Whether officially in quarantine or simply staying at home more, many of us are entering the new year having moved less in 2020 than ever before. And because of it, we’re feeling less than are best. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t realizing that it’s this lack of movement, combined with increased anxiety, that is leaving us feeling lethargic, tired, depressed, and just generally uncomfortable. 

In fact, we’re so out of tune with the connection between our bodies, minds, and the way we move that we don’t even realize anything’s wrong — or that there’s anything we can do to feel better. 

Thankfully, there is plenty that can be done!

And a lot of it starts with simply moving more and moving mindfully.

We often forget how much better we will feel if we get up and move. But, once we do, we remember how effective (and fast!) movement works. That’s because when we exercise our bodies we change the chemical composition of our body. When we’re stressed or scared, the chemicals in our bodies shift, changing the way we feel both mentally and physically. And if we stay in that state for extended periods of time (like so many of us did in 2020), the chemicals build up and stagnate, magnifying the negative ways we are feeling. This is how we end up in negative cycles that are so hard to get out of. 

We feel scared or anxious, so the chemicals in our bodies change. Those changes impact how our brains think, often perpetuating how we feel. Those feelings then cause physical effects, including pain, discomfort, and insomnia, which not only deters us from moving our bodies, but leaves us feeling even more scared and anxious!

But while changing the way you think can be difficult (we all know our minds are hard to master), moving your body mindfully is actually simple. As soon as you start moving with intention, your body starts changing its chemical composition, which means that your brain is now receiving different signals. 

Movement is the secret to changing how you think and feel quickly, which is why it’s so important now more than ever that we, as a society, start to tend to ourselves through movement again. 

Some of the best ways to move your body are the ones that are easiest and most enjoyable for yourself, like taking a walk outside or spending time doing a slow yoga class. Whatever type of movement you choose, make sure you’re doing it with the intention of tending to your body, which means you’re listening to what your physical body needs, and doesn’t need.

And, of course, visiting a chiropractor is another way to start looking more closely at the connection between your body and mind, how you’re feeling physically and mentally. While it might seem like a splurge from time to time, investing in your health and well-being will ensure that your 2021 looks much different (and so much better) than your 2020.