Listening to Your Body
December 2, 2021
Penelope Trent

All too often we can get caught up in the swing of things, and just keep going. We might get a nagging feeling tugging at us somewhere, yet we carry on anyway. It could be a headache or a cold after weeks of non-stop working, or a wave of exhaustion and feeling faint after solid days without proper nourishment or hydration. It might even appear in the form of physical pain while working out, which we choose to ignore and push past. Well, it’s time to stop all of that.

As humans, we are the only species that purposefully deprive ourselves of sleep. We choose to stay up late to finish things off or to socialize even if we’re tired, and we’re the only ones to exert energy when we don’t need to. Yes, there are times when it is absolutely necessary to push past our limits, but this is not meant to be the norm, our bodies are simply not designed that way. There’s a reason we get fatigued and feel aches and pains. Most of the time when these things happen, it’s the body’s way of saying “hold up”. Something is going on that could be causing damage. Our body is clever, it sends us physical and mental cues, and it’s important to pay attention and learn to recognize the signals. This could be the way it reacts to certain foods we eat, or even more subtly by the quality of our skin, nails, and hair.

So here’s how to interpret some of the signals. Sleep is a good place to start; if you’ve slept six or fewer hours, you’ll benefit far more by having an early night than trying to work extra hours or fit in an extra workout. If you’re feeling a little worn down, it might be a good idea to rest and skip your gym workout. You’re not meant to feel tired all the time. Slow down. Living a fast-paced life means may be missing some of those signals, or ignoring them just so that we can carry on. Stop, take a deep breath, and try to scan your body to hear what it’s saying. Pushing through challenges and not giving in does make for a resilient person, but it’s short-lived. Taking a moment to stop and give your body some TLC, will help build towards being a more resilient person for the long stretch.

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