After over a decade of living with chronic illness, seeking medical treatment, doing a lot of research, and trying various alternative treatments, the greatest improvements to my health have come from self-care actions!
It's a shame I had to learn all these on my own and not receive any of the information from my doctors, or at any time in school while growing up. They seem like common sense now, but I was caught up in our American 24/7 culture of constant “work / do / go / acquire / consume” which leaves little time for care of one’s own health.
Healthy Habits One at a Time
Here I share with you my top 10 self-care actions hoping to save you the time and effort it took me to learn how to take of my own health. I'll expand on each of these topics in upcoming posts:
Common Sense Ideas, Uncommon Practice
A lot of these are common sense healthy living ideas, but in our modern society, most of us are on the go, rushing around, eating fast-food, not getting enough exercise or fresh air, juggling too many activities, living beyond our means, and working to death to pay for it all. It’s exhausting. No wonder so many of us are sick. It takes time and effort to make healthy changes, but it is worth it in the long run.
Make Changes Gradually
Start by making one simple change this week. Keep at it for a month, and see if you can add another simple change next month. Add more challenging changes as time goes on.
But. . .don’t try to go on a dairy-free gluten-free diet right before the holiday season! Wait until January.
Over time you will get used to each new action and it will become a natural part of your routine. Ask your family to do the changes with you—this will make it infinitely easier.
A Holistic Approach
After incorporating these changes in my life, I have greatly reduced the number of prescriptions I was taking 10 years ago. This approach is known as integrative medicine—the best of both worlds. A good alternative medicine practitioner will know which herbs and supplements will complement your conventional treatment to avoid any interactions. In the 21st century the number of integrative medicine doctors is growing. These are M.D.'s who also have training in nutrition & supplements.
Keep Up on Your Regular Medical Care
I do see my primary care doctor and my rheumatologist twice a year for check-ups, blood work and prescription renewals; and I do take a few prescriptions to manage some of the chronic illnesses I have, that I have not been able to treat through gentler therapies. So by all means, make use of modern medicine, but know that there are many non-prescription, self-care things you can do to help yourself feel better.
More on these Topics
This is the first in a series of articles in which I will expand on each of my top ten self-care habits. First up is physical movement.
Watch for the next post on Physical Movement coming soon.
Hi, my name is Kalyn. I love plants and all things nature, so I find myself turning to nature to help me cope with the multiple chronic illnesses. May you find inspiration here.