Give Your Body a Vacation

April 11, 2011

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how lovely it would feel to go on vacation. A long vacation. A vacation that looked like this: Marzipan, her sweetheart, her computer, a couple of magazines, cup of coffee, and beach, for approximately 30 days. But we’ll just file that away under Things You Dream About 24/7 in Grad School.

However, the other day when I was returning from my run, as I was fantasizing about my dream vacation, I got to thinking:

What would a vacation for your body look like?

Confused? Bear with me.

Vegetables Stand

image by prayitno

For example: how often do you spend a week just doing the things that make your body feel top notch? Do you even know what makes you feel best? How much you need to sleep? Whether or not you experience adverse reactions to coffee? What type of exercise feels makes you feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders? How much water is enough water, per day?

If you’re anything like me, you have the best of intentions. Meaning, you make a concerted effort to make good choices for your body, but at the end of the day, you’re kind of a busy girl, and you will always resort back to a Venti coffee and taping your eye-lids open to get your assignment done.

Part of  becoming an adult is bearing the responsibility of treating your body with the love and tenderness that it treats you with. Think about it – your body gets up, rips itself out of the comfort of your bed whenever you command it to, it runs around all day on artificial energy often without proper hydration, it heals itself up when you’ve gone out to relax and drank too many dark and stormys.

Your body is there for you, day in and day out, no matter how much love or respect you show it in return.

This week, instead of just forcing my body around in the world, trying to get things done, I am going to try and pay more attention to what my body needs from moment to moment. Some things are unavoidable. I mean, likely, you need to go to work, or get up with and take care of your kids, but some things can be forgone in favor of better body-loving habits.

Wanna give your body a vacation? Try these tactics on for size:

  1. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Drink a huge glass in the morning before you do anything else. I like to hold a cup of coffee in front of me like a carrot, and vow to myself that I will drink AT LEAST 16 oz. of water before I take one sip of it.
  2. Stretch. Everyday. Get up from your desk while you’re working and rotate your neck, bend over, stretch out your legs and your hips. Do a sun salutation when you first wake up. Make a habit of stretching for ten minutes before you go to bed.
  3. Take a break from drinking.::radiosilence:: Just a little one! A week? Two weeks? Give your liver a hot second to heal up. Drink some detoxifying veggie juice. Drink water. Just take a little break from the sauce.
  4. Eat some real food. Remember fruits and veggies? They love you! Eat them up! Put down the processed foods. With a little preparation, incorporating real food into your diet takes no extra time whatsoever.
  5. Quit smoking. Yikes! I know, I know. This little habit can be lovely, but it is one that really strains your body/immune system/bank account! Ugh, and it’s pretty gross too, there is that argument, but I’m going to stick with hard on your lungs/heart/WRINKLES.
  6. Pick up a new challenge. Spring is an excellent time to pfick up something new – like running out doors for example. It feels awesome, and it allows you a small portion of everyday to wonder at the beauty of newly emerging life.
  7. Sweat your ass off. Nothing makes me feel better than getting really, really sweaty. I love detoxing in this way, and it feels so good to have a little soreness in your limbs. I love few things more than getting extremely sweaty and then taking a well deserved shower.
  8. Take your vitamins. Are you one of those people who eats 100% perfectly, 100% of the time? Me neither.  It feels awesome to know that I can have a not-so-nutritious day and my body isn’t suffering under my poor judgment. The vitamins that I take are up there in the Bookstore. I LOVE THEM. Also? They give you more energy. Particularly if you are anemic like this girl.
  9. Eat the food that is best for your body, not your brain. That’s important. You are very smart, so I won’t sugarcoat it. There is often a very big difference between the food we want and the food we need. This week? Make an effort to eat the food you need. The rest can wait, I pinky swear it will be there when you return from your body vacation.
  10. Take a break when you need to. I am the QUEEN of “just push yourself through it – you will feel so good if you just GET. IT. DONE.” This week? Take a break when you’re exhausted. Take a nap. It’s OK. You deserve it.

Alright, so now you’ve heard the myriad of ways I’m going to try to take care of myself this week. What are you going to do? I love a good idea ; )