About a year ago, I decided to make myself my most important priority. My relationships, school, designing, blogging, advocating, and socializing all had to file behind. My ultimate goal is to improve my health and well-being. When I started this journey, I always thought of myself as treading water in the middle of the ocean and starting to slip under the water just minutes before the Coastguard arrived. I didn’t want that feeling hanging over my head. I wanted to tread above water on a beautiful day during a leisurely swim, not picture myself drowning in an emergency situation.
The first thing I did was to scale back social events because they weren’t making me happy at the time. Next, I limited doctor’s appointments and other appointments to only those that were absolutely necessary. Another key element I did and continue to do is delegate. I always handled managing my health myself. It was too big of a burden to bear, so I asked loved ones for support, transportation, help with phone calls, picking up my prescriptions, and handed off the task of grocery shopping. Cutting out all the noise allowed me to focus in on the work that needed to be done.
I made health decisions based on what my ‘gut’ told me to do and no longer spent days researching and reading medical journals. Sure, a little research was fine, but freeing myself from late-night Google searches was exhilarating.
I also made sure to spend time doing other things besides improving my health. I spent time with family and the occasional friend or two. I went to holiday gatherings. I took (and currently take) classes in Graphic Design to learn a new skill-set. Taking my mind off of my goals is a good practice to keep up. It also helps me combat boredom and stress.
I asked for help. This is different from delegating for me. I ask for help when I’m having trying moments of pain, caught up in the daily grind of managing my schedule, and simply need someone to talk to. I’m so very lucky to have many caring individuals in my life whom I reach out to when I feel like my world is crumbling to bits. I talk it out, brainstorm a solution to the source of the problem, and move on. In particularly trying times, I call friends until someone picks up. Talking to someone who understands my situation eases the burden.
I made a bold move. I decided to go from a Paleo diet to one based on my genetics, blood type, urinalysis, measurements, and ancestry. It’s called epigenetics and it is essentially thought to turn ‘off’ the genes that are causing harm and turn ‘on’ the good genes to heal. I basically have a list of superfoods, neutral foods, and avoid foods. I’m not allergic to the avoid foods, but they aren’t thought to help my body. I’m really strict and stick to my superfoods and neutral foods. This has helped jumpstart the process of healing my gut and healing from all the prescription medications I have taken over the years.
I started exercising every day. Before, I made it a goal to workout four times a week, but I was never consistent. Now, I workout every single day. I’m not doing anything extreme. I’ve started really small and have worked up to what I can do now. I haven’t been able to do a push up since my attempts during Water Polo conditioning in high school. I started doing them on the wall, then on a chair, kneeling, and so on. Now, I can do ten *real* push-ups in a row and continue on with a different version of mountain climbers where you put one foot up with the corresponding hand and tilt your hips downward. Fancy, I know! I was able to teach my super duper athletic boyfriend a new exercise for the first time in, well, ever.
I put more emphasis in Reiki, Myofascial Release, and my diet. I’m now a certified Level II Reiki Practitioner. I give myself Reiki when needed and also attend a weekly healing circle. My insurance now covers Myofascial Release, and I go much more often. I’m going every other week. I’m going to try every week to see if that makes a positive difference. I give myself small goals within the scope of my diet. I’m currently doing a 90 day tea challenge where I’m having green tea in the morning and herbal tea at night.
I see what else needs work. Next on the agenda is my sleep hygiene. As you can tell by what time I’m posting this, I’m a bit of a night owl. I’ve gotten better, but there is progress to be made.
I choose who I surround myself with carefully. I feed of positive energy while my pain is worsened by the latter.
I forgive myself for the pain. I repeat mantras to let go of anything that ails me.
Finally, don’t sweat the small stuff. Are you even going to remember what you are upset about right now in three, five, or ten years time?
The proof is in the pudding. I’m starting to get fewer Xeomin Injections every time those three months roll around. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.
There is still more work to be done. I truly believe that healing comes only when you are ready. There is no ‘secret’ fix. The answer is within.
P.S.-You should talk to your doctor about any changes you are planning on making. Every individual is different. Please know that I’m cheering for each and every one of you! Know that you are worthy of improvement and don’t ever give up.