Friends, incorporating natural ways to heal from chronic illness is something I am super passionate about. A few years ago, I dedicated my life to healing and haven’t looked back. It’s my mission to support as many people as I can in their healing journeys.
I know what it’s like to have chronic illness flip your life upside down. Simple tasks become daunting, little things start to affect your well-being and life is just different. Continuing to live life like you once did is not always possible.
In order to get better, I had to take an honest look at all of the stressors in my life and figure out how I was going to maximize my healing potential. Today I am sharing 5 simple ways to reduce stress and create an environment to foster healing.
In the Home
It’s important to feel good about the physical space you spend most of your time in. You don’t have to redecorate your entire home but make sure there is a room that you can unwind and feel good in. Having a comfortable and calming space to spend time can reduce stress and brighten your mood.
When I was in the beginning stages of my illness, I wanted my bedroom to be my sanctuary. At the time, I was living in my boyfriends Brooklyn apartment and the bedroom had a dreary paint color on the walls from the previous owner and the color scheme of the room was unwelcoming.
We brightened everything up by repainting the walls and getting new bedding and decor. The space felt more relaxed and inviting. Little things like brightening your space can affect how you feel. Make sure your physical environment brings you up and not down.
This is probably the most obvious but make space to rest! It took awhile for me to realize I was pushing myself too hard. My body couldn’t handle as much as it once could and I was cramming in an insane amount of appointments in between work from doctor’s appointments and IV drips to acupuncture and infrared saunas. It was WAY too much. I was burning myself out in an attempt to heal. Going to all of these appointments and having no downtime was stressful. How was I going to get better if I never gave myself a chance to rest? I decided to make rest my number one priority.
I decided to cut back on my appointments and dedicate all of my free time outside of work to resting and healing. My weekends were spent sleeping, eating nourishing meals and spending time in nature. I still went to appointments but I avoided piling up too many in a week. Making time for rest helped me to regain energy and feel more balanced.
Quiet the Mind
Learning how to give your mind a breather is a great way to find peace in the chaos of illness. My mind was constantly going. I was always researching new ways to heal, calculating timelines on when I would be better, stressing about how I was going to pay my credit card bill that I was charging all of my out of pocket medical expenses. I was exhausting myself with all of these thoughts. Constantly thinking things over in a frantic way wasn’t helping me get anything accomplished. These stressful thoughts were getting in the way of healing.
Meditating was always hard for me. I was desperate to find something to help me relax. Instead, I found peace by spending time in nature. When I had the energy, I would go for walks in parks or just sit on a park bench and take in the sun while listening to the sounds around me. Spending time in nature helped me to instantly feel better and tackle stressors in a more rational way.
Do you notice that when your dealing with illness the littlest things can make you feel worse? I became hyper-aware of all the things that were bringing me down and stressing me out. Even listening to the evening news was causing my body to tense up. Now we can’t control everything around us but we can do whatever possible to minimize our exposure to negativity.
I stopped watching the news altogether. This might sound ignorant but I only cared about getting better. The world would still continue to turn without me knowing what was happening in it. I avoided or limited exposure to people who stressed me out. This included switching up the day of the week I went to a certain doctor to avoid running into a patient who always brought me down. It wasn’t intentional but after my run-ins with this person, I felt I would never get better. This stressor needed to go!
My final way to reduce stress and maximize your potential for healing is to supercharge your life with positivity.
I created an Instagram account where I only followed inspiring people and holistic health bloggers. This was my go-to when I was out and about and needed some inspiration. My Instagram feed was especially helpful when I was at work and feeling unwell.
I also watched comedies. They say laughter is the best medicine! This included a LOT of Jimmy Fallon, Friends reruns, Wedding Crashers and anything that would give me a good laugh.
Lastly, I read inspiring books. This helped me stay on my healing path through some of the most difficult of times. It also educated me on different ways to heal. Knowing other people were getting better from serious illness always made me feel better. This lessened my stress and motivated me to heal.
What helps you heal?
I would love to hear from you! What helps you get through chronic illness? Comment below to share your tips.