Treading Water and Health

So I have been in the full throttle of being a student and an adult. Although I’m very lucky because I still live at home and am being supported through my education – so I am a full time student and not working – let me repeat, I am very lucky.

I am a nursing student, and it takes a lot of time, energy and effort. I have been treading water with my health (physical and mental) and the point is just not to drown. I know this sounds a little dramatic but those who deal with or care for someone with mental health issues will understand. My bipolar does not define me, but it is a part of me. And it is something that is triggered easily by stress and bad health habits (like stressing over studying and not sleeping, or copious amounts of caffeine, etc). So I’m treading water until summer comes again and I can fully focus on my health.

I also deal with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Long story short, my hormones tend to mess with me and that doesn’t help the already fluctuating moods and my proneness to weight gain (+medication weight gain) and struggle to take it back off. I was diagnosed when I was 14 years old and am now 23, and have never really focused on it or dealt with it. So I am doing my research into things to help me.

I used to manage it well before being engulfed by post-secondary education, but I am determined to get back there.

I’ve also started to take a heap load of vitamins to help with overall health and problem specific issues.

So here are some things I’m doing [I am not a doctor and cannot give advice in such – this is just what I’m doing for me]: 

Vitamins –

  • vitamin D
    • there are some studies that show it can help with depression and mood fluctuations, especially with the seasons changing
  • multivitamin for women
    • general overall health
  • probiotic
    • this helps with stomach/intestine bacteria, it helps the body process foods and eliminates bloating pain, discomfort, can help with heartburn (I have GERD) and just overall improves the gut
  • magnesium
    • helps with such a variety of things but I’m taking it for migraines, mood swings, and pms symptoms,
  • evening primrose oil
    • this is to help with the PCOS, I’m still new to it but I’ve heard it can help with hormone fluctuations and therefore possibly east cystic pain
  • folic acid
    • this is for the mental health, its been shown in bipolar to help with both down swings and up swings
  • omega-3
    • this is also for the mental health and overall brain health, helping with moods

I also started drinking lemon water with apple cider vinegar in the mornings with my breakfast and coffee, its supposed to help with weight loss, digestion, lowers blood sugar levels, and helps heart health.

Other than that I am trying to eliminate processed food (so things like white bread), which I know I won’t completely rid of, but I am trying to cut down.

The next step is introducing exercise again, but thats a work in progress.

Until next time!

 

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30 Day Self-Care Challenge | Day 3

Ok so I’m genuinely surprised how hard this is to remember to make time for myself to do about 20 minutes worth of self care in my entire day. But it is such an amazing feeling as I do this list and that I am learning not to judge good or bad reports on my ability to accomplish but that it is something I am successful at because I am trying.

My picks:

  1. Meditate for 5-10 Minutes a Day
  2. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for
  3. Watch a TED talk
  4. Yoga

The rundown:

Meditation – I started a 15 minute guided one, and managed about 3 minutes until my distraction was pulled by people around. So far this is my biggest opportunity for growth.

Grateful for – 1. dinner with my boyfriend 2. liking my mom 3. bubble baths

TED talk – This fell through today, but I watched Youtube videos on healthy habits and routines, which was just as lovely.

Yoga – I managed to go a little bit longer and a little bit deeper into my stretches! It felt really nice with my music going, and a lot of deep breathing. I will definitely get back there.

30 Day Self-Care Challenge | Day 2

So yesterday was day 2 of my challenge. You can find my previous post outlining what I’m doing here. I would say yesterday was semi-successful.

My picks again were:

  1. Meditate for 5-10 Minutes a Day
  2. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for
  3. Watch a TED talk
  4. Yoga

The rundown:

Meditation – I did not manage to get to it.

Grateful for – 1. my decent health 2. the ability to drive 3. personal phone calls

TED talk – I watched a 10 minute ‘inspiration’ on my TED app (All it takes is 10 mindful minutes) about meditation. He was a great speaker and it was really interesting. Totally captivated me.

Yoga – I’m still gentle due to being post-surgery, and my dogs really wanted to be apart of it. So my down dog became “tackle the owner” but it was nice to stretch and still ease myself back into it.

30 Day Self-Care Challenge | Day 1

I have been loving Pinterest and searching different self-care and self-love routines. I found a 30 day challenge with a list of over 100 ideas for small self-care acts and you are supposed to integrate a couple into your everyday. So I’m going to give it a go.

My Picks:

  1. Meditate for 5-10 Minutes a Day
  2. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for
  3. Watch a TED talk
  4. Yoga

 

So I will do these everyday, and post my struggles and successes for each for 30 days.

Meditation – I have dogs and they are needy, but I love them and even with the distraction I managed 5 minutes. It makes me totally refocused and happy.

Grateful for – 1. my dogs 2. garden fresh tomatoes 3. family time

TED talk – I watched a 3 minute inspiration on my TED app, it makes me smile and think but I had a hard time absorbing it

Yoga – I’m about 1.5 weeks post surgery so it was a very gentle, restorative flow with minimal movement but enough to stretch it out

 

 

 

How do you like your coffee?

I am currently sipping a brewed Keurig coffee with a little bit of unsweetened vanilla almond milk. It’s a little strong but just what I need.

Today marks the day I start a self-love journey. I am so tired of comparing myself to others and just not feeling healthy in general – so it’s time to make a change – and I’m excited. I’m working with a wellness coach and today we met for the first time and she is lovely. You know when you just get a good vibe? Yup I am feeling hopeful.

Sure I’d love to lose weight (that medication often makes hard to lose) – but she said something that made me think a lot and come to the conclusion; that why do we as a society focus on weight loss and not overall health and happiness?

I am always looking for the next goal, “ok once I do this I’ll feel good”. But why not make lifestyle changes and plan for longer term happiness and work on myself from within?

Well I am going too. Starting today.

 

Unwind Routine

After a long day of work or school or both, mentally we all need a way to unwind and relax for the night. I have found it essential for my mental health to follow a routine, and no I am not always great at doing it but when I do I feel so much better and sleep so much deeper. So here’s what I do on my perfect unwind:

  1. Declutter. Meaning I wash the dishes or put them in the dishwasher, I put away food or clothes, or just throw out the garbage. Very minimal but just enough to leave me with that productive/clean feeling.
  2. Tea. I am a coffee drinker. But tea at the end of the night (my favourite being peppermint or chamomile) is just a nice way to have something warm without a lot of extra calories or caffeine. It mellows me.
  3. Yoga. I do some very light yoga, some heart opening stretches, and some basic positions like downward dog, child’s pose, and anything that I feel will feel good or be relaxing. I maybe do 5 minutes – just enough.
  4. Faith. I don’t talk about it often but I find a lot of comfort in my faith and definitely if you don’t than you can skip this. But my relationship with God has been a good thing for me. So I will just go on Pinterest or my bible app and find some passages I like or enjoy and write it out in my journal.
  5. Meditation. I will do this right before I sleep, because quite honestly it usually makes me fall asleep. I have a guided meditation app and it has thousands of meditations to choose from and categories too. I usually pick a sleeping themed one, thats about 5-10 minutes and do some deep breathing and visualization. For me it’s the perfect end to the day.

 

What’s on your perfect list?

Just a Reminder

A short note:

Valentine’s day doesn’t define you if you are single, or with a partner, or causal. It’s just a day for love. So love your other, love your friends, love your family and celebrate the good times with whoever you feel like.

You are strong and amazing – definitely love yourself.