Finding calm in the storm of change…

I admittedly don’t have the answers for what is going on in the world right now.  I have been doing my best to listen, observe, learn and explore all of this to gain a better understanding of how to move forward in a more positive direction.

But there is one thing I do know…

…the heaviness of all of this could be affecting your health.

As I’ve talked to many friends, family members and clients over the past weeks of all ages, ethnicities and social status, what we’ve all had in common is the stir of emotions and stress related to the recent events. 

Life will continue to happen and you can’t always predict or avoid stressful situations, but how you choose to navigate them is what makes a difference when it comes to your health.

And whatever stance you take on the current issues, or even if you are choosing to not participate, your health plays a vital role in your ability to live, breathe and speak your truth.

It’s difficult to see clearly, to communicate your truth and navigate for a better future when you are rundown, tired, irritable and not feeling like yourself.

In order for change to happen, we have to make intentional choices to change, and being in a healthy space supports your ability to do just that. 

The story I’m about to tell you by no means represents exactly what has been going on recently, however it is an example of how stressful moments in life can sweep you up and leave you feeling depleted in the aftermath… 

Not that long ago, my mom had a near death experience after years of alcoholism.  I ran myself ragged trying to fix her and then trying to save her life; arguing with the doctors, trying to control everything and putting too much responsibility for work, home and her on my plate.

For nearly 3 months, I drove 5+ hours through Los Angeles traffic to see her and fight for her life every weekend. 

She lived, but I barely did.  

I was a shadow of health that I used to know, and it took quite some time for me to recover from all the stress.  I fought on the premise of possibility, and I would do it again for the same reason; I would just do it differently for myself.  

Through all of that, I realized the only real control I had was over myself, how I responded to the situation and supported health.

Since then, part of improving and maintaining my health has been learning how to let go of the things I can’t control and controlling the things I can.  This can be tough when it means making myself a priority over even my loved ones, but I know it’s necessary for my own survival.

The emotional load from what has been going on between COVID-19 and the recent events following George Floyd’s death could be taking a HUGE toll on your health and you may not even realize it.

For example, emotional stress can:

  • Diminish digestive power and your ability to absorb nutrients from food resulting in nutrient deficiencies 
  • Alter sleep quality leaving you feeling foggy headed, irritable and not fully recovered in the morning to bounce out of bed or get through the day
  • Increase cortisol hormone production leading to other hormone imbalances, food cravings and weight gain

What is going on in the world is of great importance, and so is your health. 

In this week’s video and blog, I’m sharing 3 tips to help you find calm in the storm of change so you can live, breathe and speak your truth in the midst of any stressful scenario.

Being able to identify the burden of stress on the body at any point in time and knowing how to take action to reduce it, is the main message I teach all of my health-coaching clients to help them become their own Health Boss and it’s one that I practice personally.

Whether that’s by taking action to:

  • Eat in alignment with what your body needs
  • Get adequate sleep and rest over all else
  • Turn down the exercise intensity, even when your ego says “no”
  • Support the body with proper supplements until it can support itself
  • Notice when a situation is causing emotional or mental stress and changing course
  • Reduce toxic exposures as much as possible and enhance the body’s natural detox capacity

You need strength to fight the good fight (whatever that means for you right now) or to weather the storm as an observer, and these 3 tips will help you do just that during these ever-changing times…

Consume Consciously
It’s easy to get sucked into all the information being broadcasted on social media and the news.  Before you know it, hours have gone by leaving you less time to take care of yourself in the ways that you want to and with a larger bag of emotional baggage to carry.  And to top it off, all that screen time also stimulates the release of cortisol hormone which can lead to other hormone imbalances, food cravings, disrupted sleep and weight gain.

It’s possible to stay informed without letting it derail your whole life. Be conscious of how much time you are spending consuming information.  Set healthy boundaries around information consumption time.  Pay attention to weekly screen time reports provided by your devices or download an app to keep track and remind you when time is up. 

Sleep On It
Sleep is more valuable than diet and exercise when it comes to your health.  Poor sleep will quickly cancel out your exercise and healthy eating efforts because without quality sleep during the right times, your body can’t fully recover at night to make the most of your healthy choices.  

When you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to be irritable, make hasty judgements, get angry, crave foods and make poor choices.

Make a commitment to turn off the lights and be asleep by 10pm so you can wake up feeling rested, focused and motivated to get your message out, to take care of yourself and your loved ones. 

Check Yourself
We’ve become a generation of living zombies, roaming through life on autopilot numb to what is going on around us or inside of us and in my opinion this is a BIG reason why we are where we are today as humankind and when it comes to poor health.  

Check in with yourself daily to see what YOU need.  Maybe it’s a good cry, to let go of anger by screaming at the top of your lungs, a hug, a nap, something to eat because you didn’t realize you were starving or a moment of silence to gather your thoughts. 

Bottled-up emotions and ignored needs are a breeding ground for disease and dysfunction.  

The best way to care for others is to first care for yourself.  Because when you care for yourself you can show up bigger, brighter and better for others.

I will humbly admit I have been fairly silent in the wake of events following George Floyd’s death. Not because I didn’t want to speak up, but because I didn’t know what to say and quite honestly I’ve been just taking it all in and trying to understand how I could do better and use my voice while supporting my health at the same time. 

The truth is, I’ve been ignorant to the depths of inequality that still exists.  The statistics and reports I have seen in the past week or so have been outraging. 

It’s easy to turn a blind eye when it doesn’t directly affect you, but that doesn’t make it right; so I am committed to no longer doing it to the best of my ability.

In order to stay awake to what is going on in the world, I will continue to support my health so I can have the strength to be present, to live, breathe and speak my truth to enact change.

I hope in some way this encourages you to do the same.

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