Self-Care and The Body Connection


Guest Blogger: Sharon Sanquist, MSW

My friend Sana asked me to guest post here and I quickly knew what I wanted to write about.  Also, I especially love so, besides being flattered I am happy to contribute.




Self-care and the body connection

Isn’t it funny that when we start to tap into something important, we begin to “see” it everywhere?  The grocers, the office, at home or in the gym, there it is again.  Seeing this new point of interest in so many places is because we tuned into it.  The same thing can happen between our emotions and intellect with our physical selves.  We can become connected to our body; listening every minute of the day, always aware and seeing our needs in any circumstance.

What happens to the body when we are stressed?  Do we feel pain?  When we are anxious, depressed or have other negative emotions, what happens?

Through personal experience, I have become acutely aware of what my body is telling me.  For example, when highly stressed, the headaches and body aches become prominent.  But what to do about them?

People tell us to relax, meditate, eat right, sleep well and get exercise.  We all know these are things are good, but do we practice them?  And what are the specifics?  Which ones for headaches?  What about sleep?  We need strategies to coördinate our mind and body set up before the stressors hit.  We need a sign to make changes.  Signs such as pain, anxiety, depressed mood or headaches – these are our tools for listening and connecting to the rest of us.  They are not separate in any way from our skin, liver, arms or toes.

My self-care lately includes these signs to make changes – listening and being aware of what affects my body and making changes quicker when needed.  Being tuned in emotionally as well as intellectually, we can begin to learn what our body is saying.

Questions for readers: 

  1. What signs have you noticed that connect the physical symptoms to your emotional self?
  2. How have you made changes in your life once you tuned in to what your body is telling you?

Self-Care Tip – Listen… What are your emotions and your mind saying about the rest of your body?  Know your signs to make changes.

Sharon Sanquist, MSW, is a recent graduate from Fordham University at Lincoln Center. She has worked with individuals and groups in a long-term residential rehabilitation facility as well as in a community outpatient mental health agency. Sharon’s mental health therapy interest includes trauma, dissociation, LGBT, and issues surrounding chronic pain. She recently moved to Tampa, Florida and loves the warm weather and sunshine.