Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness articles for busy women who want to lead a healthy, fulfilled life they love.
Whether or not you’re a person who stays regularly engaged with the news cycle, you undoubtedly know that this past week in the U.S. has been a turbulent one, to say the least. Not only are we continuing to deal with the stresses of the covid pandemic—we’ve also found ourselves engaged in a series of emotional, difficult conversations about racism and racial tensions in our country.
As a nutrition coach, I’m not going to pretend to have all the answers for the social justice crisis we’re facing. I WILL say that in times like these, it is so important for each of us to dig deep, stand firmly by our personal beliefs, and act with our hearts and minds. We have a responsibility to recognize injustice and racism, call it what it is, and take meaningful action to prevent racism from continuing.
At the same time, we all have to stay in tune with our bodies and our personal needs. As much as we want to be engaged citizens fighting injustices in the world around us, we can’t do that if we burn ourselves out. This is more like a marathon than a sprint, and if your brain is fried and your energy is totally depleted, you won’t be able to support any of the important people or important causes in your life as well as you’d like to.
And so this week, though talking about self-care in such a painful time feels a little bit selfish, I want to have a conversation about the importance of recharging even in seasons as turbulent as this one.
I approach everything in life from a perspective of supporting a strong Triangle of Health through three main components: Eating, moving, and recharging. It’s easy to let one or all of these components slip when we’re super-focused and stressed, but if you want to have the strength to enact change (whether in your personal life, your community, or the world at large), you HAVE to be able to recognize when you need a break.
Recharging during turbulent times could be as simple as remembering to take just a couple of minutes to clear your mind and reset your energy. An acquaintance of mine mentioned recently that she’s set an alarm on her phone to remind her to do this. Four times a day, she listens to a particular song and takes three or four minutes to just breathe, disengage, and recharge her mental batteries.
Recharging might also look like clearing negative energy from your body and loosening up your muscles by moving a little bit more. You might consider taking a long walk, spending a little bit of time in nature, or enjoying a quiet cup of tea on your back porch.
As always, you don’t have to take a full day away from the world or do anything extravagant—you just have to give yourself a few peaceful moments to quell your anxieties and breathe.
Just as knowing when to disconnect is vital, understanding when it’s time to step forward and act is equally crucial. Get your head in the right space, then ask yourself: How can I use some of my skills, talents, or resources to bring about positive change in the world? What can I do to really make a difference?
I always preach that you can’t totally revolutionize your health by making good choices for a day. The same is true for ending racism. We can’t just make a Facebook post, commit a few focused days to ending racial injustice, and expect that to be good enough.
The fight for equality is one that has taken time and will continue to take time—which is exactly why it’s important that you take care of yourself, build up your resilience, and strengthen your body and mind. Cheers to your good health, to radical change, and to being the best allies we can be.