the next 5 minutes you've got? move your body. {life balance 2.0 series}


I need the next 5 minutes you've got.


I'm finally watching The West Wing with my husband right now, and we're SO. HOOKED. Clocking in around 150 episodes (twice as many as the show we finally conquered last year — Lost) at a rate of maybe 3-4 episodes a week, this could take a while.

Apparently we like to arrive a good 10-15 years late to the primetime party, and I'm okay with that. It was pretty funny last year when I was walking around wanting to talk to anyone and everyone about Lost like it was something novel and exciting, not something that the rest of the world was buzzing about almost a decade prior.

On The West Wing, one of the funny little White House insider phrases that his staffers use a lot (to their respective assistants) is "I need the next __ minutes the President's got." When I started writing this little mini post, my first thought was:

I need the next 5 minutes you've got. 

Really, YOU need them, but I'm making this request of/challenge for you:

The next "free" 5 minutes you've got? Use them to move your body. 

That's it.

I could go on and on about the benefits of movement for mental clarity, productivity, yada yada yada. But you know all that. You just need the reminder to get off of your 'tocks and DO IT.

And notice the word "free." It is in quotation marks because we are never just "free" with nothing that we should/could be doing. Just like President Bartlet on The West Wing. But after whatever immediate activity or scheduled thing is done, that's when you're "free." Don't fall prey to the cult of busy.

I'm not asking you to go run 3 miles or book it to the gym ASAP. If you have plans to do that later, great! But that doesn't mean that you can't also use the next 5 minutes you've got to stretch, dance, walk, do a few qi gong movements — whatever.

A huge part of this whole "balance 2.0" thing is working smarter, not harder. It's challenging the old all-or-nothing thinking and saying, "you know what, I may or may not have time for yoga class later, but I do have 5 minutes right now and I'm going to use them."

We are a culture of head-dwellers.

Do yourself a huge favor right now and remember:

There is a body. 

There is THIS body.

And the next available moment I have, I will honor it by becoming more fully present with it, and more fully awake to this day.

That's all for now. Let me know how it goes.

Struggling to integrate joyful movement into your day-to-day life, and want some guidance, support, and accountability? Shoot me a note. 


Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin, LMSW, is a Primary Therapist at The Ranch residential treatment center, where she works with eating disorders, addiction, trauma, and co-occurring mental health issues. Valerie focuses on a holistic treatment approach of mind + body integration, using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), somatic and bioenergetic therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), psychodrama, 12-step, and shame resilience. She is also a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Candidate. Valerie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Master of Science degree in Clinical Social Work at the University of Texas in Austin. She is an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Nashville, and emphasizes spiritual exploration in her work with clients.