If you find yourself lacking energy to do the things you really love and don’t feel like springing out of bed every morning, your health might benefit from a little ‘servicing’.
The demands of busy lives often leaves us last on the priority list and health starts to slowly crumble. Sadly, just like the quote says “If you listen to your body when it whispers, you won’t have to hear it scream” many of us attend to our body’s needs when it’s already in need of serious healing, be it back pain, injury or a more serious disease.
The truth is that your body is sending you signals of its wellbeing day and night and how you address these depends on how well you can hear the language of your own body. Those little subtle signals add up to be huge imbalances that result in chronic illness, that is so often preventable.
Have you told yourself that some of the feelings and experiences you have in your body are “just the way your body is” or that it is just “temporary” (but has been with you for a few years)? Perhaps you lived with these so long that it has become completely normal? Or you may think that it ‘everyone has that’?
Check out some of the most common signs that your body is in need of some serious TLC and possibly some habit and routine changes. Find out what the signs means and what you can do now to change them.
1. Waking up groggy and exhausted
It could be to do with working late last night and unhelpful habits of scrolling through social media till bedtime. But if you keep waking up with low motivation, lethargic and never refreshed, consider giving your system a boost.
Does your diet have enough colour and nutritious quality foods? Are you staying properly hydrated? Is coffee running your life or can you do without?
Also ask yourself if you move enough and spend enough time outdoors. Ironically, the more you move and exercise, the more energy you’ll create in your life. And the more time you spend in daily light, the easier falling asleep will become.
It’s a good idea to have a look at your morning routine- are you helping your body wake up, take it slow and easy, have some lemon water in the morning or just rush into work mode from the second you wake up? Similarly, are you helping your body unwind without blue screens in the evening, do you leave enough time for nourishing rest?
2. Bloating and gas
It’s certainly OK to have some bloating once in a while, especially if trying new foods or having eaten something that doesn’t agree with you. However, if bloating and gas are just part of your daily life and you think “everyone has that”, you might need to look into supporting your gut better.
There are many causes for bloating and flatulence and although it will be different for everyone, there are some common foods or habits that could play a role. Do you drink with your meals? Perhaps you eat while standing up or while stressed? Do beans and legumes or gluten make the bloating worse?
Bloating and flatulence is your body’s sign that there is an emergency that needs attending to in your gut. Imagine it like a swollen foot after an injury. Check out some of my favourite ways to relieve bloating. And if bloating persists, consider doing a food intolerance test and seeing a health professional and a nutritionist.
3. Cravings and the Afternoon slump
As frustrating and annoying cravings may be, they are there for a reason. Some cravings may indicate deficiencies in certain nutrients, for example craving sesame seeds if you are depleted in iron.
However, more often than not, cravings are a sign of blood sugar imbalance and other imbalances in the diet.
So if you’re craving sugar, foods mainly made with simple carbohydrates (pasta, pastries, bread), coffee and stimulants, your blood sugar may benefit from balancing.
If the cravings are especially pronounced around 3-4 pm in the afternoon, there’s no doubt that you’re experiencing a blood sugar crash. Consider bringing in more colour and quality to your diet and focus on regularity. Go for snacks high in protein and fats.
Can’t remember the last time you slept through an entire night?
Quality sleep is crucial to keep the mind healthy, allow the body to physically heal and support healthy renewal and ageing. With demands of busy lives and information overload sleep has to become a top priority.
If you’re experiencing insomnia, whether is temporary or chronic, your body is in need of fine-tuning.
Does stress run high through the day and affect your sleep patterns? Perhaps your overactive mind doesn't let you rest?
It’s not uncommon for people with insomnia to experience blood sugar imbalance, adrenal over-functioning and stress running high. If that sounds like you, take care to protect your sleep time ferociously, carve out time for meditation and regulate your blood sugar levels.
5. Heavy and painful periods
The truth is that many pains, cramps and bloating related to PMS and period are easily improved with diet and lifestyle changes. Sure, there are some women who will experience really heavy periods due to a condition or hormonal imbalance, yet the majority of these can be fine- tuned with boosting self-care and habits.
Do you take time to rest during your period and clear your diary to respond to your body’s needs? Do you load up on sugar and fuel hormonal imbalances further or do you give your body the nutrition and nurture it deserves?
Start with nourishing yourself with care throughout your cycle, especially focusing on the week
before your period. Consider seed cycling to help naturally balance hormones.
Every person is different and the ‘normal’ regularity of bowel movement will vary for everyone.
However, you do want to aim for emptying your bowels at least once per day and anything longer than that can create discomfort and even low mood (yes, it can!).
The immediate action to take is to check your water intake. Are you drinking 2-3L (depending on activity level, exposure to sun and etc) daily and offsetting any caffeinated drinks with extra water?
If so, check in if you’re eating a variety of rainbow- coloured vegetables and fruits and foods high in fibre, such as quinoa, oats and wild rice. If your diet is high in processed foods or too high in protein, it may also contribute towards your ‘pipes getting stuck’.
Heartburn or ‘acid reflux’ is a burning sensation above the stomach, in the oesophagus. It normally means that stomach acid is traveling up, creating a burning feeling and pain. It’s neither pleasant nor beneficial and it’s a clear sign from your body to make some changes in your diet.
Majority of the time heartburn is caused by overactive stomach acid, which is caused by processed foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods as main agitators. Aim to increase alkaline foods in your diet and focus on a good range of vegetables and fruit, seeds and nuts and staying well hydrated.
There may be a bunch of different factors that cause the same symptoms for different people and you may notice that with some of these a bit of detective work is needed. Yet, so many of these (and so many others I haven’t mentioned) can be improved by simply hydrating well, boosting the colours on your plate and having less of what crashes your blood sugar.
Will you listen to your body now or only when ‘you have to’? The choice is yours.