Caring for Your Body During Adversity

Do you let yourself go during hard times? Most people do, especially if they are not well equipped for challenges. Too often during trying times, we immediately neglect the care and nurture of our bodies. Instead of slowing down and making sure extra care is given to our temples, we bypass some very key practices that will help us in the long run.

Even though the deepest and most important part of you is your spirit, the body you were created with is the temple for your spirituality. It is still vitality important to practice proper temple upkeep.

During spiritual turbulence, your body is undergoing lots of different changes and is adjusting to the stress levels that may be increasing. They are meant to only be temporary speed bumps—blips on the screen where you learn to adjust and overcome. Yet while you undergoing these stressors, it is important to care for your body in the following three areas:

1. Get Plenty of Sleep:

Allow Your Body to Recover 

Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do when you are going through adversity is to simply get to bed at a decent time. It may even mean going to bed earlier.

Sleep is your recovery time and a chance for your mind to clear the clutter.

Many people will use sleep as an escape. This is not what I am speaking of. But it is a waste of energy to sit up late, mulling over all the problems that are going on. Quite often we overwork our minds trying to dissect the struggles we are in. But if our bodies are taped out with lack of sleep, our brain capacities wont even work to the fullest potential.

I suggest going to bed and rising at the same time. In addition, set yourself up for success by closing each night and opening up the morning meditating on God’s Word and His ways. It will give you the greatest capacity for the Spirit of God to release peace and refreshment over you in the night season while you sleep.

2. Eat Well:

Give Your Body the Best Fuel

The most common thing people do when they  are going through adversity is eat foods and drink liquids that are very tasty yet also not beneficial to the body’s nutritional needs. We usually grab for the sugary or highly processed foods as a way to calm our bodies, when in fact, we are actually doing more harm. In stressful seasons, our bodies are using extra energy and resources to deal with a specific stressor. Adding bad eating on top of this only compounds how you are going to feel.

Here are some basic things to keep in mind when it comes to what you eat and drink:

Drink plenty of water: It has been said that most people walk around dehydrated. Because of this, so many battle with low energy levels, which could often be helped by getting a healthy dose of H2O. Your organs and body systems benefit from being well hydrated. Drinking sugary drinks, tons of coffee and diet drinks only help to contribute to dehydration.

Often a good tip is to have a nice tall glass of water first thing in the morning. This helps restore the water needed to start your day. Then keep a water bottle with you all day long as a reminder to keeping drinking.

Stay away from highly processed foods: When we eat a lot of processed foods, our bodies need extra energy to process through them, creating a sluggish feeling and sometimes depressive moods. During adversity, we need to focus our energy into encouraging ourselves and drawing more strength from God, not digesting the loads of comfort foods we are shoveling in.

I am not into dieting, but I am into eating foods that are friendly to the body’s digestive system. Many people are realizing, like myself, that there is very little fruits and veggies in their daily intake. To help this, I began using a juicer and also a NutriBullet, where I can make a delicious juice or shakes. This also changed my energy levels.

Do not eat when you are lonely, bored, angry or hurting:  This has been an amazing tool of discernment for me. When I get the munchies or feel the urge to eat, I ask myself, “Is there an unmet need I am trying to fill with food?”

When I hear the stories of people that are overweight, we can usually trace their weight issue back to a time where adversity came into their life. Things got tough and food was used as a nurture source, so we have to remove food as a source of healing, lest we are drawn to things that would bring little nutrition.

During adversity, you need comfort, nurture and encouragement, but we are not going to find it in food. If we do, then our bodies will become trained to run to food in tough times. I have learned the hard way that I cannot fight the devil with a fork.

3. Physical Movement & Exercise:

Give Your Body Healthy Movement 

When people ask me advice about exercise, I tell them, Jesus walked.

Sometimes we make this very complicated, but we really just need regular times of walking and being active. A lot of times when we feel depressed and down because of a trial, we’ll just collapse on the couch. But often the best solution is to get out and get the heart rate up. Simply stated, just get moving.

Exercise needs to be an act of self-love, where you add energy, endorphins and strength. Exercise should never be an act of punishment; whether it’s to punish yourself for what you ate or to beat yourself into losing weight. That is a vicious cycle that will never produce long term results.

Sometimes we emphasize so much in trying to learn spiritual truths, that we think caring for the temple God gave us in not a spiritual action. But caring for your temple is an amazing act of spiritual obedience.

Question: Which practice do you need to cultivate to turn the tables on adversity?