This week has been a surreal one. For the first part of the week I was feeling on top of the world, I could achieve anything. But in truth that was just camouflage. In my buoyancy, I was not truthfully listening to my body and brain’s signals. Overly multitasking, suppressing the fear of my coming exam (on a subject I started last week and in foreign no less). The signals were there. Not wanting to see people, snappy and reacting not responding and then a night’s sleep where I kept waking up and thinking about the essay I needed to write for the exam. Needless to say my body had to go to the extreme and last night I totally broke down.
Pounding headache, crying and feeling very small. I decided to drop my training and go home. Even then I was thinking “I can use this evening to write the essay”. No. Luckily my body won and I spent the evening under a duvet watching a feel good film, eating comforting food and falling to sleep straight away. Now 9 and half hours sleep later I feel somewhat better.
The pressure is still there but less overwhelming and daunting.
So what happened? I simply forgot to check in internally. Checking in with our body is really important. We either need to listen to it’s signals before it goes into crisis or allow ourselves to surrender when we go into crisis. I know that sounds strange however crisis can often be the bodies way of physically releasing stress, so let it do that, you will feel better.
Surrendering is not easy. I know. I am a constantly on the go person. I use every minute of my day as effectively as possibly . (Even now I am on my way to uni and I am writing this.) But when you need to slow down there are a few things you can do to make it feel better and get yourself and your energy levels back up again.
Cut out anything that doesn’t relate to your survival needs.
In Maslow’s triangle of need the bottom rung of our basic needs (our lizard needs if you like) are food, sleep, toilet, homeostasis, water and sex. If it doesn’t fall into this category then don’t do it.
Check in with your body
In order to listen to your body you need to check in first. A great way of doing this is to put three fingers on your breast bone, press down slightly and breath deeply into your finger. Feel the bits of your body in discord and ask yourself what is blocking my happiness right now? What does my body need. If you know the cause it’s easier to find the answer.
Listen to what your body wants to do
If your body wants to sleep, sleep. Whatever it wants to eat, eat. When we check in with our bodies it tells us what it needs. Mine needed fat, protein and salt so that’s what it got. Not the usual healthy advice but it works. For a short time.
Coffee, wine (insert alcohol of choice and tea are out the window. Drink water (or squash). Keep hydrated so your brain so it stays fresher and is able to work at it’s optimal level.
However you can rest. To quote desiderata “ many fears are born of fatigue” Give your body and soul a chance to recover.
Okay so you may have deadlines, people to keep in contact with but if this is taking energy from you when you are already stretched to the max, then it’s a no go. You might feel guilty about taking this time for you. Don’t. You need it and will be able to give your best if you take time out. It’s okay to surrender.
Ask for help
Tell people close to you what is going on and ask for help, physical or advice. It might be can you take cooking the dinner for the next few days or what do you think is stressing me. People who love us like to help and we know we will also do the same for them if they need it.
Come out of surrender slowly
Don’t expect to rest one day and then be 100% optimal the next. Surrendering to your needs, your stress factors and recovering takes time. At the same time don’t wallow. Staying bed for a week sounds great sometimes but it can be your brain taking over rather than your body. Check in with your body each day and work out what you can do, what is important to do and slowly recover to your normal state. It’s better to take it slow than to create an even bigger issue.
Surrendering when we need to and checking in brings us closer to understanding our mechanical body needs. Surrendering is actually making a conscious choice and living life mindfully.
Have a lovely weekend and please rest if you need to <3
P. If you need me this weekend I’ll be in a pillow fort, eating pancakes covered in duvets, watching films with Mr T!