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There is nothing so amazing as a blue sky and pink tinged dogwood flowers! I love this time of year.
I’ve recently found myself trying to be a kind of Wonder Woman…
Now that I’m sleeping again, I have this wealth of energy and have been burning the candle at both ends. Working every day, even on “days off”, overdoing activity in general, and well, the doo-doo, as it always does, hit the fan.
After a wonderful Friday and Saturday, filled with fantastic weather, a four leaf clover sidewalk discovery, time with my oldest friend and one of my newest: I was gifted with a migraine.
It was a strange kind of migraine, different than what I typically have.
What’s NOT interesting about this story is that I KNOW I’ve written to you about it before. Sure, the details were different, but the migraine and over-doing it part were not.

Just as with the last time I shared this similar story… I did my best with what I had to work with: bath, oils, acupressure, herbal teas, tinctures, etc. Eventually, I concluded that medication was necessary.

(As an aside: this is something that I really want to normalize for those of us in the holistic community! There is nothing wrong with needing to take medication for your condition. You can do all the “right” things and still have to take medication. And that’s okay!)

Striving for the most “perfect” productivity, efficiency, diet, lifestyle, body… Leads to stress, and a heckuvalota shame.
Especially when you’re, gasp, human and have human moments, human illnesses, human conditions.
I’m taking a look at the days leading up to my headache, and sussed out it’s likely origins.  Reassessing my herbs, and asked myself if I’m trying to do too much, eating well-enough, resting enough, and…
I realized that, even though I said I was going to take it easy for a few days, I really did not.
I took a day off my day-job to deep clean my apartment. How is that a “rest day”?!
I had written “Nothing” on my calendar for Sunday. Then had a mental list of oh, I don’t know, 20 things I was going to do on that “nothing” day. None of which comprised of things like, taking a bath, watching a movie, reading a book, hanging out at the park, etc.
Now, when one is human (as we who are reading this presumably are) we have needs. I can meet my basic needs: eating, drinking water, getting sleep, staying warm/dry/cool/etc. I take my herbs. I practice my violin. I journal and meditate.
But rest?! For the sake of rest?!
Pssht.
What is that?!
That’s for “lazy” people… I’m not “lazy”.
To prove it, I haven’t had a “do nothing” day in nearly a month.
No wonder I got a migraine!!!

(“Do Nothing” days are days for just that: no errands, no chores, no plans, just whatever I want to do that does not involve work or labor of any kind (including cooking and cleaning!). I eat simply, and drink a lot of water. I maybe go for a leisurely walk. Maybe. If I lived in the country, I’d take a nap outside. But I live in the city so I nap inside with the cats while watching a movie I’ve seen a million times instead. Take a bath. Listen to music.   That’s a do nothing day.)

The migraine earlier this week?
A signal from my body that I overloaded it.
Not enough rest. Too much work.
When that happens, no amount of natural interventions can stop the cascade.

The cause of the ailment was lack of rest, and ONLY rest can bring relief.  That is the medicine within.

 
If you don’t drink enough water – no amount of food, sleep, or meditation is going to fix the fact that you are dehydrated!  Only water can bring relief.
So, migraines come to me to say, “You MUST stop. You are overdoing it and you need to, have to, rest.”
 
Migraines have become fewer and fewer over the past year. Yet they are still a presence in my life.
.

Many imbalances, symptoms and ailments serve as reminders that you are not caring for yourself in the way that is best for you.

As for me?  I do the things: take homeopathic Chamomilla to soothe my nervous system and calm the part of me that does not want to rest.  Bitters for my digestion.  And I take other herbs too.   Am making an effort to eat extremely well this week. But more doing, more efforting is not going to help with the next migraine.

Only rest will do that.

That’s the lesson for me, that I can just… stop.
 
I can rest.

I can rest and everything will be okay. 

The world will not fall apart around my ears if I stop for 20 minutes, or a day…

(This is a hard lesson to learn as a woman who was in a marriage affected by addiction!)
 
Giving myself this time, to simply be, is the biggest act of self love and compassion imaginable.
 
I can let myself have an enjoyable day off without the pressure to “catch up tomorrow”.
 
Without shame. Or “should”. Or pressure.

 

In this spirit, I have a contemplation for you:

– What is your body asking you to do, for you, right now?

– Do you understand the message?

– Can you act on the message’s behalf – in some way, every day, this week?

If you have trouble hearing your body, please watch the video below.

I talk about this a bit, provide an exercise, and some herbal options that are generally safe for most of the population (see disclaimer for the website).

With Heart,
Pamela
 

Here’s the IG Live I did on this very subject, give it a listen if you want to hear what herbs I’m incorporating into my “more rest” education.