28 February, 2013

Mindfull-ness

I used to think I was quite mindful about a lot of things in my life, but now I realise it was more a case of mind full. My mind was full of too many things. Places to go, things to do, people to see, outfits to wear, upcoming events, blog posts – everything! It was just a swirling sea of information, but I thought I was keeping track of all the important stuff and doing a good job of it too.

What I didn’t realise was that I wasn’t being mindful, of myself and my mind and my body and what they all needed. Since exercising more, eating cleaner and generally taking better care of myself, I have become more mindful about my health, both mental and physical. I have become more mindful about my needs and now I’m really taking notice.

It’s important to listen to your body. It tells you important things. Truth be told I’ve known this all along, but I think I was ignoring it. Naughty girl. These days I’m listening to the needs of my body and I’m feeling SO much better for it. When my body tells me I’m hungry, I eat. When my body tells me it’s full, I stop. When my body tells me it’s tired, I go to bed earlier. When my body tells me it feels ick, I start eating clean.

My body is now feeling the best it’s felt in years! All this clean eating, care and exercise also has my mind feeling far more ordered and restful, instead of the constant chatter of unimportant things. I’m more focused and more in control of all aspects of my life. I don’t push myself as much as I used to and I certainly don’t beat myself up for it like I used to either.

Earlier in the week, I had plans that, by the end of the day, I just did not feel like doing. I felt tired, physically exhausted, sore from my work out and all I really wanted to do was go home and relax, preferably in bed. I thought about the plans I had made, and if cancelling them would make me feel guilty. Slightly, but only slightly. I knew if I stuck to the plans, there’s no way I would exercise that day, opting for a little rest when I got home before I had to head out again. There was no way I wasn’t going to exercise, so I cancelled the plans, went home and did my work out then fell into bed to rest.

Sure, it was a bit of a challenge to get my bum into gear at first, but once the exercise was done, it was all over with and I had the rest of the night to just rest and relax. Not to mention, I felt great for exercising even though I didn’t feel like it. It’s important to listen to what your body is telling you, what it needs. I never used to, but now that I am I understand why I used to feel so icky, run down, tired, exhausted and emotional a lot of the time. When you’re pushing yourself to the limit all the time and ignoring your own needs, what else can you expect?

Think about whether you would expect someone else to be able to do everything you try to push yourself to do? Would you look down on them if they couldn’t do it all? Or would you understand that there are only so many hours in the day and that looking after yourself is important? We all want to be the best partners/parents/friends/employees we can be, but that starts with taking care of yourself and making sure that when you are fulfilling those roles, you’re at your optimum. And you can only be at your optimum by taking care of yourself in every way.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. There is always tomorrow.

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