Self Care: Connect With Your Body
Our most important home is the body we live in. Even so, we may often find ourselves completely ignoring, harshly critiquing, and even voluntarily abusing it. These are tough habits to break, especially when the world around us isn’t always nurturing and supportive.
If this resonates with you, read on for small ways you can reconnect with your body and sense of Self.
Rituals are all about simple, mindful, daily practices to help you experience stillness and joy in your life. They don’t involve screens, so be ready to put your phone away. It’s about getting back to basics: just you and yourself.
It could be as simple as putting on a song that makes you smile, pouring a cup of tea, and sitting down to savour the sounds, smells and tastes. Or perhaps your ritual could be rolling out a mat and stretching your body before work. Whatever you choose, treat it as a special point in time to really feel Life out.
Moments of gratitude
Think of how much you have put your body through: overwork, stress, unhealthy food, drinking, critical thoughts, and so on. And yet, even with all these stressors over the years, your body has kept you alive and just keeps on going. That deserves loving thoughts and appreciation! Make sure to find moments to thank your body for its massive efforts and continued support. As soon as you wake up is a great time to set the tone for the day.
Body scanning practice
This is perhaps the most direct and easiest way to connect with your physical body. You can do it sitting up or lying down, in the office, on a bus, or in bed before falling asleep. Simply start at your head, bringing your attention to the different parts of your face, then continue moving down one side of the body and then the other. Pause on each body part for a moment and try to sense any sensations they hold.
When you’ve finished, see if you can bring your attention to your whole body at once. You may find a new, deep sense of relaxation and appreciation for yourself.
It’s easy to go about our days without paying real attention to what our body tells us--or frankly, misinterpreting the signs! So listen to what your body needs in the way of nourishment and rest.
Feeling hungry? What do you think your body really needs at the moment: a greasy, bloating burger and chips? Or maybe a wholefoods meal full of nutrients and fibre? (Don’t worry, we know occasional treats are A-Ok!)
Feeling tired? You can opt out of that next episode on Netflix and get to bed just that bit earlier.
Your body is always communicating with you, and with practice, you can become an expert at listening.
Connect through movement
Just as you might find connection in stillness, physical activity is another tool that can help you better understand and appreciate your body. You may like to dance around to your favourite music, do some body-weight exercises or go for a walk--no matter your flavour, enjoy the gift of movement!
Connecting with our physical bodies is certainly underrated. But it’s a practice we can easily pick up in small ways every day. The more connected we are to ourselves, the more easily we can cultivate self love and respect.