Listening to Your Body and Giving it What it Needs

It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking you're not doing enough. A lot of us tend to follow influencers on various social media platforms that, although it may not be intentional, make us feel like there is more to accomplish in everyday life. Sometimes it seems like we aren't fulfilling our fitness goals to their fullest potential or that we should be further in our career paths. Regardless of what that feeling is, the best thing you can do for yourself is take a step back and listen to your body's personal needs.


Say you are someone who is an avid runner, although consistency in your routine is essential for success, there will be days that your body will tell you not to put on your sneakers. It is likely that this sign is not coming from a place of laziness, rather you just need the rest. Give your body the break that it needs without guilting yourself. In the grand scheme of things one day off won’t hurt you, but if you continue to over do it other factors like your mental health are going to be what takes the hit.


The same thing goes for school work or success in our jobs. Especially during the middle of the semester, it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning in exams or just not performing to our highest capacities. No test score is ever going to be worth more than your sanity. In a world where people are consistently broadcasting their victories online, it can trap us into believing what we are doing with our own lives isn’t “enough.” Many people, often women, suffer from impostor syndrome. Whether you are a perfectionist or not, this is the belief that although you continue to gain skill by reaching your goals, you feel a deep sense of failure within or self-doubt even when 100% was put into it. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and support your capabilities. 

Art class Photo by Bundo Kim on Unsplash

The examples are endless, but it all comes down to listening to your body without criticizing yourself in an unfair manner. There are a few tactics to add to your routine that will help you overcome this mental lag. The first and most basic thing you must do is connect your body to your mind. Start speaking to yourself with words of affirmation to ensure your sense of self-respect. This does not mean you are instantly going to become enlightened, but telling your body to turn negativity into thoughts of gratitude will do much good. Another simple step is to simply ask yourself what you need, your body will always have an answer. 


Whether it’s sleep or exercise, a nourishing or indulgent snack, or just reaching out for help, there is never a right or wrong answer. Anything is okay in moderation, so you shouldn’t hold yourself accountable for wanting an off day. Listening to your needs is a form of healing. Everyone has a different way of doing so. So, if you feel belittled by the people you are following on Instagram, know that it is so easy to portray a life of constant achievement and by taking a step back you are doing your body and mind a huge favor. 


Slowing down our routines and rituals is essential for personal growth. Recognizing our needs is necessary to avoiding a potential burnout.