14 things that are good for you, body, mind, and soul

1. A long walk

The kind where you keep going long enough to let your brain chatter die down. You start feeling a little bored. And then you break into that space of ideas and insights and big sighs of relief. It’s a space of seeing the why underneath the what. It’s feeling – consciously feeling – the sun on your skin, hearing the noises around you, being aware of all the life they represent, knowing you’re a part of it.

2. A nap

The short, twenty-minute cat nap or the long, bleary-eyed, entire-afternoon kind. Curled up with someone you love, or all alone in a little nest. Completely relaxed in a hammock or sprawled across a soft rug or on a patch of soft grass. In a tent or under a tree or in your car. Naps are refreshing, wonderful, a reset button for body, mind, and soul that you can access anytime.

3. Sex

Like naps, sex is a reset button. It’s a release, a connection, an unwinding, an empowering. It reminds you of your existence in a body/as a body while allowing you to express more than body. It’s a huge tension reliever for your body and mind, and it’s grounding for your soul.

4. Stretching

As simple as this: take some deep breaths and roll your head around in a circle. Then roll it around in the opposite direction. Relax your shoulders. Shake your arms out. Wiggle your fingers. Roll your hips around in a circle. Then roll them around in the opposite direction. Bend your knees, lean forward, and place your hands on the ground. Relax your back. Then stand up and reach your hands up over your head as high as you can. Swing them down in a big circle. Take more deep breaths. You’re alive. Yeah. That feels good.

5. Water

Are you hungry or dehydrated? You feel tired, cranky, stressed, foggy, and unclear because life is confusing and you have too much to do and 100 other reasons… Drink up. Clean, pure, delicious, filtered tap or rainwater. Available anywhere. Collect your own. Filter it. Drink it. Drink a lot of it. Wake up and have a big glass. I have strong feelings about water. Without water, we have no life. With impure, inadequate water we have a poor quality of life. Think more about water. Drink more water.

Okay, that’s the predictable stuff that you already knew.

Here are some other things that are good for you, mind-body-soul:
6. Take a long walk away from some dependency or ideology or habit or relationship that is bad for you. You know what that means. You feel it pulling you down, draining your energy. Start walking and don’t look back.
7. Become so comfortable with someone that you let yourself completely relax. Laugh with a friend until your stomach hurts. Smile until your face hurts. Cry until you can’t breathe. Open up and discover that time, distance, and differences don’t change the connections that matter most. Fall asleep with the blessed knowledge that you live at the center of an inner circle that surrounds you and supports you, and that you, too, stand in that inner circle for those you love.
8. Appreciate your nakedness, your own body, all it is and does for you. Let your thighs jiggle and shine in the sunlight. Relish those scars and stretch marks; they are the milestones of your physical journey. Wear your bikini or your muumuu, hang it out or cover it up, whatever you want. Do so with gratitude instead of self-criticism. A little gratitude goes a long way; if that’s all you can manage, no worries. Today, find one thing to appreciate about your body. Tomorrow, you’ll find two.
9. Stretch outside of your area of comfort, like, waaaay outside. Find the thing you judge and embrace it. Find the experience you fear and walk into it, trembling. Find what makes you uncomfortable and welcome it, maybe in a tiny dose, a little at a time. Feel yourself live. Feel yourself grow. Feel yourself open up.
10. Get lost and work through the panic and throw your schedule out the window and accept your inadequacy. Find out that every wrong turn is an adventure, and that you are at home in the world wherever you go.
11. See your own hidden desires or fears or personality traits or needs mirrored at you from someone else. Realize that every person is a mirror. Bonus points if that someone else is, maybe, someone you’ve disdained or judged or chosen to misunderstand.
12. When you offend someone (unintentionally or otherwise), don’t retreat. Work through the difficult, awkward conversation that needs to follow. Learn how to give a sincere apology, feel the shame and embarrassment and realize that those feelings don’t have to end a friendship. Gain empathy and receive generosity.
13. Listen to your own body: what it needs, what it wants, what it’s missing, what it can do, what it doesn’t want to do. Hear all the messages it has been sending you. This is a language you know but have forgotten. It’s in there. Be still long enough to hear it.
14. Come undone. Go ahead. Beat your fists on the wall. Scream into the sky, “I can’t do this,” and cry yourself to sleep. Live through wave after wave of fear, anxiety, and terror until they pass over you. Realize *you are still alive, you are still here, you are still breathing*. Let it all go, let it all fall down, and wake up to find that the only things missing are the ones you didn’t want. Wake up to see the space created for what you do want. Watch as the universe fills this space with all good things, for you. All for you. For you are Worthy and you are Loved.
Photo by Drew Graham on Unsplash