It’s not until we stop, listen to the signs and react to them, that we appreciate the true feeling of wellness.
Taking control of our health and understanding our individual needs, physically and mentally, is hugely empowering. It’s easy to race through life and accept feeling a certain way. It’s not until we stop, listen to the signs and react to them, that we appreciate the true feeling of wellness. We can then fully embrace life and everything it has to offer.
There was a time, in a distant and unrecognisable past, when I didn’t know how to listen to my body. I worked long hours, didn’t exercise, skipped meals, drank very little water (and too much wine) and never really stopped to think otherwise. I often felt bloated, my skin would breakout, sleep was disturbed and my moods were all over the place. These were all warning signs that my body wasn’t happy with my choices. But I just accepted these symptoms as ‘normal’ for a fast-paced life. I ignored them and kept going. It took a major illness, years later, for me to finally take notice. I learnt (the hard way) how to listen.
These simple steps can hopefully help you:
If you’ve ever done a proper detox for at least a month, you’ll know what it feels like to be in complete balance. The first few days are hell as your body tries to work out what’s going on. It then breathes a huge sigh of relief as it’s nourished with vitamins, nutrients and fresh water. You sleep better, your skin begins to glow, you can think straight and you feel energised. But yes, you also miss your social life. This angelic existence is hard to maintain.
Experiencing this feeling of complete wellbeing is an important part of recognising how to listen to your body. It takes you to the other side. Once normal life resumes, post-detox, it’s easier to spot the warning signs. One by one, you see which lifestyle choices make you feel awful. You can then decide what’s occasionally worth the pain, what you can do without and find your balance. Read more about this in Living an 80/20 life.
We all lack energy at times. It’s been a long week. You’ve had a late night (or three). You just have a lot going on. But if you’re constantly feeling exhausted, ask yourself if you need to slow down. Are you working long hours? Is someone expecting too much of you? Take a moment to breathe and look at how you can slow things down. Just don’t get to the point of burnout when your body will force you to stop.
With so much uncertainty and our worlds being turned upside down for so long, sleep patterns have taken a hit. But if you’re continuing to lie awake at night, you may need to look at some lifestyle changes. Stress is a big one. Taking time out, eating well, drinking water, regular exercise and getting outside will all help with stress. And sleep. Make sure you’re winding down in the evening. You know it already, but put your phone in another room (and leave it there) at least an hour before bed. Give your mind and body some time to de–stress from the day. I also wouldn’t be without a spritz of This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray on my pillow every night.
Your skin is your biggest organ. It protects your body from the outside world and lets you know if things aren’t quite right on the inside. It’s often the first alarm bell to start ringing. Spots, rashes, dullness, puffiness, blotches and dry patches can all be signs of an imbalance. Don’t always just look at treating it externally. It needs attention from both sides. Stress, dehydration, poor sleep and diet will all come out in your skin. Some of us have more sensitive and reactive skin than others. Some skin problems can be incredibly complex. But generally, if you’re treating yourself well, inside and out, your skin will thank you for it.
Physical symptoms should never be ignored. Frequent colds could mean you’re overdoing it, and your immune system is struggling to cope. You may experience bloating (particularly after meals), which could call for a change in diet and/or looking at your stress levels. But there are many physical pains that aren’t always as obvious as you think. Remember your entire body is connected, physically and emotionally. It all needs to be in sync to run smoothly. Just don’t assume the pains will simply go away. However big or small, if they’re persistent, your body is trying to get your attention.
Of course, there are many things that can affect our moods. Hormones. Mental health. Life. It isn’t easy. But if you’re looking down more than you’re looking up, this is a sign that things aren’t right. Talk to someone, or get some help if you think you need it. We all need support throughout our lives, particularly after living through a global pandemic. You have the ability to change it, and admitting this to yourself is the first (and biggest) step. Don’t accept it. You can turn things around.
So as you wake up to our ever-changing world, don’t forget to pause. Our bodies are very clever at telling us when things aren’t quite right.
Just remember to listen.
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