Hubs is always telling me to listen to my body. When I say I am not feeling well. Or I’m a little tired. Or I just feel blah. Listen to your body. It sounds so easy. But is it?
How about you? Do you listen to your body? Do you take naps if you need to? Do you go for a run when you feel your body is screaming movement at you? Do you power down from all the digital tech – and just be?
Sometimes We Cannot Hear
Listen to your body. I think I have been listening to it all my life. But it was hard to hear exactly what it was saying. For one, I didn’t know I had so many food allergies or sensitivities. And for another, I didn’t know I could give myself permission to rest my body if I needed to.
It wasn’t until a few years ago when hubs started to tell me, “listen to your body,” that I even considered resting when I needed to something even remotely possible. I mean, what did that amount to for me? All my life, I had pushed myself to go to school and then to work even when I wasn’t feeling well, even with migraines, even with debilitating lethargy, the kind that you feel after a Thanksgiving meal, but you know it couldn’t possibly be from the meager food you just scarfed down after running lunch break errands.
It wasn’t until I learned that I had over forty food sensitivities or allergies that I began to really listen to my body. I picked a day, April 30, 2017, to stop eating all the foods on my ‘no’ list. After about two weeks, I noticed a significant difference in the way I felt.
I was more alert. What I thought was normal turned out to be brain fog. It was like I could see clearly, even though I had always had corrected vision. In fact, my eye prescription changed for the better by the following year.
I had more energy. I no longer felt like I could just crawl under my desk at any moment because I just needed to lie down for a while, until I felt better. Nor did I feel like I needed to lay on the sofa as soon as I got home from work and before I could fix supper.
I felt more hopeful. After spending years suffering from earaches, congestion, a runny nose, headaches, aching and tired bones and muscles, I could wake up easier and last longer at the end of the day. I didn’t feel like I had to constantly push myself to do every single thing that needed done in a day including getting dressed, fixing meals, walking my pup, shopping, or anything else that required energy and good health.
When Good Health Abounds
Today, I am awake and often up before my alarm clock goes off. I can work out and feel stronger with each routine I choose. My endurance is especially better and I can last through a whole day of driving, visiting, or shopping without feeling like I will collapse.
All this because I listen to my body.
Better yet, I listen to my psyche. I question what is causing me to be less than a ‘normal’ me. I search for ways to achieve better results in how I want to feel. If I can’t go to sleep at night, I realize that I shouldn’t have had that caffeine after two o’clock.
And, if my body suddenly feels like a dead weight, I admit that I shouldn’t have had that cookie or cake (wheat causes my body inflammation). So the real question I should be asking myself is if I will try better to be healthier, to listen to what my body is telling me.
What are some ways you strive to have better health? How do you listen to your body?
It’s more difficult during the holidays, I think, to stay away from foods one shouldn’t be eating or to continue a workout routine. I didn’t work out the whole Thanksgiving holiday. Oh, sure, I’m back at it today. Already I have done my morning calisthenics. And I will do my 30 Days of Movement workout, as soon as I’m done with this blog post, and an upper body weight routine.
I feel healthier every day that I eat right and that I work out. Butttt, it’s an everyday choice. That’s right. Every day, I choose to work out or not to work out. Or I choose to work out on a certain day because I know I won’t be able to the next day or for several days after that.
Good Health Takes Planning
So, I listen to my body, but I also plan ahead for it, too. I try to always be aware of what working out means to my body. I want to live as long as my grandparents did. Three out of four lived to be ninety and older. How can I do that if I don’t take care of myself?
I want to be in better health than they were. I want to be as spry as some of the older people I am friends with, who at eighty or ninety are still very mobile and healthy-looking and -acting. I always want to ask them their secret, lol. But, you know, I already know their secret. Genetic, for one. And taking care of themselves. Eating right. Exercise. Time in the great outdoors. Time with loved ones. And saying ‘no’ to stress.
So, how can we – you and I – be healthy into whatever age we live to? How can we be stronger, rather than weaker, as we age? How can we rise above illness and stress? How can we keep agile and have better endurance? Do you ever wonder about these things?
Well, we can listen to our bodies, for one. If we become tired, we can rest. If we think we shouldn’t be so tired, we can ask ourselves why, even going to see a physician to discover if there is anything tiring us out like a lack of a nutrient or an underlying illness. By ignoring the signs we are hearing from our bodies, we are only putting ourselves, our good health, in jeopardy.
We can also listen to our psyche. We can trust ourselves, if we think something is wrong. Or we can listen and get outdoors into the bright sunshine. We can hop on our stationary bike, visit the local gym, or go to the neighborhood pool for a much-needed swim. Heck, we can ask our neighbor if we can borrow their pool or gym equipment.
Whatever we do, it is good to remember that bodies were made for movement, minds were made to be trusted of their assessment of our bodies, and we were made for love, fun, and adventure. So, think about what you can do today to be more mobile in your life. How can you be more active? How can you stay away from too many sweets or fat? How can you care for yourself more?
My body is saying it’s time for my workout. What is your body saying to you?