Dear autumn friends,
Time away from ourselves can be largely upsetting and unnerving, especially if this time is felt physically. I’ve recently experienced major separation anxiety from myself and because of this anxiety I have come to realize I didn’t have a proper mechanism for dealing with it. This deficit of coping mechanisms has led me here to you all, today, to talk a little about taking the time to show appreciation to your body.
You may be asking yourself, ‘How do I show my body appreciation and why is that important?’ It’s not like I awake each morning and pinch myself, greet my skin, pet my hair and scratch myself behind the ear, but there are ways to show a little appreciation to your body. Recently, something involving my health has arisen that felt, initially, completely out of my control. Or so I thought. I was feeling unlike the me I’ve known all these years because my well oiled machine began to squeak and grind and nobody could tell me why. What I’ve noticed is that the ‘why’ has been of the utmost importance to me. It’s been stifling my healing. All I’ve been able to think about for weeks is why this is happening to me. What’s causing this, and why is it that nobody can give me a definitive answer? The truth–the ‘why’–isn’t always as important as the ‘what’ you’re going to do to heal and accept what you cannot change. This is something my Mama (maw-maw) emphasizes often. In a way, the ‘what’ is understanding time and the respect we must have for it.
Let’s get down to it. Here are some thoughts I have on how to show appreciation to your body:
- Get up when your body is ready to get up. Whether you have a strict bedtime you set for yourself or you stay up all hours until you’re conking out over your book or in front of your computer, make it a practice to take a cue from your body each morning. I’ve found that extending my sleep for the sake of getting ‘extra rest’ can do more harm to the way I’m feeling, than good. This is, of course, difficult to do when you have a regimented schedule, but on those days of rest you may have a couple of times each week, tune in a little closer to your body and listen.
- Get plenty of rest. Though this may seem in contradiction to my first suggestion, hear me out. I find that there’s a vast difference between over resting and not resting enough. As a fast-paced person who insists on utilizing most of my time for productivity, the concept of self-imposed rest is sometimes a hard one for me to grasp. Resting can often feel like a waste of time to me, but I have come to understand that resting is crucial to appreciating your body and respecting your mind.
- Eat to live. Though I’m certainly an advocate of appreciating edibles and indulgence, I also feel like our bodies are best maintained in the right environment–think your gut–with the right care–think acidity vs alkalinity–and through consumption habits–think sugar, salt, fat. Eat a diet that nourishes your vitality, not one that depletes it. In our most vulnerable times, it’s our responsibility to eat those comestibles that will not interfere with healing.
- Be honest. Insincerity with ourselves can be an easy trap to fall into when you’re not feeling well. You have a long to-do list for the weekend and yet you just aren’t feeling up to completing nearly a fourth of the listed tasks. Start by asking yourself why. If being idle is rooted avoidance, understand this and address these circumstances accordingly with your own motivational tools. However, if your reticent to start your day because you are not feeling apt, pause and hear this message from your body.
- Laugh. As cliché as it might be, laughter is the best medicine. Let yourself become distracted and lose yourself a little in laughter. It’s sure to boost your spirits. Your body will thank you for it.
- Sing, damn it, even if you don’t sound very good. I’ve been singing since I was a wee lass and inevitably, singing is a release. Much like dancing, you don’t need to be a top 40 singer to do it, just belt out some notes every once in awhile. Make a playlist and go at it. Maybe turn the music up extra loud and jam the hell out. Just sing, it’s a huge relief and your body will love you for it.
- Drink a lot of water. I could go on and on about this, like every article out there, but really, just drink a glass of water, and when it’s empty, fill it up again. Water flushes out a lot of toxins from your body and generally helps you feel energized. H20!
- Don’t take advantage of your energy by wearing it out too fast. I’ve been going to acupuncture for years and I remember one of the first things my Acupuncturist told me was, “Don’t run around the block when you get home. Rest, and conserve your energy.” After acupuncture, a person can feel extremely energized and vivacious, but it’s important to store your energy up for later. Hoard it, if you will. If you focus that exuberance on healing, you’ll be happier later. Acupuncture aside, sometimes in life we feel overwhelmed with an abundance of energy–and I don’t mean from caffeine–and it’s easy to use that energy to clean your entire house–baseboards to crown molding–write a novel and then make a gourmet meal, but resist this urge. Store it up a bit and spread it out.
When our mind and body aren’t in sync we can become miserable molds of carbon and then we’re useless. Treasure your gift–your body–and find ways to keep the balance even when the the scale is tipped. I’m trying a little harder lately to care for my body more and show it all the appreciation it deserves. You can too! I’m sending everyone out there a lot of love and hoping to feel much better and much more balanced soon.
Healthy and Happy Healing Regards,