One day last week I had a long list of things to do and was determined to get them all done even though I wasn’t feeling 100%. I had run a 5K in the cold and rain the day before and really wanted to go home and treat myself to chicken soup and rest, but I pushed through and did what I needed to do, got home late, tired, and cranky. Ugghh.
When will I learn?
Listen to your body.
Listening to your body is not to be used as an excuse to get out of things you really don’t want to do. Not at all. It’s to be used to help you decide that doing something you really want to do (work or family obligations, fun stuff, etc.), can do more harm than good.
It’s easy to understand and all, but when it gets right down to it, it’s advice that can be so hard to take. Why? Because you have things to do! People to see! People depending on you for stuff!
Most people want to keep going and going and going. It’s hard to stop because if you stop you may not want to get back up.
And of course, you can do a lot. You’re able, strong, and happy to wear your different hats and you wear them very well. In order to be able to continue being the very best you can, it’s important to take care of yourself and listen to your body. It seems so simple.
Why is it so hard to do?
Because sometimes it requires you to stop and put your plans on hold even when you just don’t want to because people are used to you doing it all. Even when that means you won’t be that go-to person at work when you’re always the go-to person at work. Even when you have to miss a party, night out, celebration or something you know will be so much fun.
Yep. You can do it all, but sometimes something’s gotta give. Take the time to decide what can be put on hold and rest yourself before your body demands it and you can’t do anything about it. Without your body being on board, you’re not going to get very far doing anything.
Your body may be telling you to rest but it could also be telling you to move more or stretch, relax, exercise, eat more nutritious food, eat less sugar, etc.
You’re listening but not sure what it’s saying?
Here are a few ways to tune in to your body:
Have some quiet time. Sit comfortably with shoulders back so that you’re not hunched over. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Focus on your breath as you breathe in and breathe out. Even a few minutes of conscious breathing can help you refresh body and mind.
Disconnect. Turn off the TV, radio, phone, computer, etc. and be silent with your own thoughts to help you get more in tune with your body.
Go for a walk. The benefits of making exercise a part of your healthy lifestyle have been well-documented and walking is a great way to get moving. Even a stroll around your neighborhood can provide some quiet time, exercise, and help you clear your mind.
Stretch. In the morning, gently round out your back and shoulders so that your chin is at your chest, and then reversing the move so that your chest opens up. Gently and slowly turn your head to one side, then the other. For a side stretch, reach one hand up in the air, then switch sides. Try these stretches in the shower under warm water. Stretching is a good way to focus movement and flex and relax muscles throughout your body.
Listening to your body can be much easier said than done. I know. It’s an important part of taking good care of yourself so that you stay healthy, strong, and well-able to share your amazing-ness with the world.
Have you ever experienced a time when your body was trying to get your attention? Share your experience in the comments. I’d love to hear your story.