We live a more complicated life than we ever have before.
When in the history of our lives did we ever spend $5 or more on a gallon of gas, $8 for a loaf of organic bread, or upwards of 40% for many of us to live here in Boulder County?
How about NEVER!
Remember the 80’s and 90’s when we were not so connected to your cell phones? I bet you had more free time!
I hate to say but there is no amount of massage, exercise, stretching or diet that will unwind you if your nervous system is out of balance. The Nervous System reins over all of your skeletal muscles. Without a properly functioning nervous system, you muscles will never fully function optimally.
From every perspective – spiritual, emotional or physical, like it or not, we are connected as human beings. What happens to others around us and our society at large impacts us, whether we are keeping up on current events and noticing the impact or not. It’s a crazy time with inflation, war and polarized politics. Therefore, now more than ever a change in your self-care routine is paramount. What worked in the past may not anymore. This isn’t a personal shortcoming, this is a call to evolve with the times!
You actually DO HAVE TIME, little bits of time every day. The time it takes to brush
your teeth, comb your hair, grab your socks from the sock drawer, etc. these activities we often take for granted and do on autopilot. In reality this is actually precious time and a great opportunity to add a few more mindful moments to help you feel connected. When you are connected to your Nervous System, stress hormones decrease, love hormones increase.
It also seems that in our 20’s we had more bandwidth than in our 40’s and 50’s. Recoveries were easier and we were more apt to push through pain, or stay up all night, no problem. Eventually our bodies experience wear and tear and we start exploring strange symptoms like “my shoulders never hurt before,” or recognizing that now we might have headaches or are dealing with insomnia. We begin waking up to a nuance in our system like “I’ve always been able to lose weight whenever I’ve wanted to but now those five or ten pounds are sticking to me and I can’t seem to get them off.”
Truthfully you have to evaluate the new stressors in your life in a really introspective way, because stress will always be a Wild Card and that means your Nervous System can’t tell the difference between a virtual stress and a real stress. If your nervous system is perceiving a fire in the kitchen, when there’s no fire in the kitchen, your physiological body is going to compensate. There’s no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. When you start feeling fight or flight, whether it’s true or not, your body’s going to begin to compensate.
Here are some easy tips to help yourself – a little will go a long way. I promise.
- Send a daily text to the people you love.
- If you’re use to going to the gym once a week, try for twice a week.
- Turn your phone off and keep it downstairs at 7pm or right before dinner with your family. Lightening will not strike you down for daring to return that text or email during business hours the next day!
- If you don’t have an hour to go to a yoga class try spending five minutes sitting on your floor stretching and taking deep breaths.
- Schedule a phone call with someone you love who you rarely get to see, better yet, have that phone call using your headset so you can stretch at the same time. Stretching begins the relaxation response, whether it is 5, 10, or 20 minutes. You WILL notice a difference.
- Meditate daily
- Breathe, 3 deep breaths when you feel stress coming on
- Recognize that life is just a series of 10 second moments
- Schedule regular visits with your favorite body worker (monthly)
- Make Self-Care a priority
- Do nothing for an hour a day
- Hug a pet
You can always make five minutes of mindful micro proactive additions, which will absolutely affect positive change! Your Nervous System will relax and in turn, so will your muscular system, where you often experience your pain. These changes might be gradual, but they will become permanent with time.
Watch yourself succeed in the small ways before biting off more. Allow your Nervous System to get acquainted with the new action. After only a few repetitions it will seem normal and routine. This is a loving way to make permanent change in these crazy times. Mastery is in the small things. Mastery over your Nervous System is possible, despite our circumstances! The path of least resistance is often the sweetest, most loving path.
You can do it! 2024 is the year to make this difference, your healing journey will thank you.