Really Listening To Yourself

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I’ve had a tough few days. Actually, I think I’ve had a tough few weeks. I’ve been getting up later, wearing less make up and only really leaving the flat to either go for a morning run, or to hunt down some coffee or lunch.

At first, I gave myself a bit of a hard time over my sudden hermit-like-state. But you’re in New York! You need to be making the most of life! But then I remembered why I’m here, and why I needed to be here – to rebuild myself. And a big part of that is really listening to what my mind and body needs right now.

It’s a lesson I learnt a few years ago – when times are a bit tough, always listen to yourself. I don’t mean listening to your own advice (that would be shit because mine sucks), but really getting in-tune with what your body is telling you. Understanding and accepting how you’re feeling and what emotions are flowing through your veins.

For example, when it comes to listening to my body – I know my limits, and I know when and when not to push them. I know I have a dodgy ankle (all thanks to Lady Marmalade – a story for another time). I know that I can run 5k before the pain sets in and I end up waddling home in a limp, regardless of how much I’ve stretched it or wrapped it up. For me, every run is a blessing, given that 14 years ago I was in a wheelchair for 12 months of my life.

But since moving here, I haven’t run. So, when I started back this week I listened to how my body was feeling and instead of pushing for those 5k runs again, I settled for 3 and took it slow.

When it comes to my mind, I have the same mentality. When I’ve had a tough few weeks, I really try to take a step back and look at what I’m feeling. I stay present and accept that what I’m feeling is absolutely fine to feel. It’s just an emotion. Over the years, this way of thinking has allowed me to heal and rebuild.

If my ankle hurts – I simply don’t push it to the point it breaks. If I’m feeling a bit emotionally shit, I don’t force myself to go somewhere or do something I don’t want to go or do. And that’s absolutely fine.

If your mind is telling you it doesn’t want to go exploring today, it’s okay. Don’t be hard on yourself. Instead go for a walk or take a hot bath/shower (hydrotherapy is great for lifting moods) – even when I’m feeling at my lowest, I always try to get up and go out.

The important thing is to be kind to yourself – don’t shut yourself away, just take it easy and listen to what your mind and body is telling you.