I have friends who have a deep dislike for yoga. They hold the same feelings towards meditation too. But when it comes to running, boxing, CrossFit and cutting out carbs entirely, they are a thousand times more into it than I am. The fact is, they have completely different ideas to health than what I do.
The more I learn about health and well-being, the more I discover that true, good health is as unique as your fingerprint. What works for me and makes my insides sing might be akin to your idea of getting in a fight with Chris Brown. Of course, there are general health rules around sustaining your body with essential nutrients and the like, but even those are often contested. I mean, I know people who don’t eat fruit. Or only drink water when they’re thirsty rather than sipping it slowly all day. Does that make them unhealthy? Well, that’s not for me to say. If they feel their body is functioning at its maximum efficiency, then to hell with rules, make up your own.
And so it comes down to individuality and that long lost art of being completely in tune with your body. Listening to the cues, responding to the cues rather than ignoring them, and most importantly, exploring the right options for you rather than taking anyone else’s word for it (says the woman who bleats incessantly about good health).
Image via Pinterest
And that’s where I’m at with this whole health thing. I’ve got the food thing pretty sorted, so now I’m making a deeper effort to listen more to my body and respect its wishes. In the morning I tune in, suss out my energy levels, notice how I feel after my fruit or morning meal, rest if I need to rest, drink if I need to drink, laugh, exercise, move, laze… whatever it asks for, I give it. And as a result, I’m feeling pretty damn good.
So now, Happies, it’s your turn. How well do you know your insides? Think it’s time to get to know them a little better? Then try these exercises on for size. Or don’t, it’s up to you.
1. Upon awakening take 3-5 minutes to tune into your body. Take some deep breaths, stretch, be silent and notice how you’re feeling.
2. Take your time in the morning. Try not to jump out of bed and rush around the house. Even if that means waking up just a little earlier, do it for the sake of your body. Constantly tune in, listen, appreciate.
3. After every meal see how your body responds. Do you feel energised, tired, bloated, refuelled? Take note of what makes you feel good, and what doesn’t.
4. Take time for yourself EVERYDAY. I can’t stress this enough. I don’t know one person who doesn’t benefit from just doing a little something you love each day. The activity in itself will differ from person to person (note my love of yoga and my friends’ love of CrossFit above). Whatever it is, just do it.
5. Notice what roles caffeine, animal proteins, dairy and sugar play in your diet and recognise how they make you feel. I don’t eat all that much meat, but I know when I need it as it always makes me feel so strong and re-energised. It also changes the way I smell, weirdly. But more on that at a later date.
6. Take note of how much sun you’re getting. Is it enough? Is it too much? I often find when I get really lethargic it’s because I haven’t been in the sun for a while. After 10-15 minutes of laying out, I literally feel like I’ve been plugged into an electricity socket. It’s amazing.
Well, I think that’s a good place to start. The point is to listen to your insides and get to know yourself again. Let your gut be your guide and remember, there’s no wrong answer!
What does health look like for you?
Do you need to tune in more?