In the past week, I’ve been sitting in a car a lot more than normal.  I’ve also been on my feet a lot more than normal.  First came the sitting & then came the near constant movement for days.  I’ve tried to take care of myself.  I’ve eaten as well as I could.  I’ve practiced yoga when it was possible.  I’ve meditated and written in my journal.  All of these are great habits, but when you are stressed in unusual ways, then your body often reacts anyway.

Usually your body has a place or two or three that will flare up when you are stressed.  Maybe it’s an old injury that will ache worse than normal.  It could be that your neck and shoulders always are the first to show signs of stress.  For some people, it’s the lower back or hips.  If you pay attention, then you’ll notice where these places on your body are for you.

Right now, for me with all of this unusual activity, it’s my plantar fasciitis in my right foot.  It’s come and gone in the past.  Usually, it’s just enough to let me know that my right foot is still there.  Well, right now, it’s more of a raging reminder.  My whole right leg has tightened.  What started in the foot, has spread up my leg.  I know that my unusual activities lately is the cause.   I know that my body is just letting me know that it would appreciate it if I backed off a bit.

I’m listening and doing my best to give myself some rest.  The thing is that I didn’t feel very emotional while I was driving my daughter’s belongings across the country.  I didn’t feel like I was doing anything too extreme.   I didn’t feel as if I was pushing myself too far in the moment.

My body is telling me otherwise.  It’s saying that it was a big deal to move your 22 year old daughter to the other side of the country.  I don’t know when I’ll see her again and yes that does make me sad.  My body is also telling me that I did a lot of lifting, driving and other odd activities that I don’t normally do and that it did have an impact on how I feel.

So, with all of this knowledge of what my body is telling me, how do I feel better right now?  It’s a lot of self-care.  I knew that I had pushed myself a bit far while I was in New Mexico and got a massage to help that right leg calm down some.  It helped but didn’t completely fix things.  I’ve also given myself as much extra rest as I could fit in.  And, currently my favorite friend is my small massage ball.  I’m using it to hit pressure points on my foot.  It helps my entire leg to feel better.

I know that if I continue to use that massage ball and also practice my foot stretches and strengtheners that I shared with everyone  in my book, Foot Yoga:  A Guide to Happier, Healthier Feet, then my foot will calm back down.    I know that I have to be intentional about bringing self-care into my life right now and mostly that self-care revolves around healing my foot.

Whether you recognize it or not, your body is affected by stress.  Learning to read those signs can help you to take steps earlier rather than later so that you don’t get completely burnt out or sick from stress.

We all have stress patterns in our lives.  Stress is unavoidable.  It’s what you do about it that is your choice.  So, practice a little awareness and notice how your body reacts when you are under extra stress.  This knowledge can help you to make adjustments in your life that help you to not only reduce your stress, but to feel better too!


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