A New Look!

A New Look!

I launched Design Your Healthy Life in late 2015. As soon as my first website was up and running, I knew I would quickly outgrow it. In all honesty, I was never completely happy with it. But you have to start somewhere!

You’re likely aware that I spent more than two decades of my life struggling with poor health. I’ve been committed to my health since 2000, and I’ve been able to create a level of wellness and vitality that I didn’t even know was possible at the beginning of my journey.

I’m able to live my life fully now, with purpose and passion, and that’s exactly what YOU deserve too!

So many people are struggling with health challenges and diseases. And the greatest tragedy of all is that many of these issues are preventable. We create them with our unhealthy lifestyles, and not by choice, but because we often don’t know better or we aren’t aware of the full risks of our choices. And to top it off, many people who think they’re making healthy choices are still at risk from what they don’t know they don’t know!

My mission is to change the way you take care of yourself, to reveal all the areas that need your attention, and provide you with amazing support so that you can create a comprehensively holistic and healthy lifestyle. When you prioritize wellness and give your body the attention it deserves, your health will soar. And so will your aspirations and abilities, allowing you to live the life of your dreams!

It’s so easy to get swept along with the day to day busyness and craziness of the world we live in. You must be intentional, educated, and choose wisely to create a different path of wellness and vitality.

The new look of Design Your Healthy Life is more aligned with my passion and mission. My new logo has a softer, more gentle color scheme, which is a better representation of the importance of being kind to ourselves. We have only one body and we are the only ones who can care for it properly. The addition of the mandala represents the search for completeness and self-unity, our journey through life, and our connection to the universe. And the shimmery colors are a reminder that light is everywhere, offering a constant source of beauty and personal power. And the website has been fully updated as well. When you have a moment, have a look around!

Given the seriousness of poor health, a new look seems trivial in comparison. I have so much more than that to share with you! I’ve been hard at work for months now, redesigning my services. As soon as those are ready, you’ll be the first to know.

For now, know that I am always here for you and encourage you to reach out anytime you need something. If I can’t help you, I often know who or what can. When I first started on my journey, it was a very lonely path. A guide or friend traveling the same path would have been a godsend. It would be an honor for me to be that person for you.

What Drives Your Healthy Choices?

What Drives Your Healthy Choices?

We all know that health is important. But being truly health is MUCH more complicated than we’ve been led to believe, especially with an ever-increasing number of threats to our health such as toxins, EMF’s, stress, etc.

Being healthy is not a passive process or just an absence of disease or illness. We must choose to be healthy and be highly intentional about consistently making choices that create and enhance our health. Education and effort are key.

But you also have to know YOUR “why” for being conscious, intentional and selective to stay motivated and on track. Without this understanding and constant drive, it’s easy to slip into default mode and choose what is easy, which more often than not, means unhealthy.

When you go into default mode, you fall in with the majority, who pay dearly for their lack of attention by losing their health, quality of life and all too often, their lives. It may sound like I’m being overly dramatic, but this is our current reality. And I highly doubt you’ve been spared the suffering of losing a loved one to a fatal illness, so I’m sure you can easily relate to what I’m drawing attention to.

You need to stop living in fear that you’ll be the next victim and take control of your own health destiny. You can’t control everything, but you can control more than you’re likely aware of. And you are the only one who can properly care for YOUR body.

My initial “why” was to be able to enjoy the greatest desire of my life – being a mom. Committing to and recovering my health is still the best thing I have ever done for myself. And enjoying my children has brought me indescribable fulfillment and joy.

While my children are young adults now, I’m still motivated to protect my health for them. This is partly so I can continue to witness the unfolding of their lives, but also because they need my continuous support. They are amazing individuals, and I have no doubt that they are now fully capable of managing on their own. But having a family that has their backs allows them greater freedom to explore who they are and experiment with different paths. I hope that will translate to them having incredibly fulfilling and happy lives, rather than having to choose the mediocrity that is sometimes necessary for survival.

My “why” has grown over time. It has brought me a purpose-driven career that I’m deeply passionate about. It has fueled an insatiable desire to be the best version of myself possible. And it’s opened my mind to the possibilities of what life can offer. My bucket list grows longer by the day!

I believe that life is a gift, and recovering and expanding my health and my idea of what health is, has changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. Now I can see AND participate in all the opportunities the world has to offer, in ways that weren’t possible before.

I believe we all have a unique purpose to fulfill if we’re willing to see and accept it. And I know, with absolute certainty, that we can only live our best lives when we have the health to take us there.

What’s your “why”? Consider it deeply and make it crystal clear in your mind. And then make healthy choices from that magical place.

I know that discovering your “why” can be very personal. But if you are willing to share it, I’d love to hear it. Hit reply and let me know.

Your Best Year Yet

Your Best Year Yet

Getting bombarded with messages about New Year’s resolutions makes my stomach turn. It feels superficial and commercialized, even though I am a huge fan of reviewing my life, planning for all types of improvements and capturing all of my heart’s desires into a bucket list and life plan.

Desiring healthy and positive change is always a good thing. Making commitments for life improvements only once a year feels limiting and disappointing. I try to be in a continuous state of awareness about what is good about my life and what doesn’t feel quite right, and always have something that I am working on. In fact, I typically have multiple things “in the works”.

Understanding why a change is desired, what that shift would mean, and having a reasonable, sustainable plan for achieving any goal, are all important pieces. A plan that works for you, which is likely to be different than what will work for your mother, neighbor or best friend, is also essential.

The planning piece has challenged and limited me time and time again. Big dreams and goals often feel overwhelming, and attempting to plan out the implementation of something I have no idea how to accomplish, has left many of my hopes and dreams unfulfilled.

I’m not giving up. I know that some of the biggest regrets that many older people have, especially as they are passing on, are the things they didn’t do. And there are plenty of people who have achieved things beyond their wildest dreams, just because they dared to dream and be open to the possibility of achievement.

I’ve spent years working on shifting limiting beliefs in my subconscious brain, and my thoughts about what is possible continue to expand. I allow myself to be inspired by the lifestyles and accomplishments of people making a difference in the world with their own unique skills and talents. I spend time perusing beautiful books and magazines and writing down the experiences and destinations that appeal to me. I allow myself to dream big and have audacious goals for how I might be of service in my own unique way. I work at being my best, every single day.

I forgive myself when things don’t go well. I listen to my body and my heart. I allow myself to feel my emotions and do my best to process and express them, and I ask for support when I need it. I have not mastered any of this and there is a lot of imperfection. Some things come easier than others and I am always learning and growing, working towards the next best version of myself, living my own idea of an amazing life from moment to moment. It is incredibly difficult at times and often feels like a jumbled mess. But I’ve already achieved things I wouldn’t have dared to dream of as former versions of myself. And I feel like I am just getting started. I am perfectly imperfect, ever expanding, and supremely grateful for all that I am and all that I have.

I once deeply believed that reaching for more was selfish and a sign that I was ungrateful for what I did have. I currently believe that we are meant to be in constant expansion and that whatever miracle brought us into existence wants us to soar – to be and do all that life has to offer, no matter what circumstances we’ve come from. And I have come to believe that doing so is how we give back to the source that created us, for all the gifts and talents we were sent into the world with.

Above all, I believe that life is a gift. And that you matter. Your hopes and dreams are not random; they are meant to guide you into having the life you dream of and deserve. I hope you’ll take some time to be open to all the possibilities of what your life could be and to allow your deepest desires to take shape in your mind. Days and years pass whether we like it or not. Unleashing your desires and dreams and being intentional about your life can make the difference between living an amazing life… or just letting life pass you by.

My hopes and dreams for 2019 are still taking shape. I’ll be participating in an online program to dive deep into uncovering my heart’s desires. There are many areas of my life where I feel extremely fulfilled, but a few that don’t measure up. I’m not even sure I know what I want in some areas, and am absolutely sure that I am not currently equipped to level up in all the ways I’ll need to. I am praying for clarity, guidance and bravery. I’m excited to move forward, but also afraid of what I’ll have to work through to get to a more fulfilling place. Change isn’t always easy, but I’m committed to making the most of my life.

What I wish for myself is what I wish for you. I know that you deserve greatness. I know that life has amazing opportunities and adventures that can be yours as soon as you are ready to say yes. And I sincerely hope that you will open your heart and mind, embrace your desires, and allow 2019 to be your best year yet!

Tips & Tricks for Tackling Dry Winter Skin & Indoor Air

​Do you suffer from dry skin and irritated sinuses in the winter months? If so, you’re not alone! I’ve got some tips and tricks you can start using right away to alleviate these problems. Some may even surprise you!

Click to watch the video below or scroll down to read the written transcript.

Hey there, it’s Elaine Gardner. One thing that I’ve been noticing a lot, from my private clients to my family members, is that people are starting to complain about dry skin. I live in the Northeast so one of the challenges for us has been that we went very, very quickly and dramatically from months and months of heat and humidity, to much, much colder temperatures and really no humidity. So it got super dry really fast. And that kind of quick transition can be really hard on your body and your skin.

Dry skin is something that I see many people deal with all year, but it tends to worsen as the winter months come along. This is partially because of the cold air, but also because of the low humidity and dryness of the indoor air, and just the unnaturalness of being indoors all the time with heating systems. All heating systems are different so some are much more irritating than others. Forced hot air systems can kick up a lot of dust and be super drying. And then there’s the chemicals in our water. Of course we’re exposed to chemicals in our water all year round, but when you add that into the mix of things we’re faced with this time of year, it can cause us a lot of skin challenges.

Dry skin can be really, really uncomfortable but there are some tips and tricks you can use to help! Obviously when you’re outside, dress appropriately so you don’t have a lot of exposed areas. Cover up as much as possible, including gloves, so that you don’t get that cold air exposure as much as you would if you weren’t properly dressed. And I know that really seems like common sense, but sometimes younger people don’t like to wear coats or hats, or have to think about those kinds of things. And sometimes even I don’t like to wear a coat outdoors in the winter. I will if I’m going out walking, but if I’m just going to the car to go to my office or to the store, sometimes I’ll just throw on a big heavy sweater instead. So it’s something that I need to keep in mind too. Sometimes I forget to bring my gloves and I’m pumping gas at the gas station and really wishing I had remembered to put my gloves in the car. So just a reminder because sometimes it’s not on our radar to consider those things.

Another solution is to improve the indoor air. When the indoor air is so dry, it can be really uncomfortable because, again, we’re spending most our time indoors during the winter. So adding a humidifier or a vaporizer can be really helpful. I have a small vaporizer that I just added to my work space a few weeks ago and it makes a huge difference in the comfort of my office. The air was super dry and was irritating to my nose until I got it. And I just turned on my humidifier at home, which I probably should have done a week or two ago. My nose was starting to feel funny while I was sleeping and made me realize how dry it was in the house. The humidity has only gone up a couple percentage points since starting it up, but it’s much more comfortable in the house and my nose doesn’t have that funny feeling overnight.

We also have a wood stove so we keep a pan full of water on it. It doesn’t add enough humidity when both the heat and the wood stove are running, so the humidifier adds the extra humidity we need to be comfortable.

Also, using a mild soap can make a huge difference. A lot of people use harsh soaps in the shower or for washing hands, which just further irritate and dry out your skin. My favorite bar soap is Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Bar. It’s very, very gentle and non-toxic (I want everything I use to be non-toxic so I’m not adding chemicals to my body as I go).

My favorite liquid hand soap is P2 Probiotic Power, I Clean Every Inch Face, Hand and Body Wash. It’s antimicrobial and is very different than antibacterial soaps. It cleans in a much more gentle way. I met the woman who owns this company a few years ago when we had a conversation on the phone about her products. I was finishing her sentences and was very excited about this technology that’s meant to disrupt bio-films. These products are not antibacterial, as they don’t have chemical agents. Instead, they disrupt bio-films. Bio-films allow microbes to hide and thrive, so by disrupting them, microbes of all sorts (not just bacteria, but viruses, fungi, parasites, anything like that) are killed because it essentially washes away their protective mechanism. So it’s much more antimicrobial than antibacterial soaps alone, and is non-toxic so it doesn’t have chemicals, antibacterial agents, and things that can be problematic for your body. So this is a great product that I love. We use it as hand soap but you can use it as shower soap too.

Another trick is to only wash what’s needed. This might be surprising to some, but I think we tend to over wash. Years and years and years ago, we would have been bundled up in clothing all winter long and would not have had as much access to showering during those months, the way that we do now. So we would have had a lot of natural oils on our skin that would have protected us from the dryness of this time of the year. Over washing your skin can be a real problem, so only wash what’s necessary. “Pits and bottoms” is my approach! Obviously if you work out a lot and you sweat head to toe, then you’re going to need to be more thorough with your cleanser, but if you’re just going back and forth to work, or doing normal activities, then all of your skin doesn’t need to be washed on a daily basis. So just keep that in mind.

And moisturize too! Some people are funny about moisturizer and feel that it’s “not normal”, but the things that we’re exposed to aren’t normal either. So you can do a head to toe moisturizer if you really feel that it’s necessary, or just use it as needed. My arms and lower legs get super dry if I don’t use moisturizer on a day to day basis when I get out of the shower. And I also use lotion extensively on my hands because I’m in and out of water all day long washing my hands, whether I’m at home cleaning or even more so when I’m at the office and washing hands in between clients. My favorite lotion is California Baby Super Sensitive Everyday Lotion. I love it because it’s non-greasy, it absorbs very quickly and it’s really moisturizing. I’m sure there are lots of other great products on the market as well, those are just my particular favorites.

The other thing that tends to get super dry on me in the winter is my cuticles. When they get dry they get kind of hard and I’ll pick at them mindlessly, which of course will irritate them even further. So I try to be really mindful when I’m putting lotion on, to get it into my cuticles. I’ll try to put some extra heavier cream on them before I go to bed, at least a couple nights a week, and I keep an emery board near where I sit at night to unwind. If they’re starting to get dry, I’ll actually file them down some with the emery board which will keep me from picking at them.

So I hope that your skin isn’t bothering you and that you’ll take measures in order to protect it so that it doesn’t! But if it’s already feeling dry for you, I hope these tips and tricks will be helpful for you.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of your Emotions

I was raised in a home where the phrase “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all” was repeated with great frequency. While I’m sure that it was helpful for keeping a peaceful atmosphere among a family of eight, it did little to model, support and develop emotional health.

We are emotional creatures. Defining our emotions as good or bad and limiting the expression of them is a huge health problem. Our beliefs, thoughts and emotions all emit chemicals within our bodies that dramatically affect our physical functions. We can’t be fully healthy without addressing our emotions.

As a society, our models and expectations aren’t much healthier. Children are punished for expressing their emotions at home, in social settings and at school, as opposed to being encouraged to understand, explore, process and express them in healthy ways. Adults are often restricted in similar ways in work environments where anything other than a narrow range of emotions is viewed as unprofessional.

Emotions aren’t necessarily good, bad, inappropriate or unprofessional. How we express them can be, but few people develop the ability to understand and process their emotions, let alone learn to express them in a healthy way! And while the stigma around mental health services such as counseling are lifting, we are just scratching the surface of what might be possible.

For the past six weeks my life has been an emotional roller coaster. I’ve experienced fear, stress, worry, panic, frustration, anger, irritation, sadness, gratitude, awe, pride, hope, and so much more. The words we use for emotions fall short in expressing the range and depth of what I’ve felt.

I am often feeling multiple emotions simultaneously – gratitude and irritation, hope and anger… on and on it goes. I’ve worked hard to let it all flow, not judge my feelings as good or bad, retreat when I need to be alone to think, reach out for support when I need to talk, process or confirm my feelings, and just be the emotional being that I am.

I am sure that this is the best I’ve ever done feeling and allowing my emotions to flow. It feels amazingly healthy and freeing, even when the emotions themselves don’t feel so good. I’m proud and incredibly grateful for breaking old patterns and allowing my emotions to unfold. I’m finding that, as I let them flow, the discomfort of irritability and similar emotions passes much more quickly. Gratitude and hope return faster and stronger, and my body feels more open, healthy and strong.

Our bodies are complicated and depression, anxiety, addiction and other health issues are very real and multi-faceted. By no means am I trying to make light of these serious issues; but I have to wonder how they might be connected to our societal habits and expectations. And I have no doubt that the health of all our bodies could improve if we developed healthier emotional practices.

Emotions can create both discomfort and pure bliss. The world is a beautiful, messy place. All of it is a gift. My personal experience has been that suppressing anything uncomfortable also suppresses the more joyful emotions. This limits our ability to truly feel what love, joy, elation and excitement can bring into our lives, creating flatness or an inability to feel in its place. This is the most unsatisfying and risky place to be.

If our lives were steady and always blissful, it’s likely we wouldn’t recognize how blessed we truly are.

Stress & Self-Care

When major stress comes on fast and hard, self-care is often the first thing that gets dropped. Our bodies’ stress response maximizes our ability to think quickly and move fast, as stress was often a life-threatening and immediate need as humans came into being. It helped us stay alive and thrive.

 

We are still programmed and designed to react to stress in the same way. And a body in stress mode is not digesting, repairing, detoxifying or handling all of the critical functions it needs to operate at optimal capacity in order to stay healthy over time.

 

When stress is short term and recovery is allowed, the stress response is typically well tolerated in a healthy body. But when it continues for an extended period of time, you can really get into trouble. The more stress you have, or the more frequent your stressful experiences are, the more likely your body is to suffer. And if you drop your self-care when you’re stressed, you’ve just added yet another obstacle for your body to deal with! You can easily experience a breakdown in your physical, mental or emotional health along the way.

 

The story I’m about to share is much longer than my typical posts. Normally I try to get to my point as quickly as possible, without missing any important details. But I’m sharing more today because life often happens in a more complex, layered scenario. And as a society we view the first layer as the most significant, dismissing how damaging what comes after can be, especially when viewed cumulatively, which is how stress can overrun your system.

 

My husband’s recent stroke sent me into immediate, sky-high stress. I was in with a client when my son called me after finding him on the floor at home. I wrapped up with my client and got back on the phone with my son, who was now trying to answer the paramedic’s questions. I helped him answer their questions, went out to the waiting area and sent my next client home, found out which hospital my husband was being taken to, and called my other son to let him know what was going on. I called my remaining clients for the evening and cleared my schedule, closed up my office, then headed to the hospital with my son. Thankfully he was near my office when I called him, so he picked me up on the way. What a blessing since I was shaking so badly (stress hormones in action)!

 

The ER team and surgical staff were amazing. They quickly assessed what was happening, patiently and simply explained everything to us, answered our questions and allowed us to be in agreement before quickly moving him into surgery. While we waited, I cleared my schedule for the next day and made calls to other family members. The shaking subsided and my head was clear, but my belly was completely upside down. Words cannot even express the importance and comfort of having my sons with me the entire time.

 

Fortunately, the surgery went well and we then had a much clearer understanding of what had actually happened. The inside wall of a major vessel on the right side of Jack’s brain had collapsed inward, creating a partial blockage of blood flow. A stent was placed via his groin and he was sent to recovery. The type of stroke he had, called a dissection, is very rare and accounts for only about 2% of all strokes. The reasons behind it are not well understood, so we may never know why it happened.

 

While in recovery, he appeared to have significant weakness on the left side of his body from the waist up. We were told he had an excellent chance of recovering fully, and felt relieved and grateful. I was not comfortable leaving his side yet and stayed overnight in the ICU with him. There was a chair with a foot rest in his room that I curled up in. It wasn’t very comfortable, but it could have been much worse. My sister-in-law found me extra blankets and pillows (she’s a nurse at the hospital), which helped tremendously. It was freezing in the ICU and the pillows provided some extra padding in that hard chair. We didn’t get much sleep, but at least I had the comfort of seeing how he was doing.

 

The next day was encouraging as he was already starting to gain some strength on his left side. I had my son bring some healthy, organic food from home so I could attempt to get something into my stomach after 24 hours of no food and a very upset belly. I couldn’t manage much, but at least it was clean and without ingredients that would further stress my system. By the afternoon, I was comfortable enough with his condition to go home to shower and nap.

 

I slept at home each night after that, but had my cell phone on and right next to my bed for many days before I was comfortable enough to turn it off. The EMF’s (electromagnetic frequencies) from cell phones and other wireless technology are a serious health risk, but so is not getting any sleep. Leaving it on and near me was a temporary compromise.

 

I had late night conversations with my kids to process my emotions, sort through everything we were being told at the hospital and clear my head so I could sleep. I survived on organic rice crackers and organic brown rice noodles with olive oil and sea salt for days. I just couldn’t handle anything more than that. I drank as much clean water as I could manage, but wasn’t drinking anywhere near what I usually consume.

 

A few days in, I had a difficult night. My chest was burning, which made it difficult to sleep and also felt like anxiety. My practitioner brain started to kick in and I remembered that when your body is in stress mode, it’s not in digestion mode. Thankfully, I always have digestive enzymes on hand as I never go out to dinner or travel without them. As soon as I thought to start taking those, my belly calmed down and the burning in my chest went away along with the feeling of anxiety. That confirmed that I had been experiencing severe indigestion and acid reflux.

 

Jack’s strength was better every day, even without any therapy, and we were feeling very hopeful for an excellent recovery. I went back to work and started spending more time at home to keep up with life tasks like laundry and other chores. I thought things would start to feel somewhat normal again soon and was more relaxed.

 

Acute in-patient therapy was recommended for Jack to work on gaining the strength on his left side back. Our insurance provider approved his stay for up to 30 days right away, and we thought we were just waiting for the paperwork to go through before he would be transferred from the hospital to the rehab facility.

 

By Friday afternoon, after several phone calls, it became apparent that our provider and the rehab facility were engaged in a financial negotiation. I was beyond frustrated and angry to find that my husband was not their priority and was instead left waiting in the hospital while they worked out an agreement. And since the insurance company is closed over the weekend, there was no hope of resolving this issue until Monday morning. Jack wasn’t allowed to get out of bed on his own and they wouldn’t release him without a transfer to rehab, so he was stuck in bed wasting time that could have been spent getting him home.

 

I spent most of Monday and Tuesday on the phone with our insurance provider and the rehab facility. I was led to believe the negotiation was still ongoing and felt hopeful that it would resolve soon. To say that I was stressed beyond belief is an understatement. I was actively working to be polite and diplomatic on the phone, but was seething inside. I lost it on Tuesday morning and just sobbed uncontrollably from all the frustration and pent up emotions.

 

By Wednesday it became clear that there was no give on either side, and little hope for any agreement. I won’t even get into the details of how ridiculous and counterproductive the whole situation was, especially from a money saving perspective, as my husband remained stuck in the hospital racking up bills. At that point, our insurance provider decided to find another rehab facility that accepted their reimbursement rate right away. It didn’t provide the same daily hours of therapy, but given how well my husband was already doing, I wasn’t concerned that it would interfere with his progress.

 

The paperwork and contracts were going back and forth but hit a snag somewhere along the way. It was down to the close of the business day on Wednesday when a last-minute, frantic phone call from me, pushed everyone to quickly finalize it all. He was transferred an hour later, much to our relief, after almost a full week of working towards that!

 

We joined him at rehab to get him settled in. The facility is an older building which is also part nursing home, so the atmosphere left a lot to be desired. But they got him into therapy the next day and it quickly became clear that none of the different therapists were seeing any significant strength or mobility issues. After the weekend, and hearing multiple reports of how impressed the therapists were, I started working on getting him home. There wasn’t any fighting or bureaucratic details to struggle with this time. He just needed to wait for the doctor to see him and sign off on his release. He had arrived on a Wednesday evening and I brought him home the following Thursday afternoon.

 

And that’s where you would think the happy ending would start, right?

 

His first day at home went well. He went out to a few stores on Friday morning and spent some time on the computer catching up on his favorite pastimes in the afternoon. He was in good spirits but really tired by the time I got home from work in the early evening.

 

Friday night or Saturday morning, his right hand became very swollen, itchy and painful. He was incredibly fatigued and unable to do much of anything. The hand pain interfered with his sleep and all of it made him miserable. It appeared that he was having a reaction to the medications he’d recently been prescribed. He was afraid to take the meds and stopped for two days, knowing we had a follow up with his primary on Monday morning.

 

We restarted one of the medications and that has been going well. The second medication was added in a few days ago at one quarter the original dose and is going okay so far. His fatigue is still debilitating. We’ll discuss all of it with the neurologist in a few days.

 

That weekend, once again I thought we were moving on. My kids were resuming more normal schedules and were out and about, so I was mostly on my own at home trying to catch up. By Sunday afternoon I was exhausted, even though I hadn’t been pushing myself or neglecting my self-care. We were in need of groceries, so I headed out to the store with a cup of organic green tea in hand. I figured I was just having an afternoon slump that would pass. By the time I got home, I was an irritated and exhausted mess. In hindsight, it would have been better to reschedule my plans and have stayed home and rested. Several days later, I was struck with a cold – ugh, more stress!

 

The cold was no surprise. I’ve experienced this in the past and know that it’s typical to get sick after dealing with significant stress. But it adds even more stress to life and I’m more than ready for the cycle to break!! Life happens and some stressors are unavoidable. The way you take care of yourself during a crisis can make all the difference in how you get through it all.

 

Here are some important things to focus on:

  • Eat clean and healthy
  • Stay hydrated
  • Don’t neglect sleep and rest
  • Accept support
  • Process your emotions
  • Minimize any non-essential tasks
  • Minimize contact people who add stress
  • Indulge yourself if you can

 

Monthly massages and periodic organic facials are currently part of my self-care regimen. I maintained those appointments and they helped SO much! I treated myself to a yoga class, an infrared sauna session and a salt room session, all of which I had Groupons for that were just waiting to be used. I tend to hold my stress physically and get really uncomfortable, so these extra self-care steps helped tremendously (and felt like a luxurious treat at the same time).  

 

Self-care is not selfish, it’s smart. You need you, and so does everyone else. Don’t let yourself fall apart. Take care of yourself and get the support you need. You deserve it!