A Quick Guide To Having Your Own Month Of Healing

A Quick Guide To Having Your Own Month Of Healing

It's time to take your health into your own hands

If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media, then you've probably heard me going on about my ‘Month Of Healing.'

The concept is one that I made up out of necessity. In short, I was about to run out of money and needed to be at least well enough that I could work and afford to live.

At the time, things were moving very slowly with my doctors; they kept diagnosing me with new physical and mental conditions but still couldn’t give me an answer on how to improve things.

Just like many others in my situation, since the problems started I had given a ridiculous amount of time to researching my issues: attempting to understand what was happening medically and biologically; finding and trying as many alternative therapies as possible; hoping to find that one cure that would fix all.

My month of healing is a conglomeration of all I discovered; a holistic approach to targeting and relieving every ailment. Here’s an overview if you want to a similar tactic yourself!

1. Stress Relief

Stress affects health. This is an unavoidable and undeniable truth that the majority of us spend all our time avoiding and denying. Without going into a full neurological explanation, the chemicals we produce when stressed are pretty destructive. It only takes a quick Google to discover that long-term exposure to Adrenaline and Cortisol is not good!

Our bodies stress response was designed for our prehistoric lifestyles. It gave us superhuman powers to escape from danger or fight for survival. It was not intended to be a 24/7 feature of our brains - as is today. Because of long-term stresses, such as work demands and social pressures, these chemicals overwhelm our body.

So, Step 1 of my month of healing was to ensure I had time off work, refuse any social visits and give myself a stress-free environment to focus on healing.

2. Improve Fitness

As with seemingly everything chronic illness related, fitness when you’re ill is one of those deliciously frustrating catch 22s. You feel awful all of the time, so exercise is the last thing on your mind. However, improving your overall fitness can apparently help a whole plethora of ongoing health problems.

Exercise as a cure was something that I stumbled across when research Fibromyalgia relief, but it makes sense that it can apply to many other conditions. Think of it this way: when an Olympic athlete gets ill, they probably don't feel half as bad as when a chain-smoking, couch-potato is sick – right?

It's critical to note, however, that Step 2 comes with a significant cautionary warning! Always, always, always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regime if you're sick. Consider your limitations and do not push yourself too hard. I’ve found that low-impact exercises, such as cycling and cross-training, work best for me - but everyone is different.

3. Strengthen Body & Mind

Just as better fitness promotes better general health – and thus, in theory, milder symptoms – strength is also a factor. Especially for me, as I suffer from hypermobility, making sure my muscles are strong enough to hold my weight can have massive implications on how good I feel.

Similarly, often pain is more a reflection of how well we're able to deal with it, rather than the actual cause. Often I believe my pain has significantly improved since it began, but in reality, it's just that I'm more equipped to ride the waves.

Before I started my ‘Month of Healing', it was certain that yoga and meditation were going to make up a significant amount of the plan. They're the two things that have served me best and, I kid you not, on good days I can now actually meditate pain away. It wasn’t till during day 4 of the Month of Yoga by Sarah Beth Yoga that I saw the true link between a strong body and mind.

In her morning vlog, Sarah Beth pointed out that your mental strength dictates how you approach physical challenges. With this in mind, I flew through her 15-minute power yoga practice. And this idea is just as relevant for managing bad health.

4. Clean Out The Insides

There’s a diet for every health condition. In fact, there are so many – most of which seem to offer completely conflicting advice – that often sufferers give up on attempting them before they've had chance to work. However, the old adage is still as true as ever: you are what you eat.

I’m not going to suggest a diet for you, what I will say is that trial and error is your best friend here. After years of experiments, this is my rulebook for my month of healing step 4.

  • No processed foods.
  • No refined sugars.
  • No diary.
  • No bread.
  • Whole-wheat pasta only.
  • As much fruit & veg as my IBS will allow.
  • No smoking, drinking or caffeine.
  • As little pharmaceuticals as I can manage, with natural alternatives when possible.
  • Lots of turmeric, cinnamon, and other spices.
  • Herbal teas – my current faves includes decaf green, ginger, nettle, valerian and chamomile.
  • As many superfoods as I can

Most importantly, the plan is to listen to my body. By tuning into your cravings and symptoms, you can make educated edits to your diet to work out what's best for you.

5. Recharge

I found an amazing quote once that pointed out that fitness is measured, not by your ability to push, but by your capacity to recuperate. While I've never been able to find it again, so can't provide you a source, you get the general gist.

One of the biggest challenges of constantly drowning in physical and mental illness is that you often aren't able to get any respite. My anxiety is so bad on a day-to-day basis that just ‘relaxing' is not an option. Likewise, my sleep is terrible and out of control. This one fact is probably the most detrimental to my overall health.

As I've already mentioned stress chemicals, now is the time to point out relaxation chemicals. Dopamine and Oxytocin are both examples of yummy hormones that are wonderfully healing and calming. When your body's not functioning well, then it's harder to get this relief, and this makes life very tricky; I've often compared it finishing a marathon and being asked to run another with no prior warning.

There are no definite solutions I can come up with for this one. I’m (reluctantly) using sleeping pills, alongside CBD oil and my Sleepy MONQ. I’m also attempting binaural beats therapy and a stringent nightly routine. Fingers crossed it will have a positive effect.

Finally, I'm ending my 'Month of Healing' by gradually restoring my work day routine as the time goes on. It's no use to have a super health month and to fall straight back into old habits once the stress returns. Instead, identifying how you can create the best of both worlds will, in theory, set you up to be equipped for long-term health management!

So, I'll be back in a month to let you know how it goes! Meanwhile, any words of wisdom and support would be much appreciated - comment below!

And please remember, if you're going to try your own healing month, then be sure to speak to a doctor before you begin anything!

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.

We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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The Trauma Of My Illness Helped Me Fall In Love With Myself Again

I take a look back at what my experience has taught me a year later, now with fresh eyes and an open heart.


My first year of college didn't exactly go as I had planned. Midway through the spring semester (last year), I was feeling overwhelmingly tired and sick with difficulty to breathe and at first, was misdiagnosed with a normal cold.

After only three days of these symptoms and then starting to cough up blood, I went to the ER at Temple University Hospital and was diagnosed with sepsis, strep, and bacterial pneumonia. Luckily, I was admitted in perfect time- before my organs started to fail before my life would be over.

I was very naive at the time and thought the recovery would be quick and easily forgettable. I can remember thinking "a couple of antibiotics should fix this right?" or "I'll just be here through the night, that's it".

I never would've guessed what was to actually happen- three weeks hospitalized, countless tests, IV's, medications, restless nights, surgery, nurses and doctors 24/7, four chest tubes, forced medical withdraw from school, the tears, the hurt, and the pain.

I missed my friends, my classes, my freedom to walk and use the bathroom on my own, the sight of my family's faces without a worried or tired look, and the feeling of inhaling without excruciating torment and pain.

These little things that I had so easily taken for granted before now seemed so distant, and terribly out of reach. I missed so much and at the same time felt so much helplessness, anxiety, and sadness.

I remember looking at myself in the plastic flimsy handheld mirror and not knowing the person looking back at me. I felt like a stranger in the shell of my body- emotionally and physically detached. I couldn't seem to get out of the negative headspace that was consuming me.

I couldn't help but imagine that I was just supposed to die, that I wasn't supposed to make it through.

I couldn't figure out why I was being punished in this way, a way that made me feel completely isolated, guilty for my name seeming to be in everyone's mouth all of the time, sad that for that span of time I felt like I had failed- even though I didn't ask for any of it.

I didn't want to get sick, I didn't want to 'drop out,' I didn't want to continue being a burden to everyone I loved.

But here's what I had such trouble seeing through my pain: love. I mean, I was so grateful and thankful for the well wishes and visitors of my friends and family, but I was missing the big picture.

Chalk it up to my selfishness at the time, or the heavy amount of painkillers I was on, or that maybe I was frozen in the overwhelming situation, but I truly had so much to be thankful for, and those first weeks in the hospital I was blind to this immense and incalculable love that was around me.

Through all of this hurt, there was so much love. I was so lucky to be alive, I was healing, and I was growing, and I continue to do so now.

It is the love of my friends and family that allowed me to realize how I should have been loving myself before I got sick. I should've been soaking up every moment I have, going the extra mile, and of course, loving myself.

I have since fallen in love with myself again- deeper than I ever have before. I stopped being picky with little things that used to bother me, I now accept myself for my flaws and embrace them, and I allow them to empower me.

I give myself time to heal, process, and figure things out. I don't shame myself for any of my imperfectness either. The love I give myself first then allows me to give love to others as well, to reciprocate the joy and care that others have given me.

This experience gave me new eyes, and I started to see things without the haze of my self-doubt. I feel a strength and power within myself that I never thought I had, which I am so very thankful for, and being pushed to my limits enabled me to understand other people's experiences with even more empathy than I thought possible.

Now, when I look in the mirror I know that no matter what my body may look or feel like- I will always be me, and I am so blessed because of that. My literal and figurative scars show me where I have been, what I have been able to endure, and what I have learned.

They also show me that I can (and will) keep going, keep loving, and continuously be unapologetic for who I am. I don't actually regret any of what happened to me, because it brought me so much closer to the ones I love, and most notably, it made me learn to love myself again.

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