I Love My Body...
I love my body, so I think I’m not going to shower for a week or brush my teeth for a month – said no one, ever!
I read something similar to that statement recently and it really resonated with me. The idea around this statement is that when you love your body, you want to take care of it. If that’s true, it stands to reason that we should love our bodies – big or small, short or tall – and treat them with care.
So what does “treat them with care” mean? I’ve written about it before in a blog post on my personal site, but it’s worth restating here as well. Treating your body with care means different things to different people, but there are some common threads that weave the foundation of self-care.
- Sleep. I am a big proponent of getting enough sleep to recharge my body. It’s widely accepted that sleeping for 6 to 8 hours each day significantly increases the body’s ability to function properly. Studies have shown that less than 6 hours of sleep can trigger physiological reactions in the body that are similar to alcohol intoxication.
- Eat foods that promote health. There is a plethora of information about what to eat and what not to eat – everyone has an opinion about what’s good or bad. The bottom line is that a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, proteins, some whole grains and healthy fats will promote overall health and well-being. It’s also no secret that refined carbohydrates filled with additives and preservatives do not “do the body good.” A great rule of thumb is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the inner isles (prepackaged foods) as much as you can.
- Hydrate. This cannot be overstated and is essential to self-care. Our bodies, in large part, are made up of water. There’s no escaping the necessity of hydrating our bodies, and water is the single best way to accomplish this. I know, I know, many will say that water is boring, or water tastes bad. To that I say: start small, take baby steps to converting to water. If you’re a soda drinker, try to replace just a small amount with a flavored water or herbal tea. Little by little, decrease soft drinks and increase water intake. A trick that worked for me was to chug a small juice glass full of water every time I went into the kitchen. Before I knew it, my body started craving water -- seriously craving it.
- Move your body in a way that is pleasing to you. What movement do you enjoy? There are many activities that are either inherently, or through adaptation, accessible to the average blind person. You’re not average? Me either, so I choose aerobic dancing as my movement of choice. I’m not a sports person; I have never gotten jazzed about playing goalball or running a marathon. But put on some good music with a beat (or my favorite BlindAlive workout!) and I’m ready to move! Maybe you prefer yoga or Pilates – great, do it! Whatever it is that gets you going, do it and enjoy it. When you are happy about the movement you’re doing, you will be much more likely to continue to do it consistently.
- Surround yourself with people and things that make you happy. I figured out that life is too short for me to spend energy on things that make me unhappy. This includes toxic people, clothes that don’t fit my body – right now – and other things that I label “joy suckers.” A great book that I recommend is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo (available via NLS, Bookshare, and other book sellers).
So there you go, some easy ways to show your body some love. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top or involve major sweeping changes; it can be small baby steps toward doing something good for yourself. When we love our bodies in the form they are in at this very moment, we do good things for them and make choices to support our well-being. When we make these healthy choices our bodies tend to respond favorably and reciprocate the love and support.
What are some ways you show love to your body? We’d love to hear your comments. Just write to us on the contact form on our main page: www.BlindAlive.com .
You can visit Melanie’s website at www.melaniepeskoe.com .