Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.
– Eleanor Brownn
I am guilty. I use to over work myself to the point of exhaustion and daily mental break downs. I thought I was successful because of my productivity, but I can see now that I was completely wrong.
I was corrupting my mind, body, and spirit. I see productivity as a wonderful trait to have, however, one must know their limits. It is not worth the self harm that comes with ignoring your bodies natural responses to stress. You can be the hardest worker in the room, but if you are mentally drained, are you really winning? Are you genuinely happy with yourself and your performance?
Now, I’m not saying that you should be lazy, unproductive, and selfish all the time if you’re feeling over-worked, but to find the balance between working hard and giving yourself a break to replenish your creativity and energy.
Some people may disagree, but I think it’s totally okay to call out of work if you need a mental health day. It’s okay to say no to hanging out with friends if you’re tired, and it’s absolutely fine to spend some time with yourself. You are not weak for feeling this way, and you should not feel bad either. You are self aware. You are doing the right thing for yourself.
Listening to your body is more than just realizing that you want a pint of ice cream instead of going to the gym. Maybe you’re listening to your aching muscles, pounding headache, or irritated stomach. You could also be listening to your emotional feelings, such as sadness, doubt, or worry.
Your body is always sending you messages. Honestly, being aware of how your body reacts to pressure is extremely important and will help you figure out what you can do more or less of. For example, when I begin to feel stressed out for some reason, (working a lot, studying, relationships) I get MEGA headaches. I could go to sleep with a headache, and wake up with one too. It sticks with me until I do something to relieve my stresses.
It’s so easy to “go relax, and do something that makes you happy”, but I feel like so many people just end up laying in bed and scrolling through their phone. Yes, that could be relaxing, but it’s definitely not mentally stimulating.
I’ll share some ways that you can start tuning in to your body.
- Go for a walk. Plug in your headphones, listen to some calming music, and actually look at your surroundings.
- Eat mindfully. Eat food that will nourish your body and energy levels, rather than make you feel like a slug. Are you physically hungry or are you hungry because you’re bored? It’s important to be aware of how your body distinguishes the two feelings.
- Trust your intuition. Sometimes trusting your heart over your brain is exactly what you didn’t think you needed.
- Ask yourself how you’re feeling. By doing this, you can address your needs. Stop, breathe, listen, decide, and act.
- Start a self care regime. Get a face mask and bath bomb from Target, play your favorite video game, meditate, do yoga, write, whatever relaxes or pleases YOU.
I hope this post has helped you become more in-tune with your body & mind. I wish only the best for each of you who have read this. Happy Thursday!