Listening to your body when it tells you to slow down
Yesterday marked the middle of my summer vacation. And after a busy few weeks of travel, teaching yoga, and catching up with lots of friends in between, I felt like I was coming down with something. Could it be exhaustion finally catching up with me? Maybe a lack of caffeine for the first day in a very long time? Or maybe just my body’s way of saying “slow down; chill”. I listened to my body, crawled into my bed and did some light reading, but not before I took some precautions just in case I was getting sick.
Here are five things I do to unwind and recharge my battery when I feel like I may be getting sick.
1. Make a cup of green tea.
I’m not an everyday coffee drinker, but this summer coffee has been something I treat myself to every.single.day. So I think skipping the coffee is what could’ve given me a headache.
Green tea has caffeine, but it doesn’t give me the rush that coffee does, so I decided it was a good alternative to give my body a little bit of a break. From now on, I’ll go back to having coffee every other day to reset for when I go back to work in a month.
2. Take a hot shower.
It was 88 degrees outside, I didn’t have my AC on and I was cold. This was cause for concern. I took a long, hot shower. I took my time. I wasn’t rushing to get ready to go somewhere. I had to take it slow because my bones were achy and I just didn’t have the energy to move quickly. As much as I wanted to be in my bed, I had to take my time getting there.
After being on my computer or scrolling through instagram on my phone for more than an hour or so, I start to feel nauseous and I’ve noticed my posture start to suffer too. As much as I wanted to be productive, it was really important for me to shut my computer and turn off my phone to give myself a bit of a digital detox for the rest of the night. This set the tone for a good night’s sleep.
4. Utilize my essential oils.
During my yoga teacher training, I was introduced to doTERRA essential oils. These oils have so many cleansing and calming properties. They also offer huge benefits for clarity of mind and better intestinal and digestive health. On guard is an immune booster that you can rub under your feet. This blend is made up of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark/Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils. It also comes in beadlet form, so you can just pop it in your mouth when you’re on the go.
I diffuse lavender oil to create a calming atmosphere before bedtime. I put a few drops of oil into the diffuser that’s on my night stand and it really relaxes me and prepares me for a restful sleep.
Lastly, I rub deep blue oil on my achy joints. This oil is also great after long day of slouching over the computer. The blend is made up of Wintergreen Leaf, Camphor Bark, Peppermint Plant, Ylang Ylang Flower, Helichrysum Flower, Blue Tansy Flower, Blue Chamomile Flower, and Osmanthus Flower. You can also use this oil before or after a workout.
5. Fresh sheets and some light reading.
There’s nothing I love more than climbing into a bed with fresh sheets. Your sheets may be carrying something that made you feel sick, so it’s best to change them. I’ve been reading lots of yoga books to enhance my teaching and my practice. This is the ultimate way I unwind after a long day. Find a book that you really love and spend some time reading instead of scrolling or watching tv.
Always listen to your body
I’ve learned to accept that my nature is ‘go, go, go!’ I’ve tried to slow down, but sometimes that little voice inside me just screams get out there and do something! But when your body calls out to you, you have to listen. Recharging your batteries is one of the most productive things you can do for yourself.
I hope these steps gave you some insight into how I take care of myself and maybe a few ideas about how you can too. Find different ways to help you unwind after a long day and set a nightly routine for yourself. You’ll be refreshed and energized the next day and you’ll thank yourself for it!