How often do you use the expression, “My body is screaming at me?” Every day, our amazing bodies sends thousands of messages to various cells, organs, and systems to keep it functioning. While we may verbally express our exhaustion, headache, back and foot pain, the action of stopping and resting is not respected until the inevitable happens. The body begins to lose its strength and the result is either an injury or sickness. In a society where the expectation is to go and push forward, we rarely take time to give our body what it needs to regain strength. It’s time to surrender to its needs. If we must keep going, preventative care measures require time to stop, listen, and act!
One of the most important requirements of well-being is sleep. Without this routine, the initial symptoms of unusual hunger, increasingly frequent anger, problems concentrating and processing information, and feeling lethargic can promote an energy crisis. We may start eating poorly; yet, the chronic fatigue and perhaps a “crash” may be the body’s way of saying, “We need an intervention, now!”
Jotting Down Notes
In making a call to your primary care doctor, this first step acknowledges care for yourself and your well-being. The question will be asked, “How long have you been experiencing insomnia or interrupted sleep?” One solution is to start keeping a small notebook handy. Prior to writing your entry, always include the date, and any recollection of details such as a time when you went to bed and woke up. If you can estimate the hours of sound sleep, this detail will help your practitioner. These little notes can help your doctor know a timeline, and can influence greater questions. Could your sleep be affected by stomach pain, back pain, or worry? Sometimes we need to find out why certain symptoms are present!
Defining Self-Care Practices
As women, we take great care of our face, hair, hands, feet, and dress with our need for color or comfort. In the meticulous needs of our outer appearance, our minds overlook what cannot be seen. There is a feeling of guilt when productivity results in action and movement. Our minds truly scream to surrender to those feelings of relaxation and sleep, and sitting still and resting for a mere 20 minutes. Do you find you can hear your body clearly when you are at peace with yourself?
While not all the practices may work for you, it is important to discover a method which allows you to take time for your body, mind, and self.
Tight Shoulders and Back Pain: A hot shower or bath can loosen those tense muscles. Take it one step further and find a posture which allows you to relax and breathe. Use breathing to soften and ease your shoulders, back, and mind. One activity is to start with your toes and make your way up to your crown, focusing on each part of your body and questioning how it feels. Research meditation practices or yoga. Both can promote a holistic feeling of well-being.
Overeating: We find comfort in the act of eating. It could be defined as sweets or salty foods, or meals which result in second or third helpings. We need to ask ourselves, “Why?” Is it stress or anxiety, tiredness or boredom? When we notice patterns, change can happen. Ask yourself, “Will this food sustain me or result in hunger?” Start thinking about fruits which can be chewed or peeled, such as grapes, oranges, or bananas. Try drinking water before meals. Perhaps you need a distraction; therefore, consider taking a walk outdoors.
When was the last time you pampered yourself? Sometimes, pampering is defined as sitting still, going to bed early, or changing your routine. In the need for self care, we can open our minds, connect with our bodies, and respond with the word, “Yes!” It’s time to act, and please our vessels with kindness, attention, and love!