Practice what you preach.
I’ve spent endless hours talking to different people and helping them find solutions for their own issues and explaining to them why it’s so important to stop and listen to your body. So why is it so difficult for me to listen to my own? Anybody else guilty of turning that voice of reason down to mute, and cranking the volume of life up to the max? What about the times when your body is telling you to slow down or take a minute? I’m guilty of pushing and pushing until I physically have to take a rest. I’m sure you’ll agree this can be very dangerous over a long period of time as continual stress on our body and mind can have catastrophic consequences, (try saying that fast 5 times in a row).
Picture the scene, I’ve just completed a workout and thinking to myself how good that feels and how clear my mind is. Enter the “striver” aspect of my personality which normally hits me before I’ve had time to walk back to the car. What can I write about next on the blog? Could I have gone heavier on that last squat? What’s for tea I’m starving? Etc etc etc (I’m not kidding the etc could have gone on and on). So that hard work I just did in the gym to clear the head fog has given way to more questions that need an answer.
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
I have learnt the hard way that this striving can have the complete opposite effect and end up derailing all of my hard work. What’s the saying 2 steps forward 7 backwards?. So there I am back to the drawing board and questioning how did this happen again? I had a plan! I didn’t walk under any ladders and I always saluted to Mr magpie. So what happened?
“Wellbeing first, life second!”
Making sure we’re like a well-oiled machine that all the parts are checked serviced and maintained, the correct fuel has been put in, and all the parts are in working order. My all time daily “to do list” (i love lists) contains the following:
Whole plant based foods ✓
Vegan lifestyle ✓
Being present in the moment ✓
Being kind to myself! ✓
Listen to your body.
If at any time your own wellbeing “to do list” starts to slip, body Scan practice can be a great way to actually listen and feel your body and respond to it. Whether that be rest, or maybe a pain you’ve had that has been overlooked but is adding to your overall feeling of unrest. If you would like to take part in a guided body scan you can find an example of a 5-minute and 10-minute videos here. Below are some points to point you in the way of completing a body scan.
- lie or sit down in a comfortable position eyes closed or maybe slightly open if preferred. Just be sure to be as comfortable as possible. You can read here where I talk about meditating in a busy house for more suggestions.
- Take a few moments to find your breath. Breathe in, and out of the nose until your breathing pattern is nice and relaxed. Bringing focus onto the breath allows us to engage with the present moment and leave the mind chatter behind.
- Start from whichever body part you feel most comfortable. Move in a particular order around the body or whatever feels natural.
- Take your time to pay close attention to each body part and listen and feel for any aches pains or discomfort.
- Remember that your mind will wander from what to order on the shopping or what are you going to wear tomorrow night. That’s ok, be aware of it and without judgement let the thoughts drift away and return your focus on the body scan.
When you come to the end bring your attention back to the present moment.
Be kind to yourself
Listen to your body and act accordingly, whether that be a trip to the doctor or putting your feet up for the night. Similarly, if you feel good, give yourself a high 5 you rock!
Looking to the future with a plan or a purpose is one thing, just make sure the way you get there doesn’t burn you out. Take time to stop and listen to your body before it stops you in your tracks, and makes you listen!
Please leave your comments below and let me know how you got on with the body scan and dealing with these issues.
Until next time….