Part of me thinks these things are so basic, why write a post about them? We’re all human, we should know this stuff, right?
But another part says, I have done all of these wrong at one time or another, so maybe we all could use the reminder.
You get to decide whether I’m helpful, or if I’m being Captain Obvious.
1. Eat when you’re hungry
The next time you get snappy with someone you love, do a quick hunger check. Is the rage coming from your brain, or from your tummy? At my house, we call that Hanger (hunger + anger). Hanger tends to visit us around 6:30 PM if we haven’t had dinner yet, and she gets VERY snappy with my husband. He has learned to recognize Hanger, and knows to feed me to get her to go away.
2. Drink lots of water
I don’t fully understand the science-y reasons, but doesn’t it make sense that if you want to encourage unwanted junk to leave your body, you’d flush it out with water? I figure it does make sense, so I’ll let my cells and biological whatever-it-is-that-keeps-me-alive do the rest.
3. Go when you gotta
When you realize you need to pee, do you get up and do it right that second? Or do you wait . . . until your break at work? Until dinner is done. Until you finish going through five more emails. (I’m recovering from this). NOBODY WINS when you hang out with a full bladder. Nobody.
4. Move your body
Rather than doing the workout you think you “should”, do something that feels good—a walk, a stretch, a little dance maybe. She likes that.
5. Take deep breaths
There was a time that I wasn’t doing this very often . . . then when I started, I realized how very refreshing it felt just to fill up my lungs with fresh air, all the way, then exhale it all out. Especially if:
- You haven’t taken one in a while
- You feel overwhelmed
- You feel tired or groggy in the head
In, and ahhhh . . . doesn’t that feel good?
6. Get enough sleep
This might be the toughest one on the list, simply because it involves the most time. If you haven’t been getting enough sleep, go to bed earlier, sleep a little later, or take a cat nap.
This is hard to justify when you’re busy, but that’s when it’s the most critical. Think about this when you shirk all your other duties in favor of sleeping: you’ll do your work better and quicker after you’ve had some sleep and you have your wits about you. When you’re overtired, your wits abandon you, and you are left thinking the world is against you and everything is harder than it is.
(Want to know helps me get more sleep? Dry shampoo. For the mornings I sleep in a wee bit late, and need to rush off to work without time for a shower. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.)
7. Mind the temperature
As we all know, it took me a while to learn how to wear temperature-appropriate clothing. But now that I know, let me tell you how much better it feels when your body is not much too hot or much too cold.
If you are hot: pour a cold glass of ice water, remove a layer of clothing (if socially permissible) and maybe try a cold washcloth on the face or back of the neck.
If you are cold: put on thick wool socks/a blanket/more clothes, brew some tea and maybe make some soup for dinner. A heat pack doesn’t hurt either.
8. When you are sad or any kind of down, find a way to get a hug.
I demand a lot of hugs from my husband. If he’s not around, I hug the cats. They are far less willing, but they do it.
If your favorite loved one is not near enough, do the next best thing and call someone who knows how to make you smile.
Whenever I’m sick, I call and talk to my mom. And I will keep doing it, as long as I can. Moms have a knack for nurturing that is hard to match.
9. Be gentle with yourself
Remember how we’re all humans? Yeah. It’s pretty great, but it also means we screw up a lot. Even if you have the perfect day today, something will happen tomorrow that makes all your plans crash and burn. Maybe it was your fault, maybe it wasn’t. It doesn’t really matter.
Imagine you have a loving, kind best friend who picks you up when you fall, who loves you and just wants you to be happy. What would she say to you right now? Say that.
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Your turn! Can you find one simple way to take better care of your body today?
I’m so curious to hear if any of you think of basics that didn’t make it to my list! Are there more obvious things that are SO obvious, that even Captain Obvious didn’t think of them? Leave a note in the comments below.