Once again, I am writing to you today out of personal experience and opinion… with some science and love to supplement the content.
As most people agree, life is difficult. It seems that when it rains it pours, and when its sunny outside you get burnt.
As someone who practices optimism in day to day life, it can be especially exhausting when these series of responsibilities and trials that come my way push back. That being said, I wanted to share with you all some tips and thoughts regarding to caring for yourself, that I myself must practice in order to protect my wellbeing.
It is hard to be an individual who is so outwardly focused. Always striving, always running, always hoping. With all of my goals and desires I forget what I have right now… and thats my body and my health.
As mentioned in the previous article I suffer from a variety of stomach issues that I believe affect my whole body. Swollen knees, achy joints, depression, exhaustion, nausea, pain and much more. Now add being overwhelmed with school, home life, and maybe some friends when I have time, and caring for my body can get pushed to this side if I am not careful.
Our bodies are talking to us, are you listening?
When cold sores pop out, it shows a virus. When head aches occur it signifies a variety of issues. When we are falling asleep in the middle of the day, were exhausted. When acne emerges, we are eating poorly and our system is struggling to detox. When we sweat profusely we have had too much caffeine or are anxious. Each symptom expresses a variety of causes.
So why don’t we listen?
I believe that the corporate control over our media is responsible. We have the means, and technology to learn so much more about ourselves, yet were stuck in this allopathic system. Most western medicine has severe side effects on our systems, yet that is the first thing we run to. As mentioned in the previous article, antibiotics, for example, lead to degradation of your immune system and stomach, yet we take it for infections. This is counter-intuitive considering you are trying to fight an infection in the first place but will be less likely to defeat it next time because of the ‘cure’ you took this time.
Our society. We may not run to medication if we were allowed a week off to recover. Yet, we are so fast paced and competitive that a week to overcome the flu may cost you the promotion; even though you likely contracted the flu in your workplace and because of the stress and exhaustion couldn’t fight it.
So how can we be more mindful about self care?
Of course, listening to the body is a great first step. It tells you everything you need to know. While we are listening though, we must use our minds to decipher the messages educatedly. If I feel like I am overwhelmingly hungry and nothing can satisfy this hunger but a big chocolate donut, chances are this is coming from an overgrowth of yeast (which feeds on sugar) cancer (which feeds on sugar) or an addiction to sugar because of how much we consume unconsciously on a daily basis. So now because we are aware of hidden sugars and processed items, we can fight these cravings and give the body what it really needs… some water to detox. Also you can try a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar to stunt the cravings.
Rest regardless of how tired you feel. Sometimes we drink so much coffee, eat too much sugar, consume too much digital media, and then the night never ends and the hours tick away until you finally rest. Adrenaline and stress also add to this issue. It is important to be able to combat the uncomfortable feeling of restlessness with rest. If your body is unbalanced and stressed it can keep you awake when it is really desperate to catch some Z’s and work it out on the inside. Rather than stressing over how you can’t sleep and focusing on other ways to occupy your time, try to sniff some therapeutic lavender essential oil, or one of the many other calming scents, and meditate on peace until your body can relax into sleep mode.
Go to the bathroom. Do you feel the urge to urinate and ignore it? Do you feel the rumbles in your belly and push past? Are you so concerned with completing an assignment, conversation, drive, or what ever that you won’t allow your body to complete the detoxification and waste excrement process? If you are guilty, beware. As the future continues this can lead to cancers in your bowel, intestines, and urinary tract. Not to mention kidney infections, and other systemic complications. A simple trip to the bathroom no matter how inconvenient is mandatory for you to operate out of self love and awareness.
Move your body. As many of us can relate, a long day of school work, ‘work’ work, or visiting with friends and family can really wear a person out. When you finally get out of whatever tolling task you participated in throughout your day, you may feel the urge to sit down on the couch, stare at a computer or television and treat yourself to some mindless resting. Avoid this. Regardless of how tired you are mentally, and then in turn physically, encourage yourself to go for a walk around the block for 20 minutes before resting. Sitting at a computer, or in a desk all day can and will cause health complications for you. If you don’t take any time out of your day moving and grooving it will cause digestive issues and issues within the strength and flexibility of your body as well. Not to mention a lack of excursive causes cardio vascular diseases and depression as well. So therefore, I can not stress enough how important it is to move that body in any simple way you can. P.S try yoga!
Spend time with loved ones. In a fast paced and busy world where you are continually pushed to be at this place, take this picture, work at this place, cover this shift, do this assignment, etc, we often times let our loved ones rest on the back burner. We can take for granted our friends and family who we trust because we assume they will always be there. The pressure our boss or teacher puts on us can seem more important to attend to. It has been scientifically proven, and shown through psychological case studies and surveys, that those who surround themselves with loved ones and spend time together… live longer. Not only does it affect your health positively, but your mood and state of mind is also uplifted when you feel a sense of community. Caring for yourself means caring for others, despite what pop-culture might suggest. You may not need ‘him’ the significant other that broke your heart, but you do need some body. You can’t do this alone… not for long anyway.
Spend time in nature. Arguably the most under-appreciated gift we have in life is the environment. The fact we refer to the nature from which we evolved as the ‘outdoors’ is so odd in the history of the world. We separate ourselves from a part of ourselves in an essence. Though its easy to forget we are just another species on earth, and need its resources to live. The food grown in the earth nourishes and sustains us, the water that flows through is not only a large part of our bodily composition, but also what we live off of. With all of that in mind, you must see the importance of spending time outside in nature. There you can connect with the healing vitamins and warm comfort in the suns rays, the euphoric rush of fresh oxygen, and a sense of peace and calm free from the interruptive messages that are now unavoidable in most areas of our society. The sound of a phone alarm or buzz, or a bird tweet and bee’s buzz? Which do you think is better for your soul and well-being? Check out ‘Love Thy Nature’ a documentary that covers the science behind this topic and also the future eco-revolution.
Spend time with God- As mentioned earlier, we need a sense of community to live. When you know God, or Jesus Christ, you can find an ear to listen to your cries, a sense of comfort when you call to him about your problems, a source of grace and gratitude that will carry you over trials, and most importantly eternal life. What does man have that he should gain the world and lose his soul? A fool will collect treasures to pass to his sons, for all things have been dust, and will return to dust. Seek and ye shall find.
There are a variety of other methods to keeping yourself well, but these are on the forefront of my mind as I push through these college years. Let me know what you think and how these comments relate to you. I am more than interested.