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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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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I Don't Have To Wear Makeup To Be Beautiful

You don't have to, either.


For about as long as modern makeup/cosmetics/skincare brands have been around, the notion that women have to use any of these cosmetic products to be considered "beautiful" has also been around.

(If you've read my earlier article about red lipstick giving me my confidence back, you would know that I absolutely adore certain skincare/makeup products.)

However, I personally don't believe that I need to wear any kind of makeup to be considered "beautiful." And you don't, either.

I think that we, as a society, have seriously overvalued aesthetic beauty and undervalued the beauty that comes from being a decent, honest, genuine, and kind person. I believe that while makeup has an incredible and transformation-giving effect on women, (and men too, just for the record), that none of us honestly should depend on x, y, and z products to make us feel that we are beautiful, or that our self worth and sense of self should be tied up in how many likes a selfie of us in a full face of makeup get.

And quite frankly, there is so much to love about our makeup free, naturally glowing skin that so many of us hide, simply because society would love to tell us that we're not beautiful, or pretty, or worth very much at all if we don't use [insert new trendy skincare product here].

Well, excuse my French, but I'm calling bull.

It's not okay for any of us to think of ourselves as less than, simply because we're not following those crazy and crappy societal trends. In a culture where "Instagram perfect" pictures are the ideal that every woman, or man, is expected to look up to, I'd say it's pretty revolutionary to dare to bare a fresh-faced look.

No one has to ever feel the need to compulsively put on makeup to be considered "beautiful."

Because, in all reality, makeup can't measure the kind of person you are.

Makeup/skincare products can't measure your kindness, your generosity, your bravery in the face of adversity, or any other kickass quality that you might have. Makeup can't do that; only what's inside of you, if brought out for the world to see, can do that. And yes, I'm well aware of how cliché and "junior high preachy" that sounds.

So, I hope this article will possibly spark some introspective thoughts on what beauty means to you. I hope you start to think about the fact that who you are as a person is not defined by how "attractive" or "beautiful" someone else might tell you you are.

You define who you are as a person, nobody else has that power.

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