Are you paying attention?

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Do you observe and obey your internal cues like drowsiness and thirst? Or, do you ignore them? I have found that my internal cues are always “bang on.” My body knows exactly what it needs and when for optimal energy and gratification. The key for me is to pay attention and recognize these internal cues.

When I am tired and I know I have had enough rest, I check in with myself and ask: Am I hydrated? Am I nourished? Am I fatigued because of the weather or an ailment? Am I stressed? When I pay attention to my internal cues, I have discovered subtle nuances between tiredness, sleepiness, thirst, hunger and other body signals.

Most often, especially during extreme temperatures in the summer and winter months, tiredness equals dehydration, which is may or may not be followed by a dry mouth sensation; but, I may experience a headache if I do not drink some water. After 16 ounces (.500 L) of cold water, I feel re-energized…especially when I add a splash of lemon or lime to it.

Occasionally, after periods of vigorous activity, I may need a power nap, which is a 20-minute break where I can sit comfortably or lay down, close my eyes, and consciously breathe slowly and deeply until I fall into a gentle slumber. This power nap can be a great picker-upper for me. I follow this up with 16 ounces (.500 L) of cold water in the summer or a mug of hot herbal tea in the winter.

I have had to learn to hone in my ability to distinguish between hunger, thirst, and sleepiness. Mindfulness helps, as well as, getting in nourishment and fluids at regular intervals. In order to be mindful and regular, I tracked my routine in a journal. I wrote down everything I ate, drank and did. I found it most useful when I noted the times I went to sleep and my emotional states during each of my eating, drinking, exercising, and sleeping events. Most of all, I made it a habit to pay attention.

All rights reserved. ©2016 by A. K. Orobko

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