Hello world! Happy Sunday! It’s been really difficult to put my thoughts into words. I’ve been dealing with some health issues that were triggered by my severe anxiety and stress since December. I had to let go and cut out a lot of things from my life. Being out of a full time job gave me a lot of time to think. Even though initially I was devastated by my health situation, I am recovering and appreciating life so much more. Don’t worry, I’ll be okay and luckily it’s not life threatening.
This whole experience has been an eye opener for what it really means to be healthy. Self-care isn’t something that can take a backseat to a career, to relationships, or to other responsibilities. Self-care needs to be taken care of in order to be fulfilled in all areas of life. For example, if you don’t take care of your health and become sick, would you be able to work to pay your bills? Nope!
Even though I’m still dealing with everything that’s been going on, I can honestly say that this difficult period in my life has been a blessing in disguise. It’s made me stop and actually be aware of my life, how I’m feeling, and what my body is telling me. Whatever I was thinking and feeling had manifested itself physically and there’s no way to deny that I needed to get my health back on the right path. Here are some things I had come to realize when it comes to practicing self-care.
Meditation is not about blocking out thoughts. Before getting into mindfulness and meditation, I used to think that meditation is blocking out all thoughts and clearing your mind. And I thought to myself “uhhh can I really not think about anything?” Thank goodness I found guided meditations on Youtube to help me with meditation and to change my perceptions of the practice. Instead of not thinking, I use meditation to be in the present. It’s like a holiday for my brain to take a break from worrying about the future and to stop dwelling on the past. For 10 minutes a day I give myself permission to enjoy the present… It’s done wonders for me! I look forward to 10 minutes of “me time” and it’s made me a lot less anxious when I feel the weight of the world on me. I want to eventually work my way up to 30 minutes daily.
Exercise isn’t just for looking good, it’s for honoring the body you have. Confession time: I HATE WORKING OUT! It’s honestly sooo boring and I have never been disciplined enough to stick to it long term so that I can really feel and see the difference in my body. However, now that I am working on my mind, I totally view the act of working out as something different. I know that there are so many health benefits to exercising. It can help with depression, stress, etc, but I was too lazy and shallow to think of it that way. I only felt the pressure to exercise if I had wanted to look good in a certain dress, prepare for a trip where I had to wear something revealing, and other superficial reasons. I still don’t like exercising and I am still inconsistent but my thoughts on it has changed. My body is a vessel and I’ll have it until the day I die. I should be taking care of it and keeping it healthy for as long as I can because it’s the only one I have. It’s still a constant struggle to get my butt off the couch and get moving but I’m trying harder than before.
There are infinite resources to motivate and inspire you on your self-care journey. Oh what a wonderful world we live in where almost everything we want to know about is just a click away. When I was at a lost on how to go about with this whole thing, I found so many valuable free resources on YouTube and websites like Girlboss and TheEveryGirl. My favorite hot mess who’s also my fave mental health activist is Jen Gotch from Bando. I love how open and vulnerable she’s been with her hardships and journey to a healthier, happier self. I look up to other ladies who had been through it all and still strive to get better and let others know that they’re not alone. If you ever feel like you’re alone in your journey, just know that you can find so many resources online to help get you where you want to be.
What you eat is what your body is fueled by. When I first discovered my poor health condition, I had to detox my body from all the junk food I was eating daily during the holiday season. One of the things I had to cut out was gluten. It was then that I discovered that gluten is in so many things! Like different salad dressings and soy sauce! I was craving all the bread and noodles and I couldn’t have any of it. I had to remind myself that even though food is for enjoying, it’s also a fuel for my body to function properly. I needed to consume healthy whole foods in order for my body to absorb vitamins and repair itself. I can eat gluten again and boy am I grateful! I do let myself enjoy junk now but I also eat more healthy as well to have some kinda balance. Also, I finally started taking vitamins and making it a part of my daily lifestyle for the first time in my adult life!
It’s okay to not be positive all the time. It’s been rough, man. Some days I had really dark thoughts. Some days I wanted to stay in bed and cry and watch Netflix all day. And then there are days where I feel a new jolt of energy to put on pants, brush my hair, and get out into the world again. What I’ve learned is that even though we’ve all heard over and over again that we must remain positive, everything is a lesson, things will eventually get better, blah blah blah… sometimes you just gotta let yourself cry and feel all the shitty feelings you feel. You’re human. You’re allowed to be scared and angry and some days it’s okay if you give up. What’s important is that you after you let yourself break down, you have to pick up the pieces and put yourself back together again. Because as much as I’m tired of hearing it, I know that it won’t be this crappy forever and I will get through this. Life is going to work itself out like it always has.