Isn’t it funny how we neglect our bodies in winter and then come the first hot day of summer, with the mandatory accompanying shorts and sleeveless shirt, we want to kick ourselves for not keeping up our summer body maintenance during the cold months? Yeah, I had that this week. Peeling off layers and socks and shoes to expose unkept
claws toenails, lily white legs and dry elbows is the first step in the summer-body wake up. Luckily, I’m not one for putting on weight in winter (I maintain that simply shivering in the freezing cold Midlands conditions keeps me fit) but man, I can neglect my body badly. But still she continues to keep moving, breathing and getting me from A to Z every day. Well enough. It’s time to say thank you and spoil the crap out of this wondrous vessel to my spirit. Here’s what I’m doing to say thank you to my beautiful body:
A full body massage and reiki session. Nothing like getting the circulation going and putting all those chakras back in balance. I cannot recommend a re-booting session with Colleen at Midlands House of Healing highly enough. I feel revitalised, inspired, and energised to be the best version of myself after every treatment with my earth angel. I wish I could see her once a week.
A glass of warm water with lemon, followed by a raw juice to start off your morning. I swear by beetroot, carrot, apple, celery and ginger juice. Great for the digestive system and packing in some vitamins before a morsel of food even touches your lips.
Yoga stretches first thing when you wake up. There’s a reason animals stretch as soon as their eyes open – your muscles need to wake up and realign to enable optimum movement and minimum stiffness/pain during the day. If I’m short on time, I’ll start with a mountain pose, straight into downward dog (the best and most effective of all poses, in my humble opinion), followed by cat cow pose and then child pose to end. If I have the time, I love to do Mandy Ingber’s 20 minute Yogalosophy workout.
Get outside. Whether you’re running, cycling or just going for a walk, breathe the fresh air in deep. Be conscious and aware, present in the moment, with every inhale and exhale of the lungs. Play. Skip with your dogs. Pets are the most amazing way to relearn the joy of every waking moment and having a body that can run and move and swim. Yesterday, my German Shepherd, Millie dived into the dam (no stick thrown, just off her own accord) and swam the whole length of said dam (a good 500m at least), just because she could. Talk about making use of your limbs and energy. Let your inner child take over your body for a little while and climb a tree or play jump rope. If you battle to do this, babysit a six year old. Listen to your body the same way as you did as a kid.
Get some sun. Let it soak into your skin – even if you just sit on a park bench in the sunshine for fifteen minutes a day. That Vitamin D is the good shizz and super great for combatting those depression demons.
Salt baths every day. I love a good soak in the evening – this is where I do my reading and dreaming and immerse myself in other worlds and people’s lives for at least a good twenty minutes every night. Nothing like a little escape from the stresses of a long day to get you into relaxation mode and ready for bed.
Shave those legs. Cut/file those nails. Push back those cuticles. Put on a face mask. Moisturise every inch of your lovely skin. Paint your nails. I’m into pale pink at the moment. Pamper your body like it’s the last day you’ll ever have use of it.
Let your hair dry naturally. I let mine go wild today. I might cut it when it gets really hot, but for now I’m rather enjoying my lion mane.
Lay off the booze. This is a tough one for me with my lifestyle, but tonight at dinner I limited myself to one wine spritzer and lots of water. Can’t wait to wake up tomorrow feeling fresh and ready for the day. My body doesn’t like alcohol. I get lazy and uninspired on it, my skin breaks out and let’s not even talk about the cellulite that crops out of nowhere after a heavy weekend binge. If you are going to drink, remember to supplement a glass of water with every beverage. You’ll drink slower and dilute the alcohol in your system. If you are considering a little hiatus from the bottle, read this and then give it a go. You won’t regret it. There is NOTHING wrong with a little discipline now and then. Especially when it comes to your body. It’s the only one you have.
Go to bed early. Try not to look at your laptop, iPad or any other bright screens for an hour before bed. Read a book until your eyelids go sleepy. I also like to give thanks in the evening. I’m not religious, but I take stock of the day and acknowledge my good fortune, health, marriage, job, friends and family before catching the train to dreamland. If you are thankful for everything you do have, it’s hard to be unhappy – gratitude is the door to abundance. And a happy mind makes for a happy body.
Eat chocolate. The dark stuff is good for you. Your tastebuds dig it and so does your body. You know it’s true. Illustration by Beth White – source