It’s Friday–we made it through the week!
I’m sorry this post is coming to you a bit later than originally planned. One of my favorite Boston bloggers, Jana Ross of Bananas for Balance, once told me that you should never feel pressured to put out a post, but rather to write when you’re ready, when you feel like it. Well, this morning I was not feeling it and was not ready to put out a message to you all. Let me explain…
This morning, I was planning on running hills with November Project at 6:30am–I was so excited to be surrounded by some of the greatest people I know on such a significant day: One Boston Day, a day of remembrance for those killed, wounded, and the families/friends affected by the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 and a day of celebration for the resiliency, courage, and strength that the community demonstrated. Although I wish city officials would promote making a difference every day, just as I wish the members of the community would volunteer and go out of their way to perform acts of kindness every day, I still very much appreciate the notion of communities coming together and finding common ground through difficult times.
Anyways, I set my alarm and woke up at 5:50am and rolled over knowing that I had ten more peaceful minutes of rest in my cozy bed before my next alarm would go off at 6am and then I would up and getting dressed in my neon best to run miles and miles of hills to reflect on the day. Instead, I woke up at 7:05am and immediately mumbled an explicit word, knowing that I had slept through my alarm and missed a perfectly planned out opportunity. I laid there for a bit thinking about my next move: I could get up and go for a solo run–it would be just as reflective as my original running plan OR I could just stay in bed and accept defeat. At that point, I honestly wasn’t feeling it so I rolled back over and opted for more sleep.
Throughout my work day, the choice I made to stay in bed and get some extra sleep stuck with me. Why did I chose that? Did I need the extra sleep? Was I just mad or cranky about something? Was I disappointed in myself? The questions continued to stream in my head and it bugged me all day. The answer came to me finally by the end of day: wellness. This morning, my body was telling me something–you work yourself too hard, you need some sleep. This morning, I needed a little time for me. And, without fully realizing it, I took the proper steps towards wellness.
I don’t know about you all, but I personally like to keep busy. I work full time, I’ve been in grad school (two different programs) for the last four years spending twice a week until late at night in classes, I enjoy working out, I love keeping up with my family and friends’ lives all around the world, and am always striving for new goals…doing whatever I can to try to better myself and the world around me, in any way. But, the older I get, the more I realize that my body and mind are not invincible and that burnouts are real. Very rarely do I just stop and ask my body what it needs…instead I just do.
And that’s when I felt like I was finally ready to write to you: to encourage you to support your wellness, where you can, when you can. Here’s what I decided to do: slip off my flats during work, break out a tennis ball, and roll my feet under the desk…it’s like a mini massage for a fraction of the cost! You can stand and roll the ball the length of your foot, from heal to toe for a few minutes or keep it stable under your arch for some pointed pressured or, if you’re trying to be a bit more incognito at work, you can do so while sitting in your chair.
The tennis ball technique is so simple, it’s cost effective (you can get a pack of 3 tennis balls for under $3), it’s easy to pack and bring along with you wherever you go (keep it in the car, throw it in your bag, leave it in your desk drawer, etc.), yet the results are amazing: you’ll get to work the deepest muscles and tissues and allow your feet to properly stretch and recover. We’re on our feet so much throughout the day so why not show them that you’re grateful for them carrying you around all day and bringing you amazing places by kneading out their aches and pains with this little wellness hack?!
The best part? You don’t just have to stop with your feet, the tennis ball technique can be used to fight aches and pains in other parts of your body, too as outlined in this Prevention article by a well-known yoga instructor.
This is just one example of something you can do to promote more wellness in your every day life and give some much deserved love and attention to an important part of your body that gives you so much each day. By all means, if there is a different technique that works for you then go for it–this was just something that worked well for me. I’m sure that if you stop to clear your mind and listen to your body every now and then, you’ll find something is calling for your attention.
That being said…in the meantime, take my advice: make some time this weekend for some quite reflection–it could be as you climb into bed and wind down at the end of the night, it could be as you stir and wake in the morning before you even look at your phone (and all of your messages and e-mails), or even as you escape life’s responsibilities for a 10-15 minutes to take a quick stroll around the neighborhood. During this time think about what you could to take better care of yourself–it doesn’t have to be a major life change, just something that you can mindfully do one day at a time. After no time at all you’ll see these little changes will soon turn into healthy habits and your life will be better off because of it.
Here are some ideas to ruminate on in case you’re having trouble starting your reflection: drink more water, stretch when you first wake up, practice deep breathing and meditation before bed, indulge in less screen time (no phone/computer/TV/etc.) before bed or when you wake up, set some time aside each night to cook a healthy meal with family and friends instead of eating out…the list can go on! I’m excited to hear what you’re planning on doing that’s just for you and your wellness; please feel free to comment below and share your reflections.
Looking forward to chatting more on Sunday about another healthy snack!