A few ideas to explore for when you are feeling lost around your health or simply want to add some nourishment.
1. Choose pleasure
Okay – we are starting here. Any of you who know me in real life or have followed anything I have put into the social media void, know that pleasure is the foundational concept in my life. Any time you are stuck, overwhelmed, devastated, sick, etc. can you come back to what would feel nice right now?
It doesn’t have to be instagramable or even make sense to others. It most definitely doesn’t have to be a face mask or be cute. Maybe it is laying on the floor listening to heart wrenching music. Maybe it is screaming in your car or a field. Maybe it is wrapping yourself in a soft blanket with a hot water bottle. It really doesn’t matter how it looks – what would truly feel nice, comforting, pleasurable?
2. Invite joyful movement
Somewhere along the way we became obsessed with exercise and forgot all about the infinite number of ways we can just move.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, movement has a strong connection with the wood element and the emotion we are experiencing with movement matters. If we move in a way that is intended to punish ourselves, we truly don’t receive all the benefits we could be (and in my not particularly humble opinion it can lead to higher risk of injury).
In contrast, if we move in ways that feel delicious to us, enjoying where we are right now and listening to our bodies the list of benefits is incredible.
3. Rest without guilt
This one is huge for many of us. We have been so taught that our worth is tied to our productivity that most of us stopped asking what we were being productive for.
Rest is essential – for all things in nature it is essential. No part of it makes us less worthy or guilty of something terrible.
If this one is especially hard for you, I really encourage you to move gently and start small. Can you take a 30 minute break to just do what feels restful for you? Can you extend that when you are ready to a couple of hours – and so forth.
I love Arianna Huffington’s succinct way of framing this. If there was a pill that had as many amazing benefits as sleep and rest give us, we would all pay a fortune for it.
4. Take one tiny step
A lot of taking care of ourselves is overwhelming. It can be so important to come back to simply what is possible. What is the next tiny action that is accessible? What could you actually do? Can you trust that if try that one small thing, that the next one would eventually show up?
5. Ask for help
We were actually never intended to live as islands, completely self sufficient. I don’t know about you, but I am so tired of pretending I have it all figured out and that I am so strong I don’t need anyone else. This hasn’t ever brought me peace or happiness. Connecting with others and actually receiving has truly changed my life.
6. Listen to body cravings
I can’t really stress this one enough. When you are lost, can you ask your body what sounds good? Maybe there isn’t an answer, but can you gently ask again the next time – and slowly, quietly can you start to discern the answer?
7. Eat intuitively
I have radical trust in the body and the wisdom it has and I truly believe that there is no one right way to eat – each of us has radically different needs. What happens if you start to dance with your body’s knowledge of how you could eat.
8. Use ritual
Can you invite the sacred into the everyday? Can you infuse your background, spirituality, believes, awe into the everyday activities of drinking coffee, brushing your teeth, going for a walk, going to sleep?