Another Helping of Primary Food? Yes, Please!

Photo by K.C. © 2010 Kristin Conroy

Lots of people are suffering right now from allergies with the change in weather.  Having allergies is akin to having a cold–sometimes worse–and it’s a good time to give yourself some TLC.  I wrote this post when I was down-for-the-count with a doozy of a sinus infection.  Read on to discover how primary nourishment can make a difference when you’re feeling under the weather….

I did something last night I really enjoy but hardly ever do…take a bath.  (And not in the tub pictured above…it’s not mine, sadly.)  The lack of frequency is mainly due to the effort and time it takes to prepare and take one.  First of all, the tub needs to be pretty darn clean.  The difference between a tub suitable for showering and a tub suitable for bathing is my feet touch the surface for only a few minutes in the former scenario and my whole body comes in contact with it for half an hour in the later.  So yeah, it needs to be pretty darn clean and the idea of cleaning usually stops me in my tracks.  When I feel the urge to take a bath, it’s because I want to relax…cleaning just doesn’t fit into that category for me.

So what made me willing to do the evil deed in return for bath time?  Sickness.  I’ve been sick for nearly two weeks and not only have I taken a knock-out punch physically, but my psyche is also down for the count.  I realized that while I’ve done pretty much everything I can for my body, I’ve been neglectful in some areas of primary nourishment.  I think we often don’t do things for ourselves that we know are beneficial–to our soul, our spirit, our essence–because it doesn’t contribute to our career, family, friends, or to-do lists.  It seems selfish, silly, and unproductive.  Well, seeing as I wasn’t fit to do anything productive (although I did clean the tub, didn’t I?), I thought I might as well indulge.

Photo by K.C. © 2010 Kristin Conroy

To create a spa-like experience, I lit candles, set my Pandora Radio to the Enigma channel, and tossed Epsom salts enhanced with a few drops of 100% therapeutic essential oil into the running water.  Ahhhh…watching the candlelight dance and flicker along the walls, reveling in the soothing beats of music, and being encased in a cocoon of warm, silky water was a little piece of heaven.

It was a great time to really pay attention to and love myself. (No, hey now, this is totally G-rated stuff I’m about to say!)  When I’m feeling under the weather or in some need of TLC, I like to have my head and face stroked.  My mom used to do this for me–along with massaging my hands and arms–at bedtime or when I was sick.  It was a loving and comforting act and served as primary food nourishment.  So I recreated this comforting moment by repeatedly dipping my hands into the water, pressing my warm hands into my face to let the heat soothe me, then sliding them over my head and neck.  Next, I noticed which parts of my body were aching and gently massaged them.  I felt I was communicating with my body at an intimate and primitive level–no words, only intuition, emotion, and touch.  Usually, I feel guilty for relaxing, but I gave myself permission to be totally present in the moment.  I made a promise that I would not wait until my body forced me to be still before I took meaningful time for myself.

I think we could all use some more primary nourishment, even if it’s small and you have to do it yourself.  That could mean listening to music that touches your soul, giving yourself a foot massage, going through your most cherished pictures, meditating, even taking slow, deep breaths.  So, did taking this “me-time” cure my woes?  No.  I was still sick.  Was it worth the time and effort?  Heck yeah.  I was delightfully warm, I felt peaceful and relaxed, and the corners of my mouth had set in an upward and locked position.  Little acts of self-kindness– even ones that seem too simple and unworthy–are sometimes the most rewarding and powerful.

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