On beautiful days, I always want to take advantage of the weather. Over the years, I’ve noticed what a major impact the weather outside has on me, so when it’s nice I figure I should most definitely go out and enjoy that niceness. However, I’m not always in the mood to be outside and I feel a sense of guilt if I don’t get my ass outdoors.
So what do I do? I feel torn between (1) what I think I should do and know makes me happy, and (2) what I want to do in the moment.
But instead of feeling anxious and torn and guilty, I take a breath. I close my eyes, put my feet on the ground, and listen. First I listen to the sound of my breath – in and out, in and out. This allows my thoughts to calm and gives my mind a break in all the crazy, streaming thoughts. I listen to my body and really hear what it’s trying to tell me it needs. Do I need some me time? Do I need sleep? Do I need to fuel and nourish my body to give myself energy for the day? Or perhaps comfort it with some not-so-healthy, but oh-so-yummy foods? Do I need to read or create or zone out with some TV?
I just listen to what my body has to say, and then give myself permission to fully accept the answer. Sometimes I need yoga and a yogurt. Other times I need tea, Criminal Minds, and some time in bed. Sometimes what you need isn’t what’s deemed as “healthy,” but I fully believe in balance.
That being said, there’s a difference between what I want and what I need. Sometimes I think I need tea and yoga, but want chocolate and TV. It’s at these times when I know I need to listen to my body most, what is it truly saying? Maybe my brain is still vying for control and attention by telling me “it’s wrong to eat chocolate and watch TV in bed all day,” so my brain says “tea is the healthy option and tends to make you feel good, and yoga is good for the body! So do it! Do what you’re supposed to do!”
But I listen to my body and think back on previous days and give myself permission to need whatever I need, whether that’s deemed good or bad, because there really is no such thing as good or bad, but that’s a story for another time.
Maybe my body is exhausted from working 50 hours and constantly being “on.” If that’s the case, I let myself be. I give myself chocolate and a day in bed, because that’s truly what my body needs. Other times, I’m just being lazy and don’t want to do yoga, but know it’s what I need. My body always knows what I need.
When was the last time you listened to your body without judgement? How did it feel to allow yourself to fully enjoy whatever you needed, sans scrutiny? If you’ve yet to do so, try it out. Let me know how it went in the comments below.