Self-Care: It’s Not Easy Being Green

green-leaves-150x150“And the world is made of energy and the world is possibility…” Apples In Stereo Lyrics

Spring is here! Overnight it seems as if the outside world has turned the color green. A fresh green, just as the word is used when someone is inexperienced or new at something; completely innocent, but loaded with potential. Just like the buds on the trees that have been dormant all winter. As soon as they detect enough daylight for the leaves to survive, out they come. The amount of growth and energy at this time of year is somewhat overwhelming. But as Kermit the frog said, “It’s not easy being green.” In a natural forest, a seed has a one chance in a million of becoming a tree.

As the days grow longer and the spring cleaning list comes out, I see myself and my clients trying to fit more in, and creating even busier days than usual. With all this serious renewal happening, it’s hard to remember to linger in the stillness for awhile. Stop and listen to the birds, really check out the new leaves on the trees, and the wildflowers that are popping up everywhere. And of course, stop and listen to your own body.

Like the spring, start afresh! Self-care can be looked at as such a mundane task, but if we neglect it we definitely won’t make it as a tree in the forest. Everyday my clients remark, “I don’t have time for this pain!” I’m not sure anyone welcomes pain into their life, but remember it is just your body asking you, ‘please, pay attention.’ Usually if you don’t, things can go from bad to worse. If a tree needs water, and sunlight to thrive, what do you need? Pause for a moment and challenge yourself to consider what replenishes you? What depletes you?

 

A willingness to try something new! Take some time to analyze your habits and routines. What busyness keeps you from taking better care of yourself? As an example, to do my job, my body has to be both strong and agile. Doing massage all day builds a lot of muscle. However, this can quickly turn into overuse (i.e. pain) if I don’t listen to my body. So I have put a plan in place to keep from getting to that point. For me this includes regular yoga, bodywork, and contrast bathes. It also means I have to pay attention to my fatigue level at the end of a day or week. Sometimes I have to say ‘no’ to things that don’t let my body replenish itself. A lingering injury could easily interrupt my ability to be a good bodyworker.

Look at things with a different lens! The next time your body sends you a message of pain, instead of ignoring it and hoping it will go away, stop and ask yourself this question. What makes the pain worse? Every time you re-aggravate an injury, you interrupt your body’s own healing mechanisms. It’s like picking at a scab and making it bleed all over the place. Now your body has to expend energy to make a whole new repair. Think about ways to modify or change any painful activity so your body can heal. My rule of thumb is 7-10 days of active rest (not lying around, but choosing activities that don’t increase your pain) before you gingerly start back into doing the things you love. A little attention early on, could keep the pain from becoming a roadblock in your life.

“I am green, and it’ll do fine
It’s beautiful, and I think it’s what I want to be.”~ Kermit the Frog


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