I was lucky in that I didn’t get Covid early in the pandemic. Even though I work with people in person, I was fortunate to be able to avoid the virus for a very long time. Eventually though I did get it and it forced me to take time to rest.
I’m someone who will push through a lot of things. When I get a cold, I continue to teach yoga. I’ve also taught through various injuries and personal issues.
Even though it always delays my healing process, one of the reasons that I do this is because working with people in classes and privately has been my way to stay centered. (I know that it’s both helpful and harmful and I’m working on that balance.)
Sometimes you’re forced to take time to rest
As it’s been all throughout the pandemic, when you get Covid, you’re asked to quarantine yourself. Now, the amount of time that is required has shifted over time as we learned more about the virus. When I had Covid, it was 5 days of quarantine.
During this time at home, I noticed several things. One was that I was very frustrated at first that I had to cancel 10 classes/private sessions during that 5 day period. So, I sat with that frustration as I texted over & over again to rearrange everything.
Next came the acceptance of the situation. I couldn’t change the fact that I had Covid. After all, I only took the Covid test because I was freezing while it was 75 degrees in my house. I obviously was running a fever and that was unusual for me. My body and the Covid test were telling me that something was wrong. I was able to see that and accept that the next 5 days were not going to happen as I had originally planned.
I actually appreciated the rest
As I said, I usually push through things, but this time things were different. I was forced to take time to rest and I actually appreciated it!
So, during my quarantine, instead of pushing through I sat down. Instead of continuing to work, I did as little as possible. Yes, I watched a LOT of Netflix, but that was my way rewarding myself for not doing the many things that could actually wait before being done.
During this time, I practiced listening to my body. I got up to move around the house only when I felt like it. I sat back down when my body grew tired, and I ate only when I was hungry.
I found it very refreshing to allow myself the time and the space to actually heal from this virus. My body was able to recover faster than I would have done had I continued to push through more normal routines. My body very much appreciated the fact that society had given it permission to rest.
Do you need permission to rest too?
So, how about you? Do you find that when you get sick or are faced with some sort of trauma that you continue to push through normal life as if nothing else is happening?
If you answer yes, then ask yourself how long it takes you to heal or recover from the illness or trauma.
Chances are that if you’re like me and ignore your body’s signals that something is wrong, then you too delay your recovery.
The body needs time to heal
After you’ve experienced an illness or trauma, you need to take time to rest. It’s your body’s way of processing and recovering from what has just occurred. If you act like I normally do when I’m sick, then you’re only delaying the healing process. This doesn’t make healing easier. In fact, it only makes it harder because your body is forced to work harder to deal with whatever illness, injury or trauma it has experienced. (Sadly, I know this from personal experience.)
The good news is that you have a choice. You can choose to allow your body to heal with rest. This rest might look different whether you’ve experienced a trauma, an injury or an illness. Either way, that rest is your body’s way of dealing with what has happened.
Your body will tell you when it needs rest
My number one reminder for you is to listen to your body!
If you pay attention, your body will tell you when it needs the rest. If this is a foreign concept to you, then it will take practice.
It’s possible though to follow your body’s lead in this. While it helps to have outside forces giving your permission to take a break, it’s even better to be able to give yourself permission to do so.
I’m not quite perfect at this. Obviously, I still forget to give myself the rest that I need sometimes, but I am getting better. Even if the quarantine rules didn’t say that I needed to stay home for 5 days, I would have given myself the first couple of days to rest. My body spoke loudly and I listened and stayed on the couch. While I probably would have gone back to work after the first couple of days of rest, I grew to appreciate the extra time at home that has allowed me to heal more completely before I dove back into my life completely.
It all starts with listening to your body though. I’ve spent years getting reconnected to the signals that my body is sending out. Some days I pay more attention than others, but I am better than I used to be.
I spend a lot of time working with my clients to practice that deep awareness of those same signals. Learning to listen to your body in this way is a gift that you can use for years and it only gets better with practice.
If you need permission from someone else before you allow your body to rest, then it’s time that you started listening to the messages that your body is already trying to send to you. I can help you learn to do this. Set up a free chat with me to discuss how yoga therapy can help you to do just that.
And remember, it’s never too late to live happier & healthier!
Becky is a Yoga Therapist & has been teaching yoga since 2006. She loves to match people with a yoga practice that helps them to feel better every day & believes that there is a yoga practice for everyone. Click here to sign up for her mailing list & get all of the important news & tips first!