As I haven’t been shy about sharing – I recently had an arthroscopic surgery on my hip. Many of you are probably like, “Yes, we know. We got it.” Others of you might be like, “Huh?” or “Wait, what!?”
Either way, I don’t think I prepared myself mentally or physically (but really, how can you?) for the weeks of recovery that would commence. Especially when, ironically, that recovery-period has perhaps provided more positives than negatives. Who would’ve thought?
Some of the below suggestions may be completely unrealistic for your day-to-day life or current season (already cringing at my older sister reading #1, as she has a little baby who likes to rebel against bedtime). So please know, this is not a post where I tell you what you ‘should’ be doing and make you feel bad about what you’re not.
This is a revelation of where I saw improvements in my own personal health, yet never expected to. So whether you just had an operation, a baby, just got back from the Olympics, are on vacation, or feel caught on the hampster wheel of M-F – wherever you’re at; maybe these will give you some insight, too.
Because good health doesn’t have to be a $100 cream, a monthly personal trainer, or full-blown diet overhaul. Like most things, little tweaks, when done consistently, add up to big results.
[Oh – so, ‘bedrest’ might be a little bit of an exaggeration but I went with it in the name of alliteration. But really, most hours of the day, I was halfway horizontal, intentionally recovering.]
My better-body learnings:
Sleep is better than makeup
On the daily, makeup might be overrated. Beauty rest is a real thing. Within days of getting 8+ hours of deep sleep, I watched my skin clear and a glow come to my face. By not wearing makeup, my nightly bedtime regimen was also slashed in half.
Multi-vitamins and probiotics. Take them.
I’ve been loving these gummy ones I found at Target. [Yup, still 6 years old at heart.] They’re delicious, don’t make me feel nauseous when I take them, and they’ve made my energy levels feel more balanced. (#ThisIsNotAnAd) I get my probiotics at Whole Foods in the refrigerated section of the supplements aisle.
Water, water, everywhere.
When and why did I ever say I didn’t like plain water? It is wonderful. There are noticeable, physical differences between drinking enough, and well, not. I know that’s the first time you’ve heard that…
Being patient and dependent won’t kill you, it will give you peace.
Both in waiting on God and in receiving help and direction from others. This might not sound like a body behavior, but that always going, always doing, always ‘on’ demeanor definitely creates the feeling of tension in the body. I think it’s slightly different for everyone – only you know how it manifests for you.
Officially on the bandwagon: Eggs + [turkey] bacon + fruit = an awesome A.M. meal.
I realize I’m late to the party on this one, but I’ve long craved sweet in the mornings (smoothies, yogurt bowls, peanut butter & fruit, etc.) vs. savory, but after being spoiled with hot breakfasts, it’s totally the way to go. I think I enjoyed my smoothies even more at lunch, which ironically, also helped tame my ruthless afternoon sweet tooth.
Reading a book (vs. incessant screen-scrolling) is way less likely to give you a headache & way more likely to teach you something.
Self-explanatory, but too much screen time is definitely migraine inducing and will affect your vision over time. Extended social media browsing can turn into a comparison trap [and honestly, what are we even still thumb-sliding for?]. I found way more contentment and stimulating insight with my nose in a book.
Vitamin D seriously alleviates symptoms & feelings of depression. Sunlight, people.
You are a human being, not a human doing machine. Take a break. Get fresh oxygen. Go outside. Feel the breeze on your skin. [And ok fine, maybe the sweat from the humidity, but still.] Your work will be there when you get back, and yup – the Earth is still turning.
Confirmation: Alcohol, caffeine, & gluten are gut irritants and inflammatory substances (for me at least).
I changed little about my diet other than no wine, little to no foods with gluten, and only once did I have my beloved afternoon iced coffee. Not so ironically, my daily feeling of bloat subsided significantly. (I’m not advocating for total abstinence of any of it, I’m just making an observation). Another culprit?: stress. Stress literally creates a toxic state, known to Ayurvedic medicine as “ama” in the body, which creates more problems than necessary. [More on this in Kulreet Chaudhary’s book, The Prime.] FASCINATING.
Rushing is pretty much of the devil & not good from a spiritual, physical, mental, or emotional sense.
You will get there, and you will get there more successfully, if you stop thinking so hard about how fast you can do it. I’m referring to more than getting from Point A to Point B here. I’m talking about your life. Wherever you are, be there. (Talking to myself, too.) Contentment, patience, and simplicity are the real virtues of our day.
Narcotics, aspirin, acetaminophen, etc. should always be used with extreme care and caution. Rule of thumb: less is more; and none is best.
Our brains are such incredible organisms that their primary function is to return to a state of equilibrium. Yet the good and bad thing is, because of its neuro-adaptibility, whenever we do more of something, the brain works hard to adjust and re-establish a ‘home base’. Meaning ‘more’ will always lead us to needing ‘more’, and we’ll forever end up satisfied with ‘less.’ This creates a persistent, taxing demand that becomes harder and harder to keep up with. We have to be gentle with our bodies, and not be so quick to hit up the medicine cabinet, just because we can.
What really made all the above possible for me to experience, was the sheer fact of forcibly having to slow down. I became so much calmer, less stressed, at ease, and therefore so much more in tune with my mental, physical, and emotional states. I felt still in every sense of the word.
Which maybe more so than the repaired hip, was the very lesson God had in mind for me all along. He does have a sense of humor doesn’t He?