How often do you stop and listen to what your body is trying to tell you? How often have you ignored that niggling pain or tiredness only to go and get ill the following week?
In the last few years I feel like I’ve gotten better at hearing my body when it’s telling me to slow down. I can feel run down from time to time, like I’m fighting something off or have ‘the edge’ of something, but I don’t seem to get coughs and colds too often (probably jinxing myself here but hey).
I think this is because once I recognise that I’m feeling run down, a bit off or just not right – I slow right down. I do what my body is telling me it needs and I focus my attention on self-care.
Something I love about yoga and meditation is that it gives you the space to listen to your body. And I think it may be the reason I don’t get ill too often.
I’ve seen it far too often when people don’t do this. They push through, try to ignore what their body is saying and then seem surprised when they come down with an illness and are out of action for a week.
Obviously, sometimes there’s simply no escaping getting ill. But I do think we can give ourselves a fighting chance if we listen to ourselves and look after ourselves a little more often. So I thought I would share some advice for gaining better self-awareness when it comes to health and how to look after yourself when you’re feeling run down.
Self-care when you feel run down
Notice your symptoms
Try and keep an eye out for tell-tale signs that you are run down. For me it’s headaches, sore throats and a general lack of energy. For you it may be stomach aches, insomnia or muscular aches and pains. Whatever it is, try not to dismiss it. Ask yourself, why am I feeling like this?
What does your body need?
Think about what your body is craving and what would help it feel better. If I feel like I’m coming down with a cold, the first thing I’ll do some immune-boosting yoga. There are certain poses/moves that stimulate your lymphatic system and thymus gland to boost your immunity. Then I’ll add more fruit and vegetables to my diet and… rest up. If that means skipping the gym or saying no to social invitations, then so be it.
Try and reduce stress
Stress makes everything worse, including your health. Whether your feeling physically or mentally run down, try to include some sort of relaxation into your day. This could be meditation, a long bath or reading. If I get really stressed it triggers anxiety symptoms which leads to headaches… etc. Let’s just say stress is all-round not good for us.
Eat what you’re craving
Yeah, sometimes this is more fruit and vegetables, but let’s be honest – sometimes it’s chocolate. You all know my thoughts on this, enjoy food and give your body and soul what it needs – just don’t go crazy on the sugar, it isn’t ideal if you’re fighting an illness. Try to eat more body-nourishing foods.
Get into immune-boosting habits
Instead of just looking after yourself when you’re feeling ill, get into the habit of looking after yourself every day to maintain your immunity. I drink green tea at work every morning, try to meditate regularly, move my body often and include good stuff in my diet. Nothing revolutionary, I know, but these little habits add up and if nothing else, helps you to be more in tune with yourself.
At the time of writing this I am wresting a particularly nasty headache and nausea combination and I’m feeling pretty crap to be honest. So I plan to finish this, get Netflix on the go and stay horizontal for the rest of the evening. If you’re feeling rubbish, I invite you to do the same.