“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow.” – Eleanor Brown
I’ve always been an overachieving eager beaver. This characteristic of mine has done me well in my academic life and career up until now…
My overachieving self was overworked and I did not take the time to check in on how I was feeling emotionally, mentally and physically. I kept pushing myself to go above and beyond until I ran empty. This resulted in relapse into mild depression, whole body pain flare ups, low immunity, loss of voice and bronchitis. I’ve never had bronchitis before and having had asthma as a child, its effects were harder on my body.
Burn out is for real! The mind and body are intertwined. It takes awhile for the body to recover if it has been abused.
Learn from my experience and remind yourself to check in (see how you are doing within) and check out (take a break from the rest of the world).
- Sleep – the most important one of all! Without proper sleep, our bodies cannot replenish itself to its restorative state. Did you know that while you sleep, your brain gets rid of toxins and consolidates memories? I highly recommend reading “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker, PhD.
- Nourish – eat a well balanced diet and don’t restrict yourself if it would cause you to overeat later. Practice the 80/20 rule and enjoy eating! Eat well and feel well!
- Hydrate – water is the most important nutrient for sustaining life as our bodies are made of approximately 60% water. In general, drink half your body weight in ounces (8oz = 1 cup). I’ll use myself as an example: I am 120 lbs so half that is 60. Divide 60 by 8 and it equals to 7.5. That means that I need to drink at least 7.5 cups of water to stay completely hydrated.
- Body Movement – whether it be walking through the park, hiking in nature, biking, running, working out at the gym, dancing in the rain, yoga with your friends or swimming in the lake… whatever it is that you enjoy doing that involves moving your body, go and do it! Even if you are feeling tired and burnt out, I promise you, you will feel better if you simply move your body!
- Meditate – take time out to just be in whatever way that may look like for you. There are plenty of meditation apps around now but I suggest just sitting still in a quiet room, feel your body, take deep breaths, smile, relax and be present in that moment with yourself. The best time to meditate is in the morning, before anything or anyone else could “ruin” your day, get yourself grounded and ready! Of course, we all have different schedules and lifestyles so pick a time that works best for you!
- Have Fun – do what makes you happy! spend time with people that build you up and accepts you for who you are. Life’s too short to be spending with people, places or things you don’t enjoy.
- Create Boundaries – learn to say no without feeling guilty. Every action has a consequence. Think about yourself and how you would feel physically, emotionally and mentally after saying yes to whatever is asked of you. If you feel good about it then go for it. However, if you have any reservations, listen to your gut and say no. Do not let the fear of missing out force you into saying yes.
Supplement When Needed
The tips above are the building blocks to a healthy and well-balanced life. Although I am a big proponent to nourishing yourself with whole foods, I do believe that sometimes, our bodies need that little extra boost and that’s when I supplement.
Supplements should never be used to replace a whole foods diet, it is exactly what it is “a supplement” to supply the deficiency that we may not be able to get fully from just our diet alone. With that said, below are a few of my favourites to help with energy restoration!
Ashwaghanda is one of my favourite adaptogens, meaning they help the body adapt to stress. Ashwaghanda has the ability reduce mental and physical fatigue. This one works well for me but it may not work for everybody.
Vitamin B12 helps increase energy forms red blood cells. It also improves concentration, memory and balance. Since most plant foods don’t contain Vitamin B12, it is best to supplement. The best form would be the methycobalamin form in either sublingual or liquid tincture for increased absorption.
CoQ-10 is an antioxidant found in every living cell and is necessary in producing energy. It is also beneficial for improving heart functions and immune response. As we age, our bodies CoQ-10 production decreases so supplementation after the age of 30 is recommended.
Iron is often associated with anemia but even if you aren’t anemic, you can be deficient in iron which can cause fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and poor mental performance. It is best to consult your doctor or health care provider prior to taking iron supplements. There are many good brands but the one I find to work for most people is Floradix.
Magnesium is the anti-stress mineral and one of my favourites! It is responsible for over 600 reactions in the body including energy creation, protein formation, muscle movements, nervous system regulation and gene maintenance. The best form to take would be the bisglycinate form and New Roots is one of the best brands to take. I suggest taking up to 300mg a day. Any more may cause extra bowel movements that you most likely don’t want.
Rhodiola is a herb that grows in mountainous regions of Europe and Asia. It is also considered an adaptogen which helps the body deal with stress, boost energy and mental clarity. The brand I like to use and have found really effective with both myself and clients is Rhoziva. Rhodiola by Botanica and New Chapter are also great options. (Caution: it is best not to take at the same time as Ashwaghanda. Try one or the other or alternate in between use).
“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” – Mandy Hale
*I highlighted certain brands above that I recommend, I am not sponsored by any of these companies, I truly just like them!
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