fitness · self care

Things that make me feel good in my body, pandemic edition

What I like best about Fit is a Feminist Issue is how body-affirming and movement-positive it is. I love reading and writing about new and familiar ways to reward, challenge or nurture myself through taking good care of my body, whatever that means to me, in whatever ways are open to me.

In 2017, I wrote about 6 things that make me feel great about my body. In no particular order, they were:

  1. yoga
  2. reading Natalie’s posts
  3. sex with myself
  4. doing some prettifying activity– for me this meant hair color and treatments
  5. walking
  6. cycling

Come 2019, I reprised my list: Some things that make me feel great about my body (this year). Here’s the upshot:

  1. Yoga was still in, especially yin
  2. hair treatment indulgence was out
  3. comfort and ease in clothing were in
  4. walking was out (sprained ankle and physical therapy)
  5. the gym was in
  6. weight training, too
  7. and of course cycling

Now it’s officially mid-2020 and mid/early-mid/late-early coronavirus pandemic. Staying home starting in mid-March, I slowed down in almost every way: less productive, moving less, sleeping less and less well, feeling less peppy, thinking less clearly.

Now in mid-summer (and what a strange summer it is), my goal is to identify what helps me feel good IN my body. Thoughts ABOUT my body are secondary these days; they will have to wait their turn. Right now, it’s all about getting some physical sensations of pleasure, well-being, security, accomplishment in movement, stillness, nourishment, rest, routine.

So here’s my list of 6 things that make me feel good in my body during this pandemic:

1.Sleep. Hands-down winner. I’ve struggled the past few months with insomnia. I don’t even realize how bad it is until the morning after a night I get 8.5–9 hours of sleep, and I feel like Wonder Woman. Wow. So this is what rested feels like. I want more of this.

2.Yoga. No matter how I feel– tired, agitated, creaky from sitting in too many zoom meetings, or just blah, there’s some yoga for me. Even rolling around on my mat, or swinging my arms from side to side and raising them over my head feels good to me and good for me and good in me. Yay yoga!

3.Nature. There’s a reservoir near my house and a lovely walking route around it, with some woodsy paths, too. It’s great just to see trees, pine straw and low-growing plants. Even people’s yards and gardens cheer and hearten me. And my back porch is on the second floor of the 3-family house I live in, and it feels a bit like a tree house.

4.Walking. After so much inactivity, walking feels like doing something. And wearing a mask makes me more aware of my breathing. All of this puts me in touch with the functioning of my body– it’s doing its thing, in a simple and miraculous feat of engineering. Yeah, walking rocks.

5.Cycling. Yes, I can still do that, too. My legs still know how to turn the cranks, and my hands do the shifting without asking my permission. The instincts are all there, and the scenery–even the most mundane scenery is a treat.

6.Water. This is an aspirational item, as I haven’t been swimming yet this summer. But I’ve got plans for lake swimming this week and some ocean swimming this month and next month. My body in water does miraculous things: it floats. And moves and glides and splashes.

Readers: what is making you feel good in your bodies these days? Have any of those things changed since the pandemic? I’d love to hear from you.

Ocean Water, by Gigi for Unsplash.
Water, by Gigi for Unsplash.

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