Hi guys! I am long overdue on a blog post, and the reason I am long overdue is why I decided to write this blog post. So here goes.
I have been tired. Today, not so much. Today I’m feeling good. Alive. Energetic. Yay for today! For the past couple of months, not so much. I had some health stuff come up that caused some fatigue; I’ve been REALLY busy, lots going on, etc., etc. I kept writing it off to that. Tuesday I met with a friend of mine who has offered to do some Neurofeedback with me as a way of paying me for helping her update her website (I love exchanging services. I get to do so much cool stuff!). As we were going through my assessment form and she was reading off the symptoms I had marked “yes” to, I realized I hadn’t been feeling “well” or really myself. Since she has known me for quite a while, she was able to help me pinpoint what was going on with me: Grief. I have experienced some profound loss in the past few years, and it seems I have more processing to do. And grief, my friends, does not just come from a death, but as a result of any kind of loss. The loss of a relationship, the loss of a part of you (maybe it’s a good change, maybe it’s the heart-breaking, earth shattering kind) or the loss of a dream can bring on grief. So, I’ve learned to be gentle with myself. Grief can have physical effects, such as: not wanting to get out of bed (EVER), quick to anger and emotionally reactive, and just general lack of enjoyment of life and energy. Which brings me to the reason for this post.
While I have been thinking about MY lack of energy, over the past few days on social media and amongst my friends and family, I’ve been hearing a lot of people talking about feeling fatigued. It seems to be going on everywhere, and there’s been lots of talk about what’s causing it.
“Do I need…more vitamins?”
“More butter in my coffee?”
You put butter in your coffee?!
“Am I working too hard?”
“Am I not working hard enough?”
IT’S SO HOT.
And on and on and on…
If you can pinpoint the issue and find a solution, my hat is off to you. I suspect mine comes from many things: another layer of grief to process, IT’S HOT, I’m really busy and not taking the time I need to relax and move (notice I did NOT say exercise. I said MOVE.) and possibly my thyroid. Most of these things I can do something about. The heat I cannot. But I can limit my exposure to it!
So what I’m saying is, first and foremost:
HONOR YOURSELF. Take a nap if you can. Let your body guide you with what it needs. If you find yourself fatigued day in and day out, even with multiple naps, you may want to look deeper. Nutrition, illness, and emotional trauma or stress can cause consistent fatigue. When I work with people, honoring their symptoms is one of the first things I teach them. We have become so trained in our do everything the BEST and the FASTEST and the HARDEST society, to ignore our bodies signals of tired, and hurting, and sore and PUSH PAST IT that we have forgotten how to honor those indicators. We have them for a reason. Yes it means you may need to slow down. Yes it means you may say no to a dinner invitation or a girls night, but saying yes to self care is always your best bet. And when you turn off your body’s fire alarms enough, you eventually have a fire raging that you don’t catch until it’s too late.
So I mentioned movement. Ahhhhh…movement. When I’m stressed and busy and HOT and tired, it’s the last thing I think of. It is however, the most important. Better than a cup of coffee, a good calf stretch will restore circulation that I so desperately need if I’ve been sitting too long, and a quick walk around the block (or office) will brighten my mood instantly. Below I demonstrate a calf stretch I do every day as a part of my daily movement nutrition. Our bodies don’t just need food nutrition, they need MOVEMENT NUTRITION. How do you think our bodies make use of Vitamin C? We have to move. It’s imperative. Enjoy!
First, get the outside edges of your feet straight. Then make sure your feet are pelvis width apart. So, find your hip bones, and then pretend (or if you have one, use it) you have a laser pointer pointing down from your hip bones. It should cut your leg in half all the way down to your ankle.
Next, get a rolled up yoga mat, pillow, or a foam half round (pictured here) and keeping your feet straight and pelvis width apart, put the ball of one foot up on the apex of the dome (or yoga mat, or pillow) and let your heel rest on the floor. Step forward with your other foot. This should be a gentle lengthening of the calf muscle, not an intense stretch in the leg on the half round. Did your upper body pitch forward? Do you feel an intense stretch? Let the flat foot come back until it’s a gentle stretch and you’re not pitching forward anymore. Make sure your hips are pointing straight ahead (sometimes if your muscles are tight one side of the pelvis will jut forward) and hold for a minute. Repeat on the other side.
There you go! Do this 2-3 times a day on each side, and especially when you’ve been sitting for a while or feeling fatigued. Then go for a walk. 🙂
Want your own, unique, individualized movement program? Contact me. I’ll hook you up and help YOU find optimal health. It’s what I do. Literally.