10 Simple Ways to Reconnect with your Body
You’re probably reading this because you are feeling a little bit stressed, anxious or have fallen out of line with your body-mind-soul connection. Maybe you’re feeling a bit lost, forgotten what your values and goals are or just want some time to yourself after a tough day. Ultimately, you’re not feeling great…. And that’s completely OK!
Everyone gets into ruts. Waking up, chugging down a coffee, rushing to work, coming home completely exhausted and then finally sleeping (repeat). You are probably thinking that this ‘rut’ is all your life is, working hectic hours, months at a time, draining yourself just to be rewarded with a 7 day holiday. Let me tell you this - If you give yourself the time of the day to reconnect with your body, you aren’t going to feel like you NEED the holiday.
Now, don’t get me wrong, holidays are great, sitting by the beach doing absolutely nothing. They help recharge your mind and your soul. But why would you want to recharge yourself just to fall back in line with an unhealthy lifestyle? Instead, imagine using that 7 days leave you have from work to find inspiration and a head start in bettering yourself and creating the life you’ve always wanted. That’s something you wouldn’t be able to do if you were to be drained.
I understand that time is a privilege that not many have but I promise you that if you do any of these 10 things, you will feel at least a bit more connected with yourself and your wellbeing.
1. Notice how you’re feeling
Yes! That’s it… it may seem like such an unthinkable tip, but you wouldn’t believe how many people completely forget to notice the problem before they try to solve it. This only takes a couple of minutes but some may find it difficult, especially if they are new to staying in tune with their mind and body. Here’s how I do it. Find a comfortable spot, preferably somewhere quiet... and be aware and mindful of your breathing (a bit like meditating). This will help to clear your head of your duties and start to connect you to your body. Ask yourself these questions:
What emotions are you feeling?
What event is causing you to feel this way?
If you can’t figure out what is making you feel the way you do, ask yourself these questions
When did you start to feel these emotions?
Was there something that you or someone around you did to activate these emotions?
There you go. Immediately, you have gained an understanding of what you are feeling, creating that first tie between your mind and your body. Just noticing this should put you at ease as you are suddenly aware of what you are feeling and what will enhance these negative emotions.
If this didn’t make you feel better, it has at least put you in the mindset to try the other methods for mind-body connection.
2. Try doing a body scan
Those who have meditated before have probably used the body scan method. It’s very simple and easy for beginners. This is primarily a mental scan of your body, noticing how each part of your body is feeling. It should only take a couple of minutes but you can slow it down for a deeper connection with your body.
I use a visualisation method that is very straightforward and keeps your mind from wandering. Lie down and become aware of your breathing. Imagine a light passing horizontally through your body and moving from the top of your head, slowly down towards your toes. Notice how each part of your body is feeling as the light passes it. Heavy? Light? Uncomfortable? Agitated? Allow each part of your body to relax as the light passes. By the time the light reaches your toes, you should feel calm and relaxed as you have just given yourself a few minutes to breathe and do nothing. This is time you have taken out of your day to be with yourself, which will automatically make you feel better.
If you are a beginner, I would suggest starting with method 1 & 2 as it will help put you in the space for a greater length of time with yourself. But I don’t want you to think that meditation requires you to sit cross-legged on the floor for hours. You can actually do it wherever you are for any length of time. As a beginner myself, I would recommend new meditators to start with a ‘guided meditation’ practice. I use the app ‘Headspace’...it is a free app with several different sessions you can do. Buying the subscription gives you access to a whole library of different practices. These sessions range from 3 minutes to 20+minutes, so you don’t have an excuse not to do it.
4. Go for a walk.
So you may already know - exercise can boost your mood. Haven’t you heard of the ‘Runner’s High”? It boosts your mood and reduces stress and anxiety as a result of a release of endorphins due to physical exertion. No, you don’t NEED to run 5 kilometres to feel happier… Walking will do the trick just fine! Put on your runner’s, go outside into nature, play some ‘feel good’ music and start walking. Try not to think about work or any stressful events during this time. Just feel yourself and your presence amongst nature. Before you know it, you will be jamming along to the music and feeling recharged for the rest of the day.
I love this one! I must admit, I always wait until I feel like I’m about to explode before I get around to doing this. You don’t need to constantly be writing endless pages of your day from start to end because as I said, time is a privilege but just start writing once you notice that you are feeling a little bit stressed or anxious. Honestly, I did use this as a method to let out my anger about drama at school but I’ve found that even just putting down a few bullet points about your emotions will clear your mind and help you feel more in touch with your emotions.
6. Clean your space.
Let out your inner Marie Kondo, release the angel! A clear space = a clear mind. A clear mind = easier connection to emotions. Not only will it give you ‘Me time’, which is always great… But it will make you feel like you’ve been productive, which is a definite mood booster. You don’t need to deep clean your house on a daily basis, instead, try making your bed every morning and doing the laundry before the pile starts growing.
7. Plan & Track your day
The first thing I do when I’m trying to put my life back on track is to make a “To-do” list. They are honestly fantastic and make me super excited. It’s weird. I’m the kind of person who absolutely LOVES a detailed schedule as it makes me more productive. Write down a few things at night that you need or would like to get done the next day. Doing this the night before will make it easier to wake up in the morning and get on with your day as you know exactly what you need to do.
I also like to track my habits during the day as I feel that keeping track of my actions helps me form a greater connection with myself and where I’m at in regards to my goals. This could be tracking your water intake or the hours you spend on a certain project. Do whatever feels right to you.
8. Follow on: Make improvements
No one is PERFECT! Everyone has their own set of unhealthy habits. This is something easily improved upon. Tracking your habits may make you feel a bit down, especially if you have several unhealthy habits or habits you don’t want but noticing that you have these habits is the first step to improvement. At the end of each week, pinpoint one unhealthy habit you did the previous week and try to make an alternative habit. (side note: also remember to reward yourself for the improvements you’ve made in the weeks prior).
9. Social Media Detox
This is easily the hardest method I’ve come across so far…. But it was also the most rewarding for me. If you are anything like me, you can’t help but spend hours of your day scrolling through posts on Instagram. It may seem harmless but I’ve noticed that it puts this underlying stress and expectation on me and how I should look. I’m not saying you should delete social media forever but if you find yourself feeling a little bit overwhelmed with life, try giving up the feed for at least a day. Spend this time you have away from SM to focus on yourself.
(I gave up social media for 3 months last year and it was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself)
10. Self-care day!!
Who doesn’t love a good self-care day? (or evening). A whole day to yourself, to focus on yourself. Sounds fab doesn’t it? Run the bath, light some candles and pour yourself a glass of wine. It’s basically a holiday. During this time, try to release your mind of any stresses and responsibilities that you have because this time is all yours. You can be selfish at a time of need. This may be easier after a good meditation session!
Here are some self-care day ideas:
Listen to your favourite music
Put on a wellness podcast (get you in the mood)
Indulge in your favourite food
Make some tea
Put on a face mask
There we go… 10 great ways to feel reconnected with yourself and improve your wellbeing. Yes, these are great to do when you are feeling especially stressed but for maximum results, try taking a bit of time from your day to do at least one of the 10 things I’ve shared.
I really hope you got something out of this!!