Back to Basics
Since 2017 started, I feel like I've been on "overload." From my hip injury which led to taking many, strong medications to work and events which have kept me working late hours, weekends, and running to events most nights, I feel like I haven't had much time to breathe. All of this stimulation has led me to look for new ways to turn off and think about my health. Spoiler: It's all about going back to basics.
Increasingly, when I have free time, it's the simple, tech-free activities, that I gravitate towards. Reading in particular has been my saving grace. For whatever reason, it's only when I'm reading that I'm able to put my phone away and banish all thoughts of social media (mainly Instagram) and work from my mind. It has definitely taken practice, but now when thoughts like "I should check how X post is" or "I need to remember to email X and schedule Y" start to creep in, I remind myself that their are plenty of hours in a day and no, these aren't things that need to be done right now. (I read at night so it's not like I'm procrastinating or not working when I should be, this is truly time when I should be in "off mode.")
Physically, I've learned to just listen to my body. Funny how that works. Who knew if we truly listened, we'd know exactly what we need, rather than let all the outside junk cloud our thoughts. *Sigh* What I learned from my hip is that we can't take our health for granted. I knew this, I really did, but it took experiencing it in such a drastic way, to truly internalize it. Now, if I'm in a class and I'm not feeling it, that's ok. I won't stop or leave, but I'll go at my own pace, maybe skip a push or not take an advanced option. The point, after all, is to enjoy yourself and move, not win the Olympics. Similarly if I'm craving something, then that's probably what my body wants to eat. I can pick clean and healthy options and make sure that I'm balancing my diet, but it's also true that if you don't give into a craving, you usually won't be satisfied (Cue "Satisfied" playing in my head, and now yours. You're welcome.) This doesn't, however mean I've eschewed being healthy in favor of nightly pizza parties followed by hot fudge sundaes and I'm not giving any sort of advice on what you should or shouldn't do for your body, rather that it's important to listen to yourself, know your limits, and find a balance.
You may remember this past spring when I attempted a bit of a wellness challenge inspired by Google searches and my friend Phoebe Lapine's book The Wellness Project. I wasn't always perfect, but I definitely cut down on the sweeteners and for the most part, lowered my caffeine consumption. My skin didn't improve and in fact, it's gotten worse. While I know my dermatologist has the best intentions, every time I see him (which has been pretty frequently), he prescribes a new cream/gel/pill and this past week I decided, no more! When it comes to my face, I'm also headed back to basics. This past Tuesday night was the last time I used anything from my most recent regimen and Wednesday morning, I was in Duane Reade bright and early stocking up on the products I used growing up. I'm talking no frills Neutrogena cleanser and spot treatment. I have no idea if this will work, but my skin needs a reset. After antibiotics, strong steroid creams, peels, and rounds of laser treatments, I don't even know what my skin is truly like. I'm hoping to let it breathe a bit and find it's balance. It may be that I need stronger treatments, but maybe not. I'm breaking out a bit, but that's expected and oddly, my skin looks better (or it's the placebo effect).
The more I infuse my life with the simple, the more I crave it and the happier I find myself. I'm not about to move to a farm and start growing all of my own food, but if you need a Barnes & Nobel buddy or want to dish being in tune with yourself, hit me up!
What do you think of going back to basics? What simple pleasures give you joy?