Here we are, on the downhill run to Christmas. And for folks living in tropical Darwin it is steamy. It’s like everything we need to get done before Christmas is suddenly 10 times harder, because it feels like we’re in a sauna 24-7. Here are three signs it’s time to put your feet up: swollen ankles; feeling tired and sluggish; and feeling under pressure.

It’s hard to sleep, hard to work, hard to play because it’s just so hot and humid.

And it’s this type of weather that also really taxes the delicate balance of your internal fluids. As well as fighting gravity, your lymphatic system now also has to contend with the body’s new found propensity to retain fluid.

One of the things you can do to help your lymphatic system at this time of the year is to rest. Here are 3 signs that it’s time to sit down and put your feet up.


You’re feeling swell

Ok, I don’t mean swell as in you’re feeling great. I mean swell as in you’re swelling! Particularly in the feet, ankles, lower legs and hands. So you may notice that your shoes fit more snugly than usual. They may even leave indentations in your feet at the end of the day. Your lower legs and feet may also start to feel tired and achy by the end of the day. Your hands may also swell a bit and you’ll notice that everyday jewellery, such as rings, also may feel tight.

Water retention—makes you feel larger than life.


You’re feeling tired and sluggish

It’s a normal part of your body’s delicate balancing system for fluid to leak out of blood vessels and be found in and around every cell in the body. As your cells do what they do, the waste products they create are deposited into the fluid in the tissues. From here the lymphatic vessels collect this “dirty water” and eventually return it to the circulatory system. Along the way the lymph fluid is filtered each time it passes though the many hundreds of lymph nodes located around the body.

If this system becomes less effective your body starts to accumulate cellular waste. This waste and other toxins sit in the fluid around each cell and eventually affect the efficiency of cellular function. The overall result is that you start to feel less energised and generally a bit, sort of … bleugh!


You’re feeling under pressure

The demands of our busy lifestyles keep us constantly on the go rushing from one thing to the next, fitting in work duties, domestic chores and social activities in a constant stream of go, go, go.

As you maintain this busy-ness it’s very easy to lose contact with your body. Muscles become tight, joints stiff and we don’t really notice other than to shrug the shoulders and roll it off.

As your muscles get sore and tight, the delicate lymph vessels become restricted and are less able to transport fluid out of your tissues and return it to the circulatory system. Tight calves and swollen ankles often go hand-in-hand, so to speak.

Take time to rest, and take the weight off your feet. Let gravity help your lymphatic system (particularly if you have swelling in the feet and legs), put your feet up. If you’re into yoga, do some restorative poses, and then spend some time with your legs up the wall. This is fabulous for restoring overall balance. Here are some other things you can do with your feet up.

If you’d like more tips on how to look after your lymphatic system, you may enjoy this article I wrote a while ago:
How to look after your lymphatic system


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