I am by no means any expert on health or being healthy. in fact, at least 50% of my life has been me being sick.
still, I like to think I've learned a fair amount about health and such in the past two years. I kinda had to. I'm glad I did, and I really wish I'd learned these things early. Might've skipped a few doctor's appointments that way.
I'd like to preface this post by saying it point blank: everybody is different. some people have really strong immune systems and can work themselves to the bone; others (like me) have to be careful how much they move. some are blessed with amazing digestive systems and metabolisms; others get stuck with body parts that make up their own rules. some people have energy that could power a factory and others...just don't. everybody has a different body. you have to treat yourself specifically for your case. just because I don't eat gluten, rice, corn, or eggs and am getting better doesn't mean you'll never ever get sick if you go on this diet. even others with fibro might not benefit from what's working with my body. it doesn't work like that, unfortunately. however, these are a few general things that I think help with your overall health and also make you feel like a better person. at least, in my experience they do.
|'ere we go|
- Drink more water
this is the biggest thing I learned last month, and I still struggle with this one. You're supposed to drink half a gallon of water a day. I fail at this. A lot. Since I take a lot of pills at meal times, I really hate drinking water with them (two of them taste like dog food and it's nasty). So I miss my regular "water breaks." I have a 24oz water bottle that I try to empty 3 times a day. It's hard. Sometimes I forget to drink any water at all and I'll get to physical therapy and start gasping because I'm dehydrated. Water is one of those things that doesn't seem like it'll affect you very much, but it will. Trust me on this one.
- Move as much as you sit
as someone with chronic fatigue, I sit a lot. whether I'm watching tv, reading, or on the computer, I'm sitting. I get stiff, but the average person doesn't (as much). still, it's important to take breaks from sitting in one position. I like to space out work/internet time with doing the laundry or playing with my cat. Occasionally I'll have a dance party. Just kidding. I always have dance parties.
if 50% of my life has been me sick, this is the other 50%
- Turn technology off
this is something I forced myself to do when I started school. every night, 30 minutes before my bed time (10:30 most nights, 11:00 on others), I turn off my laptop and my chromebook. They do not come back on. That is non-negotiable. I leave my phone on, mostly because it's my alarm, and I do check social media before going to sleep, but I make sure I'm not scrolling through Pinterest for twenty minutes before I try sleeping. I typically read or journal or do my quiet time. I didn't think it would work, but I do fall asleep a lot quicker than I used to. And I find that the less time I spend staring at my phone, the more well-rested I feel.
- Cut back on sugar
this is a toughie, guys. I know sugar is amazing. I know it's addictive and it tastes good and there are so many delicious things that it lurks in...but it can make you a very sick person. If I have sugar, I can tell the moment it kicks in, because my bones literally ache. I don't eat white sugar any more, and I rarely eat brown sugar--it's mostly stevia or honey for me. And fruit. I eat a lot of fruit. like I said above, this isn't going to work for everybody. I sure didn't think it would work for me. But I think it's safe to say that it's wise to not be having ice cream for dessert every day, or drinking a soda at every meal. a little bit every now and then is wonderful and delicious; a whole bunch of it tears your body apart.
actually me when I encounter sugar...and I'm being punny here wow
- Go outside
I am deficient in vitamin D. at least, when I got my blood checked last year, I had to be taking pills to keep my levels up. In January and February that's understandable, but in the spring and summer, definitely take advantage of the sunshine. You'd be amazed at how much it can make your mood lift--apparently you get more vitamin D in 10 minutes outside than you would by taking a pill. That blows my mind. these days, since sunshine is in limited supply, I can definitely feel the toll on my brain and body. I get tired out easier. I have more down moods than usual. I won't go so far as to say I'm depressed again, but it is so much easier to fall down into depression if you don't get enough vitamin D. take it from someone who knows.
- Make your brain work
you know I love me some Netflix. It's been with me, through thick and thin. One of my biggest issues with binge-watching is that my mind goes numb. If I don't have something to do while watching, I can't sleep at night and I feel like I haven't done anything with my day. At first, I crocheted while Netflixing, but then my achey joints act up and that's no fun. These days, I use my Harry Potter coloring book or I write blogposts! Sometimes, if I'm not very invested in what I'm watching (or if it's not subbed, because that complicates things), I edit while watching. Not only is it a great way to rest, but I get stuff done at the same time.
- Vary what you eat
this one's a weird one. and I think I narrowed it down too directly. Maybe instead of food I should just say "vary your life." don't do the same thing over and over. spice things up often. don't eat the same food over and over, don't drive home from work the same way every day, don't listen to the same music all the time. this changes your quality of life sooooo much. it also makes life a lot more fun.
- Keep a schedule
before I got sick, I ate when I wanted to. I slept whenever I felt like it. and I exercised irregularly. I would go weeks without working out and then a week where I worked extra hard every day. I went to bed around 1 or 2am every morning and woke up whenever I felt like it. And lunch time sometimes happened at 12, sometimes at 1, or sometimes even at 2. It took going to school for me to realize how that screwed me up. now, some people can stay up that late. good for them! some people can't go to sleep before then, and that's okay. that's just how they are. however, whatever your sleeping/eating/working patterns are, make sure you have a certain schedule for them. This contrasts with above, but regularity in your life is important. just as much as you need to spice things up, you need to keep things on track.
- treat yo self THIS IS IMPORTANT. as I've discovered over the past six months, being sick/trying to get healthy can suck. a lot. so try to do something special/fun/random every week. whether it's taking a bubble bath and pampering yourself, going out to get coffee and buy new books (this is always a good thing to do, imho), spur of the moment trips to visit friends, taking a day off from your workout regimen (my personal favourite, lol), or something as simple as chocolate cashew milk so you can get those nasty tasting pills down, find someway to make you a little happier. the act itself is fun, and the anticipation is just as great.
what are some things you struggle with in staying healthy? what about your tips to stay happy in your body and healthy? once again, this is just my personal experience and thoughts, so I'd love to see what others have to say on this subject.
being healthy is such a big deal, and it actually physically pains me to see people throwing their bodies away. everybody is different, but there are some basic ground rules to keeping our bodies strong. hopefully, we can protect the temples that God gave us by follow those simple rules!
hope you all have a fantastic week!