Self care is so important to our health but in this environment its sometimes hard to know just what to do for self care. I mean, self care is different for everyone. Everybody’s needs are different. And when we think of self care, we think healthy eating, exercise, sleep and stress. All of these are so important, but sometimes we need to be aware of our environment and how it affects our health as well. Let me give some personal examples.
As a younger adult I “just dealt” with issues … maybe like you? I ignored the indigestion, tummy pains and the constipation. But ignorance and avoidance was no longer doable after I became severely under weight. Also, after my son was born, his little body was assaulted by allergies. He was miserable. What was going on? Why were we struggling with our health? We ate pretty healthy and we were all active!
My husband and I started making changes to our diet and lifestyle after I found a GI doctor that told me to eliminate certain foods from my diet and everyone’s health improved. I noticed improvement with my tummy issues, my weight and I was also able to lower my genetically high cholesterol by 100 points! My husband lowered his cholesterol, too. We noticed improvement in our son as well. Being aware and listening to our bodies helped us improve our health then—and now.
Once I realized the benefits of being more attune to my body and health, I was hooked. I zeroed in … so much so that I started a new career as a health coach! But you don’t have to become a health coach to improve your family’s health!
Most recently, my husband took a new job at a hospital. All of a sudden, he was suffering with asthma, a horrendous rash, and the worst allergies ever. It looked as though he had aged 20 years. He saw many doctors that wanted to put him on steroid creams and allergy medicine. But that wasn’t going to tell us what was going on! It took a while to find a great naturopathic doctor specializing in environmental toxins, and after many tests, found he was reacting to some chemicals like formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde and many more! Gluta what? What was going on? Evidently, glutaraldehyde is a potent antimicrobial/sterilant used to disinfect equipment and surfaces in the health care industry. He was being exposed to chemicals at work that threw his body over the top and he was now over reacting to everything!
We needed to make some changes. He started to bring his own towels to use after his workouts at work. I gave him a homemade cleaner spray made with essential oils and water to wipe down the equipment he uses to work out on before he worked out! He also brought with him to work a natural hand sanitizing spray with essential oils to use instead of using the hand sanitizing stations at the hospital. He cut out high histamine foods from his eating until we could figure things out to lower the histamine response going on inside of him. The naturopathic doctor gave him supplements to support his body. We got an air filtration system for our home to lower anything that may be bothering him at home. We already had a good water filter at home. We even replaced our old carpet with a non toxic wool rug at home! We now soak our clothes in the washer with powdered milk to remove the formaldehyde from the clothes. Yes it really is a thing. And he recognizes his work environment is the biggest factor and is looking into alternative options to implement at work. And as I write this, we ordered an Infrared sauna from Costco to help detox our bodies.
I like sharing his story, because it shows that there are lots of options out there you can implement to improve your health from simple things to more advanced. You just need to be willing and aware. And when you work together, you can support each other in not only figuring out what is happening with a loved one’s health, you can support each other in making good changes. Love brings support and helps you figure it out!
Being aware! See What’s Around You. Change Your Self-Care Plan.
For this list, I’m sharing ideas that are often overlooked. Sleep, diet, exercise, and so on are crucial, but what about the space around us? How does your home and what’s in your home, or office affect your health? I’d encourage you to think about the environmental factors that affect your health. Consider these ideas.
- Bring a HEPA and carbon filter system into your home. We choose a Blue Air filtration system, but there are many out there.
- Consider going shoe-free to reduce the number of bacteria, allergens, and viruses in the house (especially if people with compromised immune systems, babies, and older adults are in the home).
- Try using a microfiber cloth for dusting. Dust has been found to be full of chemicals and toxins in homes and offices. Check out this video for reducing dust and grime in your home.
- Scan through this dust allergy overview from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. It’s filled with helpful tips and insights.
- Start using a water filter. While we’re blessed to have good water systems in most of the United States, removing any residual chemicals and particles is wise. Remember the problems in Flint Michigan? Here’s a summary of water purification.
- Wash your new clothes before wearing. This is so important and so often overlooked. Giving detailed reasons, an immunologist explains why in this Forbes article.
Finally, one extra thought: enlist your family or friends. Finding someone to come alongside you in your health journey makes it a priority. Maybe it is a workout buddy? Maybe it is an accountability partner to help you with your food choices? Maybe it is your spouse as you work together to make changes to your home? Maybe its a health coach that’s going through it herself? If you have questions about other ways to support your health and be aware, give me a call or send me an email.