Practicing Mindful Care of Your Body

Our bodies are our forever homes. Most of us value keeping our homes clean, fix appliances when they are broken, address any pest issues, and make sure the windows, siding, and roof is sound. We don’t ignore plumbing issues. If we live where there is frequent crime we make sure everything is locked up and secure. We take care of our lawns and gardens and maintain good roadside appeal.

When I was a graduate student, I was a full- time teacher in the day, and I had a number of explosive children in my care. Three days a week I would leave busses to my car to drive to the University of Minnesota campus. I would Park my car, and run across campus to class. In the winter, it would get crazy cold, and trying not to slip on the ice was tricky. After the lecture, I would go home and do homework until midnight. I would go to bed, get up at 5, be at work at 6, get a head start on the due process paperwork for special education, and start teaching at 7:30. My diet was so awesome to support my busy life. I ate a lot of Easy Mac, Fruit Loops, peanut butter, apples ( one healthy choice in there), and fully sugared coke. What is the point of Diet Coke? I loved to bring my kids donuts. Raspberry jelly donuts from the local bakery were blissful.

I did not sleep or eat well. I have always been bad about annual physicals. I exercised hard with the kids. We played a lot of basketball and soccer. We daily did Yoga and Tai Chi. The reason that practiced these things with the kids is because I knew they needed that to self- regulate.

If I got sick, I never let myself rest. I would push through and often get myself in a place where I had to go to the doctor. I am sure many of you can relate.

Mindful care of Your Body begins with values. Is your self- care or well-being on your list of main values that guide your life?

If you truly value it, you plan for it. Many of us take better care of our cars, pets, and our homes than we do of our bodies. Our bodies are where we live forever. We don’t get to trade it in for a new model.

What You May Want to Plan For:

Healthy meals that are also tasty.

There are so many diets out there and supplemental drinks. Each person will have preferences for how they are healthy. I enjoyed reading What are you Hungry For? By Depak Chopra. He talks about avoiding “FUNC” foods. These are frozen, unnatural, nuked, and canned foods. He has some great insights on super foods to add to your diet. When eating healthy, I think it is important to think of eating the right foods, the right way. Eat at appropriate times, make time to smell your food, chew your food, and taste it.

Exercise. Include exercise that aerobic exercise, strength training, balance, and stretching.

Have a sleep schedule that carries over to the weekend, ideally.

Plan time to do hobbies and special interests that light you up.

If you are spiritual, go to church, meditate, and participate regularly. Do what makes you feel grounded.

Spend time with people that support you, propel you forward with your goals, and give your life meaning.

See your doctor for physicals and if there is something wrong, get it checked. If a light came on your car, or water was dripping in your house, or your lawn was turning brown, or your fur baby was ill, would you just ignore it? Make self- care a value and you will have the best chance that your body, your life-long home,will take care of you.

Take Care,

Tracy May

Author: Tracy May

Teacher, Life Coach, Artist, Author, Public Speaker

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