Whether you’re busy with school, a career, being a parent or healing from illness, life can be full, fast and exhausting.
My days are spent much differently now as opposed to my pre-Lyme disease diagnosis.
Before I started feeling ill, I worked hard, played hard, and filled my life with constant social activities, meetings, quick meals and late nights. I was in my early twenties, with my whole life ahead of me; I rarely asked myself if this kind of life was sustainable.
I ignored my body’s subtle symptoms…until they weren’t so subtle anymore. I crashed. I crashed hard and fast.
Approaching my 26th birthday, and over a year and a half into treatment, I’ve realized the magnitude of my illness. Healing is my full-time job. And while my usual self would want to push-push-push through it, I’ve come to terms with the fact that life isn’t always about going hard.
I’ve traded late-night concerts for late-night Netflix in bed.
I’ve traded margaritas for green smoothies.
I’ve replaced my high-stress PR job with small projects with few concrete deadlines.
My days consist of a lot of medicinal therapies; and though I’ve gotten pretty good at doing my daily detoxing, following my healthy medicinal diet, weekly or monthly IVs, and taking all of my many supplements and medications, I was neglecting my spirit. I realized that taking care of my inner being was key to healing deeply, which is why paths to recovery are often called spiritual journeys. In order to heal your mind, body, and soul, sometimes “going hard” isn’t always best.
Living gently, and treating yourself kindly is a valuable lesson—one I am learning to practice every day.
1.) Nurture yourself from the inside out. Treat your insides simply by starting your day with a big glass of lemon water, add daily fresh juices or green smoothies to your diet, and celebrate the end of the day with hot herbal tea. Treat your outsides by avoiding harsh chemicals, instead, opt for natural ingredients that will benefit your body holistically.
2.) Slow down. Wake up slowly, even if it means setting the alarm clock for a little earlier in the morning. Stretch, and have a wholesome breakfast before embarking on your day.
3.) Breathe deeply. Oxygen is life! Sometimes all it takes is 10 deep breaths to bring me back to center. Deep breathing not only helps clear your mind and relieve tension, but your body functions more optimally when you “belly breathe.”
4.) Plant your bare feet in the dirt. Grounding happens when your bare feet come into contact with the earth’s surface by conducting negative electrons to your body. Emerging science is revealing that grounding may bring a wide range of health benefits including improvements in sleep, chronic pain and inflammation, cortisol, blood pressure, heart rate and stress reduction.
5.) Simplify your surroundings. Let go of space-cluttering possessions that contribute to a stressful environment rather than a peaceful and productive space. Following basic Feng Shui techniques can harmonize your home and raise the overall vibration of your surroundings.
6.) Let go of the past, and don’t let anxiety rule your thoughts. Focus on learning to be present by practicing mindful meditation each day. Create a relaxing ritual to help ease worries: a night time bath with your favorite essential oils and bath salts, or drinking a cup of hot tea while reading a book.
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” ~ Buddha
7.) Say yes to things that serve you. Say no to things that don’t. Follow your passions, and make deliberate choices. Learning how to say no actually gives your “yes” more power. Let go of the many yeses, and consider each question before automatically tacking on another thing to your list of obligations. Is your heart in it? Learning how to say no not only helps you become a true decision maker, but also helps you to develop more trust with yourself.
“A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, avoid trouble.”
8.) Listen to your intuition. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” ~ Steve Jobs
9.) Laugh every day. “Laughter is the best medicine!” Humor can relieve stress, boost your immune system and flood your body with endorphins to help combat pain. Create space for laughter every day, whether it be playing with your pet, chatting with good friends, or watching adorable YouTube videos of laughing babies.
10.) Repeat affirmations out loud. Every word you speak carries a vibration. When thinking and speaking positively, you are assisting your entire body’s ability to heal. Relieve worries and release disease by consciously repeating affirmations free of uncertainty or doubt.
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” ~ Buddha
11.) Forgive yourself, embrace your true self (flaws included), and learn that it’s okay if you can’t accomplish every goal right away. “Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best that you can.”
Author: Melissa Cox
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Author’s Own