4 Steps to Healing and Thriving: Sleep

Hello friends! It’s been a looooooong time since I last blogged– I’ve been a bit busy these past six months! Mostly busy with moving from Newfoundland to Kentucky and all that comes with starting over somewhere new, such as finding jobs, cars, housing, etc. I’ve also been busy healing from the many health issues I have struggled with for the past year and a half. The long and short of it is that I’ve been struggling through adrenal dysfunction, low thyroid, imbalanced sex hormones, and low vitamin D. At times I was so fatigued, I could do nothing but lay in bed all day, with the simple tasks of eating and showering leaving me exhausted. My hair was falling out in patches and I was plagued with regular migraines that made me nauseous and unable to handle sounds and lights. Any sort of exercise beyond short walks knocked me out for 2-3 days afterword. My body was just completely inflamed. 

Thankfully, I’ve come a long way since the worst of it. I have energy most days, I rarely have migraines, my hair loss has slowed, and just last week, I started exercising again! Though your symptoms may manifest themselves differently, I know too many others, perhaps even you, who are struggling with inflammation throughout their body. Maybe you are far worse off than I was, with a full-blown autoimmune condition or other disease, or perhaps you just feel like you aren’t feeling the best you can. Regardless, it’s not how life has to be. Here I will share with you the steps that I’ve taken to heal my body and thrive in life with the hopes that I can help you in some small way to live the life you should… one where you are thriving, not just surviving.

So what’s the first topic up for discussion?

SLEEP

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Sorry, I’ve Been Too Tired to Post

Well, I think after I gave up coffee that was it… I just didn’t have the energy to post for 6 months. Rough times. 

Haha okay so I really did not have the energy to post these last few months, but it wasn’t because I gave up coffee! Let me give you a quick synopsis of the health issues which have been keeping down these past few months… 

Last summer the severe fatigue began settling in. I struggled to get through every day and regardless of how much sleep I got, I just needed more. Things that I used to enjoy, like hanging out with family and riding horses, became nothing more than a big vacuum sucking the life out of me. I thought it was just the summer heat and all the running I was doing in preparation for my half-marathon, so I brushed it off and told myself to just suck it up and push through. In hindsight I really should have listened to the big loud warnings my body was giving me to just slow down a little, but of course hindsight is 20/20. When I noticed my hair falling out and a bald spot on my scalp in September, I began to realize something actually might be wrong. So I went to the doctor, who took some blood and told me everything was fine. Thanks, doc, that really helps me feel better! Not.

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My brush with insanity: giving up coffee!

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Let me begin by making one thing clear: I love coffee. I love coffee black, I love it in a latte, I love it in its many other forms. I’ve been drinking coffee every single day for at least ten years. The amount I drink each day has varied, from 1 or 2 cups to an entire pot. Unfortunately, I don’t think coffee loves me (not right now anyway). 

It’s really about the caffeine, not so much the coffee. Drinking caffeine first thing in the morning causes your adrenal glands to shoot adrenaline and cortisol into your system in a classic “fight-or-flight” response. This is what makes us feel more awake and alert, especially if we didn’t get enough sleep the night before, and is partially why we love it so much. It may not seem like a very big deal, but to your body, it’s a fairly stressful experience. This, coupled with many lifestyle factors, can lead to some problems with your adrenals and their natural rhythm. 

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Small Steps to Sustainability: Personal Hygiene

I talk a lot about food on here. I love food. Talking about it, making it, eating it… it all makes me happy. But as it turns out, there are a few things other than food that are worth my attention. Once I started paying attention to what I was putting into my body and how the food I purchase affects my community, the environment, and the world, I started thinking about what I put ON my body too. It’s been a real eye-opening journey realizing how many hundreds of toxic chemicals are in a basic body care products. These toxins are not only absorbed directly into our body, but also make their way into the environment when we wash them down the sink or throw away that mostly empty bottle of shampoo. 

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