Last week I was suffering from some minor neck pain. Normally I would have associated this with stress, but while I have been putting pressure on myself to learn new things at a greater pace than before, I didn’t feel particularly stressed, so I found this puzzling.
In these cases, a couple of good nights’ sleep usually sorts it out. However, when the issue recurred shortly after, I realised I would have to try something else.
Since starting my new job and moving to south-west London, I’ve been walking to work every day. This means that my body is under more stress each day, but human bodies are meant to be moving around a lot; even out of shape I should be feeling benefits, and I’m not walking on my neck.
Or am I?
For the past year while commuting by train, I’ve been reading books. Once I had gotten used to my walking route, I decided to get books back into my commute, so I would walk and read, carefully of course, glancing up frequently and closing the book when crossing roads.
Since keeping your head bent down adds a lot of pressure to your neck, so I stopped reading while walking and the very same day my neck pains subsided.
It’s amazing the difference a small amount of thoughtful self-care can make, but often we just don’t think of it at the time.
Next time something doesn’t feel right or as if it’s changed negatively, think about what you’ve changed recently and whether that might be related, just going back to doing less can be the solution.