Your body is always whispering to you. The secret is learning to stop and listen to it, before it has to start yelling.
This is true in every area of your life! If you eat something you shouldn’t, your stomach probably tells you. If you run yourself ragged and don’t get enough rest, you body will eventually say enough is enough. If you have a stressful job and don’t take the time to relax and unwind, eventually you will burn yourself out.
The body is an amazing, complex machine that, given the right fuel, care and maintenance, can lead you to a long happy life. Ignore the signs that is needs some attention and you could be setting yourself up for disaster… or at the minimum, illness and exhaustion.
Over the last few years, I have been working on trying to listen to these stories that my body has been telling me. Figuring out the whispers, before they turn into screams. This has been even more important in the last 4 months. Between school, work and family, it has been a balancing act, that I will admit, still needs some work. Getting myself into a new routine has been key. However, sometimes, we will get ourself so set into a routine that we start running on auto pilot and forget to pay attention what our body needs.
I realized today, that over the last few weeks, I had been so focused on trying to get everything done, that I had been neglecting the “me time”, the recharge time. I needed to regroup. I needed to get things back into focus.
How do you know when you might need to stop and recharge?
For everyone, the signs are going to be different. You are the only one that can determine what you need and when. For me, there are usually a few that I notice that indicate that it’s time to reel myself back in.
- I mindlessly start eating anything that looks or sounds good, even though I know that I really shouldn’t (especially those things that I know cause issues with my stomach!) We won’t even get into the issue of the leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip from the Super Bowl that is no more…
- I get crabby. With everyone. Usually for no reason. These are usually the times that my husband actually tells me to go for a run. He knows that getting outside helps me relax and clears my brain.
- I can’t concentrate. This was evident this week when it was taking me longer to get through all of my stuff that I needed to get done for school. I still have not finished it all, but I still have time.
These are my triggers that I have learned over time. I am sure there are more that still need to be discovered. But that is part of the process of listening to your body and understanding what you need. Sometimes you will do something to try to fix the problem or get yourself back on track and it won’t work. But this is part of the process. It can often be trial and error. Just because you try something and it doesn’t work, you didn’t fail. You just learned what NOT to do next time.
There are many things that you can do to stop and recharge yourself. Some will work for you some won’t. I have girlfriends that go for a massage once a month as their way to relax, unwind and regroup. Some will meet up with friends for happy hour or dinner. Maybe some meditation time in the morning or a mind/body yoga class. Or for you it’s a quiet afternoon with a good book, or a drive through the countryside. Whatever it is, if it works for you, it’s what you need to do. There is no wrong answer.
I have learned that for me, I need to get outside. Get back to nature. This is probably part of the reason why I came back from my trip to Portland in October so alive and refreshed. We virtually spent the entire week outside. Hiking, wandering, exploring. Every day was a chance to recharge even more. When I came back home, I was ready to tackle everything with renewed energy and mindset.
Today was a day to get back outside. Yes, over the last month, I have been running, both inside on the dreadmill or outside on the streets, but today that was not going to cut it. I needed to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle. I needed to break free from the every day routine and give my body and mind the chance to regroup.I headed out to my favorite trails. The Arboretum Trails out at UWGB. These are the same trails that I spend most of my summer training on, and are the home to the Titletown Ultra Series. This is the place I can unwind, recharge and bring everything back into focus. Just being out in the quiet of these woods, with only the sound of the snow under your feet is very therapeutic (at least for me!). Instead of pounding out 5 miles as fast as I could, or worrying about my pace at all, I just went out there and did what felt right. I walked some, I ran some, then I walked some more. It was more about getting back in touch with me and putting everything back into focus. By the end of my 5 mile loop, I had a renewed vision, a game plan for moving forward and refreshed look and what needs to be done. I stopped along the way to take some pictures and enjoy the beauty that is in my backyard (well, at least close enough). I tried to find some of the birds that I could hear up in the trees (I failed on this endeavor). But most of all I just enjoyed the morning.
Remember, you are a unique individual and what works for me, may not work for you. What works for you, isn’t going to work for your best friend. We all are our own creatures, the trick is finding out what makes thrive and how to use that to bring you back and keep you grounded when life throws you a curveball.
Remember to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Don’t just try to quiet the whispers. Listen to them before the start screaming at you!
Yes, taking the morning off and spending time hiking through the woods means that I still have more school work to get done for this week, but it will still be there tomorrow. In some situations, it’s ok to walk away from the work and take some time for yourself! It will still be there later and you can take care of it then… and I can almost guarantee that the quality of that work will be better after you took your break!
I know that over the next few months, there will be more days like this! My marathon training will continue, but sometimes you need to take a break from routine! Your body will thank you for it!
Oh, and to all my Skirt Sport Sisters out there, Toasty Tights (affiliate link) paired with Tough Girl pants work perfectly together when it’s 19 degrees outside in Wisconsin! The cold breeze off the lake made me glad I had the extra layer on!
*** The important stuff: This post may contain affiliate links. I do earn a small commission for any shopping that is done using one of my links. As a Captain Ambassador, I do get a shoppping allowance, discount and a few other perks, but the love and admiration for this company is all mine. I wore Skirt Sports even before they invited me to represent them!***