Step 1: Delete and unsubscribe.
Be ruthless. If you are not actually going to read them or you do not need the information, delete and unsubscribe.
It is time well invested because the next time you log in to your email, you will immediately feel much less stress and anxiety. It also makes it easier to keep “pruning” your inbox as new emails come in, that you no longer want to receive or read.
Step 2: Manage your Social Media.
Are you overwhelmed with notifications from Facebook groups and pages and friends? If so, then any time you open social media, you are exposing yourself to more subliminal stress which raises anxiety levels.
Spend some time managing your social media by noticing how you feel. Unfollow pages or people, remove yourself from groups that are not giving value or creating drama.
Step 3: Manage your viewing habits.
Different situations in your life can also change how your body reacts to certain programs. For example, when I developed chronic illness and the adrenal fatigue that went with it, I found that I could no longer tolerate shows that I used to watch.
Prior to Hashimoto’s, I was a big fan of “The Walking Dead” and was looking forward to the new season. When I started watching though, I just couldn’t handle it. The fear factor and adrenaline reactions were so unpleasant and debilitating that I had to stop watching.
It is well worth the small amount of time invested!
Taking these 3 simple steps will greatly reduce your overall stress and anxiety levels and highlight where your true stress may be coming from.
If you are struggling with stress, problems in your relationship, feeling unsupported or misunderstood, anxious, overwhelmed or stuck then you don’t have to do it alone!
Book your FREE 20 minute Discovery Session with me now, anywhere in the world!
Chronic illness is forever.
Symptoms may come and go, energy and mood and abilities can and do fluctuate and it can often feel like the only people who really do understand what you are feeling is other people who have chronic illness.
The model we have for illness in our society is pretty basic. You get sick and you recover or you get sick and you die. Unless you have an obvious, visible disability or sign of the illness, it becomes invisible. As the people living in our bodies, we know how it feels, we know how much it can change day to day or even, moment to moment and we need to make many compromises, changes and adaptations to continue to live and function as best and happily as we can.
I recently asked my wonderful Facebook community to share what they believe people should really know and understand about life with chronic illness and the response was amazing. I am sharing all the responses here and I know that they come from the heart.
Life with chronic illness is that much harder when the people around you just don’t seem to understand or even want to understand.
So if you have someone with chronic illness in your life, a partner, friend, family member or co-worker, here is what we really think you should know.
So many things, but starting basic: that it’s CHRONIC. No tricks, just the actual definition of long-lasting or recurring, perpetual, continuing indefinitely. No matter how many times I try to say or explain that I have a chronic illness, there is still an attitude of, “oh, you’re still sick? You should be better by now.”
It’s not a choice, I’m not being lazy.
Oi – so many things. For me, it changes everything! What you eat, where you go, how you plan and most importantly, who you are.
Our ‘normal’ is not the same as your ‘normal’.
That you miss who you used to be. The person that was carefree. The person that could travel the world, have dinner with friends and just smile and enjoy the flow. It would be great if I didn’t have to plan every event, to make sure that I can eat something when I get there, or make sure I have enough energy to get through the outing. That hearing you need to “toughen up and think positive” doesn’t change the fatigue or pain or illness. As we are trying, that every time we dream up a new plan for curing ourselves with lifestyle choices. It takes positive thinking and hope to dream up the next plan. For me I must be up to plan 212 by now.
There is no doubt that when it comes to chronic autoimmune conditions, that inflammation is the biggest cause of symptoms and pain. One of the most non-invasive and side effect free ways to reduce inflammation, is to make the choice to change to a healing diet.
One of the very first choices that I made when I was physically and cognitively disabled at the height of the Hashimoto’s crisis I experienced, was changing my diet to the AIP (Paleo Autoimmune Protocol.)
The AIP has been specifically designed to eliminate all known and suspected inflammatory foods, help heal a leaky gut and give the body nutrient density to help it heal and recover.
At first glance, going AIP can look daunting. When you feel that so much has already been taken from you by disease, giving up your familiar, comforting foods can feel like yet another loss that seems too much to bear.
What made the decision easier for me, was to see that out of all of the positive and inspiring stories and research that I read, AIP was the common denominator in helping to create healing, better quality of life and in many cases, even complete remission.
My situation felt so desperate, that I was willing to do whatever it took to try to get my life and health back. Eating with my personally modified version of AIP is now completely normal for me. I enjoy the food that I eat and I do not feel deprived.
Do I miss the convenience of being able to eat whatever I want, wherever I want? Absolutely! I would be lying if I said that not being able to eat out at any restaurant or sharing meals made by others who still eat gluten, grains, soy, dairy and other foods I react to, is always easy.
However, now that I have experienced the impact on my body, mobility, mood, motivation and health of the food choices that I make, there is no temptation. I do not want to lose what it has taken me all this time to regain.
Everyone has their own blocks and challenges to going AIP. There are many different stories and experiences of making the switch, from easy, challenging or completely resistant.
It’s important to remember that AIP is NOT forever! You begin careful reintroductions of food after 30 days or when you begin to see an improvement in your symptoms. After going through the reintroduction process you will come out with a personalised template of what you can eat without inflaming your body or triggering autoimmune symptoms.
I asked 11 amazing bloggers to share what their biggest blocks were to going AIP and how they overcame them and this is what they had to say.
Blogger: Joanna Frankham of joannafrankham.com
What was the biggest block I had to changing my diet to AIP?
I think my biggest block was fear of failure. Or, perhaps, false hope. To be honest, after more than two decades of undiagnosed HS (Hidradenitis Suppurativa), I was prepared to give anything a go. I felt the inconvenience of an elimination diet couldn’t come close to the pain, shame and despair that HS causes. (Turns out I was right, too!)
I eased into my elimination experience in phases. First I gave up dairy and gluten, then I went paleo, and then I went the whole hog; for 9 months. AIP has totally changed my life.
How did I get myself through it?
Before AIP, I was the girl who dined out 3 or 4 nights every week. I was a serious foodie. Of course, this wasn’t possible on an elimination diet, so I made it my personal mission to create food that I really wanted to eat. That meant spending time in my kitchen. As it happens, that was pretty easy for me, but it was also fun. Visiting our local farmers market was already a part of our weekly routine, too.
The thing about an elimination diet is that it’s very easy to focus on all the foods you can’t eat. Really, this protocol is all about adding nutrients. So, that’s what I did – I started fermenting vegetables, making oodles of bone broth for nutrient dense soups and stews, concocting new ways to get more vegetables into my diet, making pâté. I made this a priority.
It also really helped that my partner, David was so supportive. I do most of the cooking, but he was completely open to trying new foods. Now, he’d rather eat liver than a steak, and he’s become a gummy connoisseur!