This was the hard lesson I had to learn at the start of my trip.
Taking the time to properly listen to your own body is one of the most important natural health self-help tools available. Yet, many of us do not take the time to listen to what our own bodies are trying to tell us.
After flying down to my parents on Christmas Eve I had two fairly sleepless nights there thanks to a really crummy mattress. First thing Boxing Day, a very tired me and my partner flew to Singapore, then Malaysia. Recirculated, dry air from aeroplanes, as you may know, are shocking for health.
When I got to Singapore I was exhausted. Rather than eat and drink sensibly, I ordered two cocktails and ate a sugary dessert (I know I’m naughty on holidays!). By that stage I was feeling very sniffly and mucosy.
We only had two nights in Malaysia so I wanted to make the most of our time. Rather than listen to my body and rest I powered on, bought some cold tablets and spent a massive day sightseeing me jamming in as much as I could. Ordinarily I would avoid taking cold medications, but I hate missing out on holidays being sick.
By the time we arrived in Sri Lanka I was rotten. I spent day two not being able to taste anything due to blocked sinuses and had to give up our planned diving trips because of my state. I was one snotty, cranky mess!
I spent about 5 days in this yucky state before things started to subside. Even by the end of our trip I was still a little sniffly, but mostly recovered.
As I mentioned earlier, if I experienced any hint of an oncoming cold I would smash my body with vitamins in the form of probiotics and fresh foods, then get plenty of rest. But this time because I was so focused on my holiday I ignored all my symptoms and did everything wrong. And I paid for it.
Since changing to a Paleo diet, I rarely get colds anymore (especially now my immune system isn’t permanently under attack) and I’m a lot more aware of how my body responds to triggers.
When you eat & live well you fell well. When something’s wrong, you are almost immediately aware of it.
Your body is very clever. It will send you messages to alert you to a problem. It’s designed to heal itself. If you ignore what your body is telling you, you will pay the price. From colds to more severe sicknesses.
If you wake up tired everyday, ask yourself why. Is it because you aren’t getting enough sleep? Or is it something else?
I was a vegetarian for a couple of years and every day I would complain of being tired. I would knock back a Red Bull and still be tired! (I don’t recommend drinking energy drinks, fyi). It wasn’t until I went back to eating meat that I was suddenly full of energy every day. My body was desperately trying to tell me it was low on iron but I ignored the symptoms and even tried to mask them with artificial stimulants.
Next time you’re body feels a little off, ask yourself why. Take a look at your eating habits, the types of food and frequency of your meals. Are you getting the nutrients you need? Don’t assume you’re getting enough just because your diet is ‘healthy’. Take a look at the amount of exercise you do each day, is it enough or maybe too much. Your body is very clever and with some love, care and attention you’ll soon start to hear what it’s trying to tell you.
As you become aware of and sensitive to your body’s intuitive knowledge, you will be more aware of changing conditions in your body and better able to monitor your health challenges, guide your healthcare, and nurture your wellbeing.
It is vital that everyone becomes aware of what is normal for their own body, so that you can hear your body complaining when something goes wrong. Are you listening to your body? We all have aches and pains, but what is unusual, what is different should motivate every one of us to find out what a strange new feeling, sensation, or whatever, might be all about. Anything that you may be experiencing which feels different to you could be important enough to be worth discussing with a qualified health care practitioner.