If you don’t have your health, what do you really have?
Life is unpredictable, and mostly out of our control.
The illusion that we have control over anything is what feeds fear, anxiety and stress.
There are thousands of ways the rug can be pulled out from beneath our feet, leaving us totally shattered.
When times are good, often we feel good. When we feel good, we usually don’t have trouble eating well, exercising, and getting that morning meditation and self care in.
What often happens though, is when life falls apart in little and earth shattering ways, all of the self care and healthy lifestyle stuff goes out the window.
This could be through a divorce, family issues, a death, loss of a job, financial stress, or other things going on around us that threaten to take us down.
Stress that is not given space to be expressed, processed, and moved though can start to affect our mental and emotional health, as well as start to show up in physical symptoms.
Suppressed immunity, infections, headaches, weight gain, digestive issues and more can begin to surface.
Stress related illness is real, and it can have serious health effects. One of those is adrenal and hormone imbalance issues.
Depression and anxiety can set in unless we have support and practices that keep the emotions moving though.
When we are emotionally and psychologically stressed, it is natural to want to eat whatever is in sight (or not eat at all), and to want to just lay on the couch, or not even want to get out of bed in the first place.
Exercising can be more of a challenge when we are not feeling our best, and it is hard to talk ourselves into, even with the simple shift that we will feel better when we are done. What helps me to do it anyways, is the understanding that emotions are energy. They need to be moved, and exercise is the best way to move emotional energy through the body and energy system.
And while there needs to be space to allow ourselves to be fully in the experience of the shit going down, we also have to have enough awareness to know that if we don’t care for ourselves through it, the next thing to go sideways will likely be our health.
When it is most difficult to stay with our practices, is when we most need to create extra space for them.
Here are 5 ways to protect your health during stressful and emotionally turbulent times:
- Create Sacred Space: It’s fine to want to cocoon yourself more, to take more naps, be alone with your thoughts. Don’t fight that and force yourself to push on. Get quiet. Ask for help. Meditate, drink tea, journal, cry. Whatever you most need to do, allow what is to be exactly what it is.
- Get into nature. Even if its for 10 minutes to be among the trees, or near water. This is an excellent way to connect spiritually, ground ourselves, and melt stress.
- Crank up some high vibe tunes and move your body. Even though you may want to just curl up in a ball, moving the energy through will help you to shift it and allow it to flow through.
- Take supportive herbs that help your body adapt to stress. One of my favorites is ValeriCalm by St. Francis. It’s great for calming frazzled nerves, and take before bed for more restful sleep.
- Get Support. Even if you are one to deny that you need any support, and tell yourself you can figure it all out on your own, having emotional support from the right people can mean the difference between having a swift turn around, and years of after effects, depending on the situation. No matter what the crises, love yourself enough to invest in some coaching or therapy to help you move through things in a healthy way.
Having a tool box of go-to practices that you do daily as part of your holistic self care, and ones to reach for in times of intense challenge, is part of staying vital and healthy.