fingertips. I can access seemingly infinite knowledge on at least six devices in our home. It would take me just over four years to watch all the content on Netflix if I never slept or took a break. My preferred toothbrush will gyrate across my teeth to save my arm strength for things like pushing elevator buttons, controlling the steering wheel of my car, and holding my phone while I order dinner.
I do feel fortunate. Many conveniences allow me to devote more time and energy to the things I enjoy and even bolster my health. I get more time with my boys because we can have nearly anything delivered to our doorstep, from groceries to home goods. I consume about a book a week through Audible listening at 1.5x + speed.
While I feel grateful for our advances and the privilege to access so much, I wanted to highlight some ways I avoid conveniences to my health advantage.
These are my favorite inconveniences for health.
I love to walk to get from A to B whenever possible. I get so many benefits at once, from bilateral brain activation1 to low-intensity exercise2. Plus, I can find new and exciting things around my community, soak up nature, and add music/audiobook/podcast stimulation.
We are almost 100 blog entries in, and I haven't unpacked my love for bikes and cycling beyond the reference of my first Huffy. Since getting my first road bike, a Giant OCR 3, in 2004, I've logged well over 10,000 miles. These days biking is my preferred method of transportation for day-to-day needs rather than training. Last summer, I ordered my first e-bike from Rad Power and quickly became a convert to this new bike era. I highly recommend it if you are typically traveling less than 20-30 miles a day. It's honestly more of a convenience than a car in Portland when traveling under 5 miles. So, chalk this one up to borderline inconvenient for the e-bike. Weather and storage are always a challenge for sure.
Handwriting is soothing and inconvenient, whether taking notes or communicating with others. I've talked about journaling already and the many different methodologies I've tried. I love that my focus sharpens, and my creativity can shine more when I get pen to paper.3
Both coffee and matcha are other hands-on rituals for me. I love the inconvenience of preparing my AeroPress bulletproof coffee and my occasional matcha lattes. The extra 5 minute ritual of each is always worth it, as I feel at ease and more connected to my warm beverage.4
Bathing is my king of self-care inconveniences. I don't take showers much anymore unless it's a cold shower for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. I probably averaged 5-10 minute showers for most of my life, but over the last six years since having my first luxury bath set up, I'm soaking in my harmonious container for up to an hour at a time.