One of my goals this year is to actively listen to my body and learn what it needs. Sometimes that means a fresh green smoothie and other times it means having all the chocolate cookies and a nice cup of coffee to wash it down with. It’s all about balance, you know. Lately, there was no balance though. I wasn’t able to go to sleep, when I was tired or taking a few moments off to ground myself, when I felt overwhelmed. I felt extremely out of touch with myself, inside and out.
Recently, I learned how much impact a stressful life has on the body and the way it might cause major inflammation everywhere. For someone who already has to deal with an autoimmune disease, this also added to being so out of touch with myself. Piece by piece I was able to put that puzzle together and decided that enough is enough and I need to take back the reins. I made a few changes to the way I eat, live and deal with stressful situations. Maybe that’s something some of you struggle with as well.
Here are five ways to live more intuitively that made such a difference in my life so far:
Focus on your breath
I wasn’t aware that I don’t breathe the right way. My breath is kinda flat which means the oxygen isn’t properly delivered to all of the body’s cells. By putting my focus on my breathing throughout the day, I feel much more relaxed and energized in an instant. Give it a try!
Eat when and what makes you feel good
This means to not put any emphasis on so-called typical meal times. If you don’t feel like having lunch at noon, then don’t. If everyone wants to order pizza, but you feel like having a big bowl of scrumptious salad with prawns instead, go for it. It’s so much easier to just go with the flow, I know that because that’s practically what I lived by, but it’s much more worth it, to really listen to your body and feed it what it needs.
Create before you consume
One thing that not only takes up way too much time but also is a sure-fire way to make me feel bad in just a minute or less, is mindlessly scrolling through my social media feeds before doing something productive for myself. I know that we basically control our feeds and who we follow and don’t follow ourselves. Leave it to me though, to find the perfect time to come across an article that smack-talks including smoothies to your diet, when I was about to have one… Therefore, I made it a priority to not go online when I am hungry, to not read other blogs before blogging myself, and to not purchase anything online before giving it a second thought.
Live in the moment
In the past, I counted being able to multitask to my strengths and praised myself for being able to cross-read an article, eat lunch, text with a friend and email a coworker at the same time. Not only is this extremely stressful for the body and mind, it’s also practically useless. A few minutes later, I usually wasn’t able to repeat what that article said, confirm if I added any attachments to the email or if I enjoyed my lunch that I just had. It doesn’t make any sense or does it?! Now, for instance, when I am in my kitchen cooking, I am really there. I don’t scroll through my feeds or check my emails while I wait for the water to boil. I cut up veggies in the meantime or load the dishwasher. Not only is my body present in the kitchen, my mind is too.
Find a sleep routine that works for you
For years I was envious of those who could just sleep 4 hours a night and felt rested, because they had so much more time in a day to get stuff done. Right?! On the flip side I admired those who could easily sleep 9 hours and felt well rested and never seemed to struggle to handle their assignments. I just juggled along, often ran late and forgot the smallest details if I didn’t write them down. So annoying!
It was hard for me to calm down before bed and to fall asleep because my head was still on. That changed when I started to really listen to my body’s signals and what works for me. It’s still not perfect but way better than a few weeks ago. Now, I sleep around 7 hours, which seems to be the magic number for me, and use a body oil that calms me down before bed. I like to read a few pages in bed with dimmed light which also adds to getting sleepy. Also it’s a strictly phone-free zone! Works like a charm