Head Over Heart: On Listening To Your Body

Lately, I have been this sickly, disgusting creature.

And you may think I am being hard on myself or exaggerating, but picture this: I just had a coughing fit that lasted five full minutes in Royal Blue Grocery and the water pitcher was hardly working and I blew my nose into a stiff napkin and no one dared to make eye contact with me because I. AM. GROSS. OKAY?!

Yes, my cold has been long-lasting and quite the opposite of cute. I can’t seem to shake it and I may just have to hide out in my apartment forever until it subsides because these wow-she’s-gross looks are really getting the best of me and my self-esteem.

And let me tell you the sad part:

The sad part is this is my first public appearance in three days!!! And I am still so gross that I am being not-so-secretly shamed.

“Just say no.”

That is what my brain and body told my heart when I wanted to climb on Thursday during the day, attend the Mavericks game on Friday to celebrate my friend’s birthday, and go to a Friendsgiving potluck on Saturday night.

My Head said, “Ok, Heart. Listen to me, Little Heart. You are sick and gross and need lots of fluids and sleep. Then you can go see your friends and play later.”

And my Heart said, “Oh, but Head, please Head? Climbing is my favorite! Mavs games are my favorite! Food with friends is my favorite!”

And to that, Head said, “Just say no. You will be sad, but you will feel better. Say no.”

So I did.

And it worked — kind of.

I do feel overall better, even though I am coughing almost non-stop. I do feel up to leaving my apartment with my unwashed hair and grabbing dinner with friends (food with friends is my favorite, remember?).

This is one of many cases in which my head wins over my heart, and it does so for the better.

Because when I am sick and physically down, I need fluids and sleep. When I am hyper, I need to climb and run. When I am sad, I need to let out some tears and journal about it. When I am lonely, I need to pray and seek my loving community.

Even though there are times in which the heart can and will win over my head, this was just not one of those times.

This was a time for much-needed rest and much-needed practicality to take measures to make myself feel physically better. This was a time needed for me to blow my nose approximately a million times and to drink approximately a million cups of hot peppermint tea in the privacy of my own home.

Saying no to my head is hard sometimes.

Because often times it is right, even when I do not want it to be. Because often times my heart’s way of doing things seem more tempting and fun and romantic.

But this time around, my head won and it won for the better. I am sure I will have a Heart Over Head blog post for you eventually, but for this situation, it did not win.

So here is the lesson in all of this: Hear out your body, what it needs to flourish and grow and feel good. Then actually listen to it and follow through, because in most cases, whatever it needs should be what it gets. Take care of yourself — mind, body and soul. Take care of what you need and what you deserve. And be well!

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