Seems to be the theme for me these last several months, seriously this Pandemic is kicking our butts on every level. I’ve been up. I’ve been down. I’ve had meltdowns and glorious victories and self discoveries. I’ve been a fantastic, supportive, loving mom. I’ve been an impatient and short-tempered mom. I have felt strong and powerful. I have felt vulnerable and weak. At times, I come from such clarity, waking up with a “pep in my step” eager to start my day while other days I feel like I am carrying an 80 pound sack on my back to the kitchen.
This thing called life is hard, and with Covid 19, racial tensions and injustices, political strife etc., (the list is long) lets just say we are feeling all the feels. With the cosmic energies at a greater intensity of darkness and uncertainty, staying light and present is becoming quite challenging. This dense and uncertain time is wreaking havoc on our nervous system. We are fatigued, financially stretched, health compromised as a society, socially deprived and our foundation is unstable to say the least. It is a trying time, but also one of great potential spiritual growth if you can see the unfolding of new openings and awareness.
So how do we cope? How do we try to find the light at the end of the tunnel? How do we take this heaviness that we are feeling in our physical body and our mind and find the little nuggets of beauty and hope? Well, one way for sure is to allow the body to move lighter and feel more efficient. When the body is moving efficiently then the heaviness that we are experiencing cannot feel well, so heavy. Here are a few things to keep in mind as we navigate these uncharted territories and how we can combat fatigue and dismal trappings that we can fall prey to.
1) Set an alarm, shower and dress each morning. Even if we don’t necessarily have something scheduled each day, it is important to establish a routine. Shower and dress even if you don’t have to leave the house. We all are creatures of habit and having structure is important for us to feel like we are validated and contributing members of society and our family and community.
2) When our bodies become more stressed, our lymph system can be affected. As we age, our body’s system moves slower. Without a properly flowing lymphatic system, our bodies will just not flow!!!
The way to understand the lymphatic system is to compare it to the plumbing in our homes or the flow of a river. When there is sludge or grime lining the inside of the pipes the water has to work much harder to move causing it to insufficiently flow and cause issues. Consider the tips below as a natural Roto- Rooter of your plumbing/lymphatic system. If the plumbing analogy is not working for you then think of your favorite river. You want that river to flow smoothly and easily, balanced and clear. You also don’t want the river to be too slow or too fast.
The lymphatic system is always the first body system evaluated in Ayurveda. Without a great functioning lymphatic system, the rest of the body gets “stuck” and our ability to eliminate the toxins from our everyday life gets harder and harder, in a sense we can feel, “heavy”. The lymphatic system removes cellular waste and is responsible for regulating the immune and circulatory system.
So what are some of the signs that the lymph system isn’t up to snuff?
• Soreness or stiffness in the morning
• Brain fog/dullness in cognitive ability
• Bloating or water retention
• Congestion in sinuses, colds or sore throats
• A feeling of malaise or tiredness
• Cold hands and feet
• Weight gain
Interestingly, the lymph starts in the digestive system. If we are not breaking down our foods well enough then we leave remnants of unprocessed food particles in our body. Along with digestion difficulties, add a big heaping spoonful of daily stress that can leave our lymphatic system sluggish. Here are just three simple tips you can do daily. Easily.
Start Your Day with Lemon Water
According to ancient Ayurvedic texts, drinking a glass of lukewarm water mixed with a spoonful of raw unpasteurized, honey and fresh lemon juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach helps to cleanse the digestive tract. Moreover, lemon juice is high in vitamin C, and honey helps to fire up your agni. Agni is key for breaking down foods and stimulating those enzymes for better processing. It’s a simple little formula, but it helps you start the day off with some gentle detoxification. Sip warm water throughout your day so you stay hydrated.
Take a Walk
A 20-minute walk after a meal can be a great way to keep the body moving and reduce the chances of ama (undigested food) from accumulating.
Try a dash of silliness. Once in a while we just gotta make ourselves and others laugh. Laughing reduces stress! Go figure! Do something silly or light each day.
So whether our job looks differently, or embracing kids being home-schooled, or coming to terms that a social night out looks atypical, we need to be okay with not being okay. This time in our life is messy, complicated, and uncertain. So hang in there everybody!!! For now, I will continue to take out my imaginary surfboard, hop on that imaginary colossal wave, and steer this piece of fiberglass through the peaks and valleys of this thing called life, with a dash of silliness, a smidgen of presentness, and a pinch of “all will be well.”