In the hustle and bustle of our day to day routines, we often forget how important it is to really step back and look after ourselves. Today on the blog, I'm delving in to my personal experience running myself out of energy and how I get myself back on track, infused with Chinese medicine and just a little self care for both the mind & body.
Without our wellbeing: our bodies, our health, our emotional and mental stability, we just couldn’t make it work.
Trouble is, we don’t often realise or accept that there is an issue until it becomes a major one. For example, it took a week of crippling migraines and other painful symptoms for me to actually stop and take stock of where my body was at. Often, there isn’t time in our calendar’s for us to step back and listen to our bodies for once, to actually pay attention to the symptoms which it is using to communicate with us, and for once actually take action according to how our body is responding to our behaviours. I’m trying to actively live, ‘wellness first’ rather than ‘schedule first’. I never wanted to be the woman whose life was ruled by their iPhone calendar schedule, trust me, I would deny it until the cows came home until I realised that I wasn’t able to fit in a doctor’s appointment until over a week away. I realised that I wasn’t prioritising myself anymore. However hard I would try to schedule my day well with healthy habits and quality routines, I wasn’t giving my body what it truly needed: good nutrition, quality sleep and listening to my symptoms.
For me rest ultimately consists of completing these 3 tasks: nutritiously fueling my body with 3 main meals, getting at least 8 hours of consistent sleep, and emotionally unloading to resolve whatever unbalances I'm facing.
My mum, Morag Gurnsey, has always been amazing at ensuring that she meets her own needs before giving to others. At first, when I was a little younger and more naive, I always felt this was ridiculous because as her child I selfishly felt like I was always her number one priority. And perhaps, from a mothers perspective, you may have become so used to putting your children at the top of your list for such a long time, you may fall into this trap also. However mum’s method was never selfish, and it certainly never left me deprived. Because mum understood the importance of ensuring her own needs were met, she was always in tune with herself and her body. She understands when she needs to just go off and complete a mindless task just to clear her head, or when she needs to dedicate specific time in the pilates studio just for her own training and rehabilitation. Ultimately, it allows her to be her best for both herself and us.
I have a lot of time for Chinese medicine and I’m a very consistent patient of accupuncture and cupping at Centre of Balance. In Chinese medicine, it is believed that all of the organs are connected with each other. For the body to be functioning well, it is required that the organs are ‘in balance’ with one another. Meaning that one organ is neither ‘stronger’ nor ‘weaker’. I love that Chinese medicine has a hands-on and holistic approach which observes the body as a whole and appreciates that symptoms are a symbol of imbalance within the body. In the context of rest and recovery, Chinese medicine encourages us to become aware of these imbalances both within our body and in our emotional and spiritual wellbeing. This is something I wish to expand on in further blog posts, however when I’m feeling overwhelmed or when my health takes a significant hit, I look towards become more in tune with my body and locating where these imbalances may be occurring. Amy Wu, at Centre of Balance looks after the physical side of this by observing my symptoms and treating my body according to the organ imbalances and meridian connections. While I personally step back and take note of what has been overwhelming me mentally lately, what I am stressed about, what areas of my life do I need to give more attention, and what do I need to prioritise to get myself back on track?
Ask yourself: what is overwhelming me? What am I stressed about? What areas of my life do I need to give time to? Where are my priorities out of balance? And finally, what action steps am I going to take to get myself back on track?
I’m not saying drop all of your responsibilities until you get your shit together again. The kids still need to be fed and your boss will still expect to see you in the morning. I’m just proposing that you step back from the extra commitments and energy you give to your responsibilities that aren’t completely necessary. Don’t be afraid to delegate! Ask a friend to look after your child if you need to prioritise that doctor’s appointment. Never sleep on symptoms that impact your day to day life! Don’t let your essential needs slip because you let your priorities run loose. If you find it difficult to step back and just give yourself time for rest and recovery, understand again that it’s only through you being in a state of balance and wellbeing that you are able to give of yourself fully to others. If anything, you looking after yourself means that you can look after others better.
Don't be afraid to delegate tasks. Especially ones that don't give you joy, or those that prevent you from meeting your own needs first.
We’re constantly told that we need to be doing more, being better and getting more done within a day. However my approach to productivity has never been about encouraging people to cram more into their 24 hours. Rather, I desire to help people give more to the areas of life which are important to them - those that bring them joy and pleasure. I know we would all rather be spending time with our family and loved ones than trudging through a day at work. And I understand first hand that when life’s busy, it’s so easy to let the little signs that your body gives you fall to the side line. Understand that rest is so damn important, in the same vein, allowing yourself to actually fully recover from times of stress, overwhelm, imbalance or ill-health is just as vital too. If all of our symptoms, stress and troubles were shown on our surface level, what would your reflection in the mirror look like? I know for me, it wouldn’t be a pretty sight. So understand that just because time passes and life carries on, it’s important to be aware that your body and mind may still be in the midst of processing things. Give yourself permission to take the time to just look after yourself and tick your own boxes before you continue to tackle your to-do list or maintain your responsibilities.
If it makes you feel any better, right now I’m snuggled up in bed while a thunderstorm rattles on outside and my to-do list is becoming me to my desk. Perhaps I should be studying for my exam on Friday, and this certainly isn’t the scheduled blog post I’ve been procrastinating upon for day. Except right now, my body is telling me that it needs something a lot more rewarding and powerful than trudging through my calendar like a programmed machine. Rest. Don’t wait as long as I have (much like many others) to just give yourself time to rest and recover. This is the wake up call you’ve been waiting for to remind you to be in tune with what your body is communicating with you. Check in with yourself and locate the imbalances which are impacting your life at the moment. Trust me, when you’re ready to get back into the whirlwind of life again, it will all be so much easier.
Hi there! Thanks for checking out the Live Lively blog. I am so excited to share my passion for productivity, personal growth and wellbeing!