3 things I did to heal from excessive stress
If you’re a human being you have encountered stress.
Stress isn’t always a bad thing. Stress allows us to become resilient. By overcoming one hurdle, we are better equipped to overcome future hurdles. Much like an endurance athlete who trains for a marathon, stress in our lives can train us for future races, or future stressors.
However, chronic stress is a problem. And it’s one of the main reasons we are seeing so many health issues in the world today.
We value mastery in our society.
It is one of the reasons the American culture has such a different view of aging versus other cultures. In other cultures, getting older has a positive viewpoint. They reverence older individuals, and view aging as a welcome honor.
In the US, we are youth focused. We prioritize mastering every aspect of our lives. We shuttle elders to an isolated elderly day care where the average life expectancy is around 2 years. How regal.
Mastery and youth are wonderful, don’t get me wrong. However, this constant drive to master can propel us to do things that compromise our well-being.
And to that, I am a the guiltiest of guilty.
After my father suffered a life altering stroke in 2019, I took on more than I could handle. At that time I was working as a full time nurse. My unit shut down and I worked in a Covid unit. I gave it my all while they let me. Until I was threatened to be fired for refusing to work night shift. (My normal hours for hire were 8 hour dayshifts Monday - Friday.)
Why did I refuse? My father had been discharged from a rehab facility (too soon, and by the way it happens all the time) requiring 24 hour care. As a result, I was a caregiver along with my family. Working night shift was not an option.
In the end, leaving that role was a blessing, it forced me to pursue Wellness in Bloom full time and to find a better nursing part time role that was in line with my values.
However, it wasn’t until my health became compromised that I took things more seriously.
After 2 years of trying to master my father’s health, my profession, and everything in between, my body gave out. An overnight stay in the hospital was the final straw. I’d been having nagging symptoms of fatigue, nausea, stomach pain, a missing cycle, low estrogen - all signs of excessive stress. But still I kept on.
The immense pain I felt, even after being discharged, left me with unanswered questions from physicians. Again, a blessing in disguise as it forced me to pursue a more holistic route of healing: nutrition, mentality, movement, and Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis.
Through coaching individuals over the last few years I’ve seen that burnout is unfortunately more and more common.
Here are 3 things I did to help heal, and maybe they can help you, too:
1. Mental solitude: I prioritized long walks in nature, meditation (I started with 5 minutes and now do 10 minutes every morning), sunshine, legs up the wall, and slow deep breaths (especially before eating)
2. Adjusted my caffeine consumption: Rather than telling my body, “I know what’s best, just drink coffee and save calories for later,” I eat within 30 minutes of getting up. And coffee is always consumed with food. My morning routine currently is water, a walk, tea and a small snack, some form of a workout, then around an hour or 2 after getting up a big breakfast with coffee (like 500 + calories big). I also took a break from afternoon coffee to silence hunger…now I just eat.
3. Avoided a calorie restriction: We can all agree starvation isn’t comforting to the body, right? Well, that’s what a calorie restriction is. Even if it’s tied up real nicely with a promise to help you lose those last few pounds, or it’s filled with pre-made bars and meals. I knew in order to heal my body needed to feel safe. Especially for women, adequate nutrition is needed to heal. I reverse dieted to maintenance calories, shifted my mindset to more is better, and even spent a time in a caloric surplus (oh, the horror!). Yes, I gained weight to heal.
These are just a FEW of the key things I’ve done over the last year. And still do today.
As a result, I’m pain free. I have regular hormone levels. My body is functioning in the perfection to which God created it to function. But it all started in my mind.
Promote stress relief and watch your health soar.
Need help finding balance? Apply here. Questions? Send me an email.