We all have needs – physical and emotional. It's part of being human. We're told that it's noble not to acknowledge our needs, but I challenge that this mentality not getting us anywhere useful. For example, our culture acts like you're a white knight if you only "need" 4 hours of sleep. Or the supermom who juggles work, kids, and the house without worrying about her own needs. And the superdad who earns the family's bread and isn't allowed to show fatigue or emotion.
Where are we as a result of this? We're tired, cranky, stressed out, lonely, and utterly disconnected from our bodies. This state of physical and emotional stress leads to inflammation in our bodies, which is correlated with all sorts of health problems. Reconnect with your body by acknowledging and honoring your physical and emotional needs.
Ways to reconnect with physical needs:
- Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are comfortably full.
- Choose foods that are satisfying.
- Take breaks throughout the day.
- Get plenty of sleep (4 hours doesn't count as plenty).
- Include movement – walking, stretching, biking, swimming, whatever floats your boat.
- Get up and go pee the moment you realize you need to go. I know this sounds silly, but how often are you putting it off until you finish another task?
- Periodically check in with your body throughout the day. How are you feeling?
Ways to reconnect with your emotional needs:
- Try journaling, blogging, podcasting (is this a word?), writing music, doing art, or any other way of expressing emotions.
- Routinely ask yourself throughout the day "How am I feeling?" or "What do I need right now?"
- Include some quiet time when possible – no noise or other distractions. Just you and your thoughts.
- Read a book that inspires introspection.
- Talk to a trusted family member or friend about more than just the weather. Open up, be vulnerable, connect. (side note: tweeting your feelings isn't vulnerability).
You deserve to get these needs met – treat yourself like it. It's not selfish, it's self care.
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