Self Love Saturday: Slow down and heal, you need it

It’s time. I’ve finally got into a good swing of life with landing my first grad job in digital marketing (woop woop!) and I’ve also been getting back into weights (trying to get back on my fitness grind!). That was abruptly halted in the last week when I started to get really bad strain and tension in my lower leg muscles.

I tried to ignore it but it got to the point I wasn’t even walking normally. So, despite not being too keen on dropping £55 for a deep tissue massage but I made it a point to invest in myself. After all, if there was a sale at New Look or H&M I would unapologetically drop that amount of money so why should it be different with something I actually need? I’m in this place in my life of wanting to make it a priority to invest in my mind, body and spirit.

We live in a world where it feels like the privileged only have that opportunity or we’re only deserving of it when we’ve worn ourselves out when it’s the opposite. I love to hustle, work hard and deliver results but it’s only until I’m forced and life comes at me real quick that I realise that I need to slow down. My aching and tense leg muscles was the universe conveniently sending me a massive wake up call of ‘I’m not used to living life and working hard without being in some form of pain I’m just tolerating’.

It was a lesson I usually just brushed under the carpet, because the last 6 years I’ve had to live like that a lot of the time to get through some of the hardest times of my life. However, that isn’t meant to be my lifestyle, it’s meant to temporary. Like getting through the last set in a workout not to the point I can’t even walk. Some seasons of my life I’m going to go through some storms and those times I’ve found relying more on my faith and spirituality keeps me stable in the storms because I have to endure a lot, but now I’m in a season of “Okay, the storm is over, those times I need my strength I’ve worked so hard to gain over the years to deliver are over and now I’ve got some damage repair to do now so I need to slow down”.

During my massage I was in pain. Being prodded in trigger points in my muscles of knotted muscles and lactic acid build up wasn’t pleasant but I told myself to suck it up as I really dropped £55, mama didn’t raise no bitch and also the fact it was good for me. I knew the only way I could function was if I take and value this quiet time to get into the real issues even though I felt that I would be more productive going HAM on a workout.

The physiotherapist explained the importance of stretching before and after a workout and investing in epsom salt baths – something I overlooked because I didn’t really feel it was needed, a couple of flexes here and there and I’m good… that’s until I crash and here I am wound up on a bed face down on table with a hole in it grimacing in pain. Healing is hard work. It’s the same when we have to confront emotional trauma we carry around within ourselves in life, it’s easier to just manage it than painfully dig into those knots and toxic build up to relieve ourselves. It takes time, it’s uncomfortable, it’s invasive and can trigger uncomfortable emotions back up. But it’s so so worth it. It allows ourselves to breathe and become free so we can live our best lives.

It’s essential to slow down. Why? Because that’s the only way we can perform at our best. Your muscles can’t function properly unless they’re stretched, relaxed and nurtured.  That’s the same with your emotional wellbeing and mental health.

So, today I was able to smash it in spinning class as my legs could function properly because I was investing and looking after myself. This boosted my mood and elevated my mental health so I could work at the best of my ability with my creative projects. I was pouring love into myself and recognising that is what will be my fuel to get me to achieve my dreams.

It’s not being selfish, over indulgent or an indicator you’re slacking to take some much needed TLC time. It’s the only way you are going to be able to fully work at your best capacity if you have systems in order to allow you to do so.

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