Balance: balanced life with the Kneipp philosophy
Balance: balanced life with the Kneipp philosophy
The 5-pillar philosophy

Work? Life? Balance! The life order according to Kneipp

Work, everyday life, all kinds of expectations, demands en masse - and hardly a few minutes to take a break: For many of us, relaxation comes far too short in our stressful everyday lives. But it's not that difficult to lead a life in balance and with more mindfulness - at least not if Sebastian Kneipp has his way. For the priest and naturopath, the key to a fulfilled and healthy life lay above all in the right order of life. The maxim was, "Everything in its time and everything in the right measure." But what did balance, or "order of life" as he called it, mean in concrete terms for Kneipp?

In Kneipp's time, everyday life was very different from today. Not only was almost the entire human existence inextricably linked to the pursuit of "earning a living"; in addition, at the beginning of the industrial revolution, physical work usually meant hard labor due to the lack of technical aids.

Accordingly, very few people thought about conscious rest periods, let alone mindfulness, self-care & Co. - which did not stop Sebastian Kneipp from pointing out the importance of a sensible life order. After all, he was convinced that a healthy body (which was not least the livelihood of the hard-working population) and mental balance can only be achieved through a balanced lifestyle.

Live quite reasonably; and do not be sacrilegious against your body by asking more of it than it is able to perform, or in other words, do not act unreasonably against yourself!

Reverend Sebastian Kneipp
Sebastian Kneipp

"This is how you should live": What life order according to Kneipp means

According to his work "This is how you should live", it is first of all necessary to lead a life that is as regulated as possible - by which he understood above all that one defines for oneself a purpose in life outside of work.

At the same time, one should eat sensibly, "not only as far as the choice of food is concerned, but also as far as the time of eating is concerned". Last but not least, air and exercise should always be sought, as they are as much a part of a good life as food. For those who nevertheless fall ill, Kneipp advises his phytotherapy: " find and lift the treasures which the all-good Father has put into nature as a remedy for the manifold ills of life."

Body and mind in harmony: why inner balance is so important

For Kneipp, physical and mental health are inseparably linked. He even goes so far as to say that numerous physical illnesses have their origin in a nervous imbalance. This makes it all the more important to find a balance in order to strengthen the overstrained nerves and maintain their strength. The way to achieve this is to strike the best possible balance between work and lifestyle. Theses that already sound suspiciously like the work-life balance postulated today at the beginning of the 19th century ...

Kneipp advises hard-working people to memorize his teachings on the order of life, as they can be used to establish a balance between resources and requirements; in doing so, attention should be paid to all human regulatory processes - the biological as well as the psychosocial and the spiritual.

Another important point in Kneipp's holistic approach: He advises to complement his nutritional therapy with sufficient exercise as well as relaxing treatments - whereby one should always choose the gentlest and most natural method. Regular baths or water showers offer deceleration.

How many have found here with the health of the body also the health of the soul.

Reverend Sebastian Kneipp
Sebastian Kneipp

(Life) order is half of life: How to learn balance

Of course, working conditions today are hardly comparable to those of 100 years ago. And yet, in times of digitalisation, self-optimisation and constant accessibility, Kneipp's therapy of order is more relevant than ever.

So it should come as no surprise that keywords such as mindfulness,healthy sleep andself-care have gained enormous importance in recent times. But is there really a formula for all of us?

Fact is: We humans benefit fromfixed structures in life, as these provide us with security and support. And yet, there will be many different answers to the question "What is mental health? Therefore, there is no way around listening to yourself again and again and consciously perceiving your individual needs. Because regardless of whether you prefer to walk barefoot through streams in your free time, treat yourself to a soothing herbal tea early in the morning, meditate after work or celebrate the weekend relaxation bath - taking care of yourself is and remains your most important job.