With the winter holidays behind us, it is time to get back into our routines. The transition back into routine takes some effort, which makes now a particularly important time to nurture ourselves. It is a challenge to prioritize ourselves when there is so much to do and so many depending on us. But when we are kind to ourselves, we have more health and vitality to share with those that are depending on us.
Staying in harmony with our bodies’ messages is a wonderful way to nurture ourselves during the transition back into routine. Here are a couple of ways we can do that:
1) Honor our emotions
2) Be conscious of the way we are fueling our bodies
Honoring our Emotions
For some of us, emotions are relegated to something to be controlled or ignored. But another interpretation of emotions is to consider them messages from our bodies; and if we listen, they give us signals about what we need.
Acknowledging our emotions does not need to translate into acting upon them. Rather, they can be used as a tool to check in with ourselves and listen. Try not to categorize emotions into acceptable and not acceptable or good and bad. Instead, try to be a detective of your own feelings. Work to decode the messages our bodies are sending us via our emotions. As you travel on this inner journey, remember to lean on books, friends, therapists, or rabbis because honoring your feelings and emotions can be healthy.
Fueling our bodies well
If you find yourself eating more than you typically do—stop and ask yourself if you are eating because you are hungry. If not, ask yourself why you are eating. Sometimes over the winter holidays, we fall into the habit of not listening to our bodies. So what now? Here are some tips to get us back into the swing of fueling our bodies well:
Tip #1: Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is important throughout the year, but we sometimes decrease our fluid intake in the winter without even realizing. Our bodies still need water, even in the cold weather. Try to keep up with your water consumption even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Tip #2: Be conscious of your food choices
Rather than putting fork to mouth (or hand to cookie to mouth), pause a moment prior to eating. Ask yourself if your choices are fueling your body well. When we make the decision consciously, we are more likely to be kind to our bodies.
Tip #3: Get enough sleep to allow the body to do its job
Sleep is a time for our bodies to refresh and repair. The tendency for most of us is to try to get that “one more thing” finished each day; but if we don’t listen to our bodies’ quiet whisper that it needs a full night sleep, it may choose to shout the message in the form of a cold.
As you transition back into routine, use the wisdom of your own body as a tool to support you.
Note: If this article seems familiar, it is. I originally posted this last year. But I re-read it myself as I transitioned back to routine this January, so I thought others may wish to re-read as well. Wishing you a smooth transition back to routine.