Listen To Your Body


It seems this is a record January for people getting sick. There are a variety of factors why you might catch a cold or flu, most of them to do with a lowered immune system due to stress, too much sugar, lack of sleep, S.A.D (STANDARD AMERICAN DIET) and so on. If you have a strong terrain, then the age old theory is that you won’t get sick. However, even the healthiest people get sick sometimes too. I remember last year when I first did my Lemon & Water post and I was SICK AS A DOG!!

As a nutritionist, it’s actually rather embarrassing how rough I was feeling – my eyes were puffy, my head was full of snot (sorry to be gross) and I felt like garbage. But guess what? I was not getting enough sleep, working too much and not listening to my body, which brings me to the point of my post today.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing.

Admittedly, the last few weeks have been tough for me.  I felt so overwhelmed with my emotions, particularly sadness due to some changes that occurred in my personal life. I had opportunities to go out and have fun, but more often then not I declined and guess what I did most nights? I went to bed at like 9pm. One weekend I felt like I was dragging my butt all of Saturday and Sunday and instead of my usual 35 minute treadmill run followed by weights, I decided to do a yoga class at 889 Yonge and lay really low the whole weekend. I don’t know if my emotions were getting the best of me, or if I had a virus brewing — actually, I’m sure it was a combination of both. But, the thing is (that I hope you can learn from as well) I listened to my body. It needed down-time, sleep, reflection and relaxation. Had I not listened to my body, I would be just like a large percentage of the population right now, battling some sort of flu bug.

Many clients I consult think they are heroic if they are feeling deathly ill and go to work. Why is this deserving of a trophy? Since when did ignoring your body’s need for rest become okay? It’s not! If you are reading my post from work and feeling under the weather, honour your body, LOVE your body and go get some rest. Take a break from exercise, avoid drinking alcohol, work less. Doing the opposite will only prolong your sickness.

Now of course this post would not be complete if I didn’t share some immune boosting tips with you, if you do find yourself getting sick more often then not.

Joy McCarthy

Joy McCarthy is the vibrant Holistic Nutritionist behind Joyous Health. Author of JOYOUS HEALTH: Eat & Live Well without Dieting, professional speaker, nutrition expert on Global’s Morning Show, Faculty Member at Institute of Holistic Nutrition and co-creator of Eat Well Feel Well. Read more...

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  • Listening to my body is tough as well, but thankfully it’s getting better. My body is smarter than I give it credit for.

  • Joy – you are such an inspiration to me! I have your blog bookmarked in my ‘favourites’and visit often, sometimes just to see your twitter posts. (I haven’t quite figured out how to use Twitter yet.) Thank you so much for the information you share!! :)

  • Great blog and important post! Agreed, we do not give our bodies the credit it deserves. We do need to be rested in order to function well in all aspects.

  • I LOVE this, especially the part about resting when you’re feeling down and need it the most. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been ridiculed, told to “suck it up,” etc, etc when I was feeling under the weather and just wanted to REST. So ridiculous that working/playing ourselves to death = heroic and admirable.

  • Hi Joy

    I felt like I was coming down with something last night. Even though I had a tonne of work to do, I listened to my body and went to sleep at 9 pm and slept until 9 am. I woke up feeling much better!

  • I just found you through a friend’s blog – Gillian Young!
    I read Holistic Nutritionist and my eyes perked up!
    I’m beginning to offer holistic counseling as well! I just signed up for your blog! Can’t wait to read more!!!

  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE your website- so full of great information. Just spend the last couple hours reading and I am fully inspired.