In our fast-paced lives, the concept of self-care often takes a back seat until a health crisis emerges. Unfortunately, nothing ages us faster than a sudden diagnosis, whether it be diabetes, hypertension, or a severe cardiac incident. On the Self-Care Goddess Podcast episode #103, May Tom a registered dietitian and functional medicine practitioner, explores the critical mistakes people make in Self-Care that accelerates the ageing process. From the societal perception of Self-Care as selfish to the transformative power of owning one’s voice and advocating for proper care, we delve into the nuances of effective Self-Care.
The following information are just a few of the golden nuggets from my insightful conversation. Listen to the entire episode here.
Self-Care Mindset Shift
Most people do not value Self-Care until there is the onset of diseases, realizing too late the cumulative impact of years of insufficient self-care. Diseases, which are essentially the manifestation of prolonged neglect, bring about a significant aging effect on the body. The prevailing mindset around self-care often sees it as a selfish luxury, particularly for women juggling multiple responsibilities. The shift needed for women to embrace self-care as an act of self-love involves fostering self-advocacy and the ownership of their power and voice. May Tom often presents individuals with tangible evidence of what their bodies are enduring by blood panels that highlight the impact of prolonged sleep deprivation or depleted DHEA levels. Showcasing the data on paper (visual representation) serves as validation, offering women the concrete proof they need to acknowledge the state of their well-being. Validation, in this context, is not merely a subjective feeling but is backed by laboratory results. May also utilizes tools like a heart rate variability tracker and a sleep tracker. Wearing these devices provides objective data that goes beyond merely expressing fatigue. It allows us to advocate for ourself in a more concrete manner with metrics and data. Investing time and money in self-care is an intelligent decision with a worthwhile return on investment and the smartest use of time in the long-term because it will translate into being present for family, nurturing a happy marriage, and securing a future unburdened by the weight of preventable health issues.
Listen to the Self-Care Goddess Podcast episode #62, “Embody Your Full Potential: Break Free From Fears & False Perceptions.”
Hormonal Health as a Stress Marker
Understanding hormonal health, particularly before menopause is extremely important. Comprehensive bloodwork, including thyroid levels, sex hormones, and adrenal hormones like DHEA and cortisol, can provide a baseline for assessing and addressing potential issues. Regular monitoring, even before hitting perimenopause & menopause, enables women to understand the trends in their hormonal health. For example, the adrenal glands play a pivotal role in producing stress hormones – in scientific terms, this process is referred to as allostatic load, representing the cumulative stress on the body. Understanding the sources of stress and identifying controllable factors is a crucial discussion conducted by functional medicine practitioners. This involves an examination of the allostatic load, exploring potential contributors such as leaky gut, recent life events like divorce, or the inherent stress in caretaking responsibilities. Even factors like inflammation, environmental toxins, and elevated Xeno estrogens are recognized as sources of stress. Imbalances in blood sugar levels, whether too low or too high, contribute significantly to overall stress on the body. Additionally, prolonged calorie restriction, especially in women, can be remarkably stressful. It’s important to note that being in a state of ketosis, unless specifically for conditions like cancer or dementia, can also impose undue stress on the body. Many individuals immediately delve into identifying the sources of stress in their lives by questioning what, how, and where they feel stress. However, stress is not solely about perception or emotional experience; it also encompasses physical layers that may go unnoticed.
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Tips For Setting Boundaries
Recognizing that the body keeps score, individuals often engage in healing practices like EMDR, hypnosis, and breathwork to release hidden traumas. In terms of metabolism and hormones, a common mistake observed is the tendency for high-achieving women, particularly those aged 40 and above, to over-exercise and under-eat. This leads to a catabolic state, impacting hormones and overall well-being. Switching from high-intensity to low-intensity exercises like Pilates or yoga and adopting intuitive eating are vital corrections. Many women fall into the misconception that calorie counting is the sole determinant of health, overlooking the importance of nourishment. Rest and recovery should not be underestimated, as they play a pivotal role in productivity, metabolic health, and overall vibrancy.
Would you like to learn 5 Ways to Kick Start Your Self-Care Journey at Home? Listen to the Self-Care Goddess Podcast episode #6.
Unveiling the Unspoken
“Identify the Elephant in the Room”
In the podcast conversation, May Tom encourages individuals to identify and address the “elephant in the room”, which is the underlying issue they are avoiding. This could be related to habits like alcohol consumption, sugar addiction or a need for self-martyrdom. Confronting and resolving these issues, along with forgiveness and self-compassion, are crucial steps in the journey of holistic self-care. The presence of an unacknowledged/ avoided issue can be easily identified by engaging in a 5-minute conversation with a practitioner. Identifying this game-changing issue boldly, acknowledging it and courageously declaring and pursuing the necessary actions delves into self-forgiveness. We can also write forgiveness letters to ourself to overcome self-beat up and perfectionism. Advocating for self-grace and recognizing inherent worthiness strengthens the connection with one’s body and intuition. Affirmations play a role in reinforcing self-worth and May shares a powerful mantra: “I’m worth it.” This simple yet impactful practice of affirming self-worth aids in building a habit of prioritizing oneself.
I look forward to connecting with you to help you identify and understand your “elephant in the room”. Schedule a FREE introduction call here.
Take Home Message
This podcast blog post serves as a comprehensive guide to understanding and rectifying the biggest mistakes people make in Self-Care. By shifting mindsets, advocating for hormonal health, setting boundaries, and addressing inner healing, individuals can embark on a transformative journey towards holistic well-being. Ultimately, Self-Care is a conscious choice, a habit to be cultivated, and a key element in the pursuit of a vibrant and healthy life. Remember my Mantra “Self-Care is not Selfish, it’s Self-Love”
Listen to the full podcast episode #103 on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
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I look forward to connecting with you and learning more about your story and your health and wellness goals. Schedule a FREE introduction call here.