Now, more than ever we are reminded of how valuable our health is in a world where many are getting sick. Sadly, it isn’t until we find ourselves in poor health that realise how much we take it for granted. Health is our greatest wealth yet it’s often overlooked.
On a fundamental level, we know it’s good to feel good. Yet, we push our bodies to the limit, fuel them with foods that aren’t serving them well and refuse to rest. We take our health for granted until illness knocks on our door and then realise how good we had it before. We seem to notice the negative such as having a blocked nose more so than when it’s clear. We don’t realise what we have until it’s gone – even if temporarily.
When you’re in good health, treasure it. Three ways you can begin to celebrate and elevate your health include: checking in with how you are feeling each day, eating intuitively and giving yourself permission to get adequate sleep and rest. It is much easier to be proactive when it comes to maintaining good health than it is to recover from illness. Now, let’s explore each one in a little more depth.
Tip #1: Become aware of how you are feeling.
It’s time to reconnect with yourself. You can do this by noticing how you feel mentally and physically each day. If you enjoy writing things down, you may want to journal about how you feel. You can even ask this question as you begin your day and as you end it to see the impact that the day had on you.
When you check in with how you are feeling each day, you raise your awareness. You notice how you feel on a good day compared to a bad day. You can begin to see how your body feels – tired, achy, sore or strained and also how you feel mentally. Checking in with yourself doesn’t mean that you won’t ever get sick nor does it mean you’ll feel mentally strong every day, it simply empowers you to notice how your body and mind are in the present moment.
Tip #2 Fuel your body with wholesome foods.
Once you begin to notice how you are feeling each day, your body will give you signs in the form of cravings. It will signal to you what foods it wants to eat and it may change daily. Rather than yo-yo dieting or consuming a high quantity of processed foods, you may want to consider intuitive eating. It’s not a fad diet, rather it’s a lifestyle that encourages you to eat the foods that your body feels like.
It’s about nurturing your body rather than depriving yourself of foods through a restrictive-binge eating cycle patter that can emerge from strict diet frameworks. When you begin to eat intuitively, you begin to notice how foods make you feel. Some may make you feel energised while others deplete you of energy or cause a reaction due to an allergy or intolerance. It’s a way to understand your body on a deeper level.
Tip #3 Give yourself permission to rest and get adequate sleep. Put down the busy badge of honour.
You are doing a disservice to yourself and others when you are sleep deprived and burnt out. You cannot perform at your best when you are physically and emotionally exhausted. It’s time to let go of the false truth that being continuously busy is what it takes to be successful in any area of your life.
Business for the sake of business can lead to burn out and result in elevated stress-hormone levels when you push yourself too far for too long. While each of us can survive living in a fight or flight state for a prolonged period of time ranging from several months to possibly several years, you will crash if you’re not taking care of yourself. There are times when you need endure the grind but you need to implement self-care rituals to help you get through without burning out.
This includes getting adequate sleep. For some, they may perform well when they get a minimum of 7 hours sleep and others may need more or less. Find your minimum amount and ensure you create boundaries which enable you to protect your sleep time. If you’re staying up until 1am each night responding to emails, messages and so forth, ask yourself – “is this truly urgent or can it wait until morning?” Sleep is important, make it a priority.
The same applies to rest. If you are feeling exhausted, craving a nap or feel depleted, give yourself permission to recharge. Listen to your body and take a moment for you. Do something that will re-energise you and allow others around you to do the same. When we are well rested, we give ourselves the chance to perform at our optimum levels.
When you feel good, you are able to perform at your best. Take a moment to be grateful for all that your body can do, for your health and knowing you have the power to nurture it. It’s time to take care of yourself.