Your body is constantly talking to you. It is telling you how it feels, what it is lacking, what it has too much of – and it tells you if something is wrong. The problem is (or can be) that we don’t always listen – but further, we may not know how to. Some of us don’t know that we should be listening, until sometimes it is too late. While others listen too much. Then there are those that listen just right.
Which group do you fall into?
I think that it is also a maturity thing; as every year passes, you become a little bit wiser – or so we hope! You learn from your mistakes and successes as well as those of the people around you. This includes learning about things relating to health and wellness. When you’re a child or a teenager, some just don’t have the mental maturity to recognize that your body may not have liked that you indulged in one too many chips and cans of soda. But in your twenties or thirties – well, it starts to become painfully obvious! Food hangover anyone?
I chuckle as I write this, for last night I indulged in some Chinese food – and I will follow that statement with this one – this is the first time that I have eaten Chinese food in well over a year. (Once a year is OK, right?) But as a result, I felt a bit sluggish this morning, my gut is feeling a bit bloated today… it’s not the most ideal way to start off the week, and I fully recognize that. But the point of sharing this with you is that I now have the maturity, understanding, and connection to listen to my body and to comprehend the fact that 1. Chinese food obviously isn’t the healthiest food to consume, 2. I did not overindulge for the sake of my health, and 3. I realized ahead of eating it that I wouldn’t feel my best after eating it, BUT I decided that I would enjoy the little once-a-year treat and not feel guilty about it. And so, as I sit here and write this, I am in full connection with my body, how it is feeling, and what it is telling me.
That said, I’ve learned how important it is to stay connected with yourself and to truly listen. Your body is smart and it is meant to react and communicate – both the good and the bad. We feel things emotionally, physically and mentally – or in a combination of two or all three of them. Do you keep tabs on what your body is trying to communicate with you? Do you pay attention to the little aches and pains, the feelings of fatigue, or if something more is going on? Likewise, do you pay attention when you feel energetic, blissfully happy, and when you are ready to conquer the world? Paying attention to the good is just as important as it is to pay attention to the bad by the way.
When I began writing this blog last January, I was setting out on a wellness journey. I decided that 2020 was my year, the year that I was going to make sure that I was healthy, whereas I was feeling a bit worn down after the past few years of taking care of those around me. What I didn’t know then is that by mid-March that the world would change for every human on Earth. But you know, perhaps Covid has made it all the more painfully clear how important it is to take care for yourself and to be in touch with your overall well-being. And what better time than in the middle of a global pandemic to tackle that project?
And so, even though I had gone to a few doctors appointments at the start of the year to get checked out and to address concerns I had, by April, cancelled or postponed other appointments – only to reschedule them this fall in an attempt to continue on my wellness journey. I feel more aware of my body as a result, even though it’s painful to pay some of those high deductibles and co-pays. But! What’s a better investment than your health? For me, sitting down and talking with a few of my long-standing doctors and now acquiring new doctors; talking with them about my health and concerns; and being checked out in all ways – these things make me feel more informed as well as more in touch with my body and what is communicating to me. I now have new health partners in the form of a new primary doctor, a new cardiologist as well as a new gastroenterologist, that join the ranks of my rheumatologist, OB-GYN, dermatologist, and dentist.
What are my results thus far?
Due to genetics, my cholesterol is a little too high and that is something that I need to constantly be conscious of and work on. I need to exercise more, and this is something that I simply don’t give myself time to do – I am painfully aware of how guilty I fell about this and I have to work on remedying that guilt. I also have to stay on top of things that cause me stress and anxiety, because as I get older, I notice how stress and anxiety affect my mind, body, and spirit as well as steal my energy and creativity. Stress is so unhealthy and I’ve learned that my body is super sensitive to it, even though I’m a pretty relaxed person and don’t let much on the outside affect me on the inside. Otherwise – frankly – I’m pretty healthy and good, and that is a relief!
But life is about the journey, not the destination. And on the journey we constantly have to stay in motion, pivot, learn, and evolve. I find myself in a time of data collection and learning so that I can keep moving forward and evolving. Does that make sense? I’ve taken time this year to learn so that I can pivot in order to make sure that I’m moving forward and adjusting in the best possible way for my today, and perhaps more importantly, for my tomorrow. I hope that you too, dear reader, find your route on your wellness journey and have a safe and prosperous journey.
Until next time, stay well!