Temperance is an old-timey word that brings to mind monks living cloistered in a faraway land without modern conveniences. You may imagine them going about their daily monk routine without any kind of excess, praying and digging through scripture and having no fun at all. Surely, this is not the ideal way to live a life of moderation, a more modern word that implies a meaning similar to temperance.
I have a secret for y’all: there’s so much more to moderation than limiting what you do and consume. The reason it’s so fulfilling is that, though you do give up some things, what you gain is so much more valuable. To learn how to practice moderation in your life, read my simple advice on the topic.
In Your Food and Drink
If you do a Google search on pursuing moderation, you find a bunch of articles on cutting back on certain foods and drinks. Though there are hundreds of things that benefit from moderation, diet is at the forefront of people’s minds because of concerns about health and body image.
Though I don’t have a chance of addressing everyone’s needs, there are a couple of general strategies here. First, focus on long-term wellness goals rather than anticipating every week’s cheat day. If you live to get to Friday’s biscuits and gravy, you’re only craving the excess rather than getting comfortable in the moderation. It may help to have a bite of ice cream each night rather than ping-ponging from strict adherence to cheat days.
Transitioning to alcohol, find the good in drinking less. Instead of just a buzzkill, jumping onto the wine moderation bandwagon, for example, provides you a path to appreciating your drink’s makeup more as you slow down. As you cut back, try new foods that pair well with your wines so each sip does the most good possible for your mouth. This same principle applies to every other kind of spirit as well.
In Your Device Use
Meanwhile, there are several ways to practice moderation in your life by modifying your device use. One is to put it away during times when you’re likely to fall down a social media or Candy Crush rabbit hole. One universal time is around an hour before bed. When you do so, you realize how putting down the phone gives you a better night’s sleep.
You can also set strict app usage limits for yourself (and maybe give your spouse the password so you don’t cheat) and take device fast days. Sundays are already a natural day of rest, so why not press into that?
Ponder What You Lack
Following this theme of realizing the benefits of moderation, consider what you have too little of and add it. If you never treat yourself because you don’t want to spend the money, block out a couple of days a month to buy something you’d like. It can be something small—it’s more the gesture than the dollar amount. If you don’t see enough nature, go for a drive or walk. If you crave one-on-one time with a far-off adult child, carve out road trip time. Moderation, when done well, is just as fun as it is a challenge.