Well, here’s a radical concept: no matter how healthily we eat, we can still get sick. Often we give so much energy to other people in our lives - clients, family and friends - that without healthy boundaries, we run out of battery. Getting sick sometimes isn’t a lack of nutrients in our body or a low immune system; it’s more of a case of our body telling us to slow down.
When my husband told me a couple of months ago that he wanted a divorce, my body sent me the bill straight away. I woke up the next morning with tonsillitis, blocked nose and aching muscles. Later it turned in to a chest infection and exhaustion, I was sick for 3 weeks. I knew it was my body sending me a strong message that I needed to physically process the pain and grief I was feeling in my heart. After moving back in to my parents house while they were on vacation, I didn’t want to cook for myself – and I certainly didn’t want to eat kale. I drank wine and ate Nutella on toast every night for two weeks – items I hadn’t had in years. My body was craving carbs and sugar. Then I had two weeks of eating Burger King. I was trying not to be seen in the drive through for fear that someone would recognise me.
Normally I would've created a lot of shame and guilt around this - how can I teach people how to eat healthily when I am eating processed junk? During this time didn't post any healthy food pictures on my instagram, and my facebook feed was quiet. But I didn't bully myself this time. Pushing away my cravings would have created disconnect in my body, which produces even more harmful feelings. I knew I needed to ride the wave and let my body come back into balance naturally.
So what do Health Coaches do when we get sick? This can apply to physical, emotional, and mental ailments...
1. Listen to your body
Find out what your body needs, and give it to yourself. Maybe it's a massage, treat food, or lots of water. Don’t expect too much from yourself – the more you look after yourself, the faster you will recover.
2. Acknowledge where the problem comes from
In my case, I knew my physical illness was coming from unprocessed feelings. Sometimes it might be just a case of catching what’s going around, but our emotional world affects our health more than we realise. Look inside and ask what the deeper issue is, and deal with that at the same time – I keep a copy of Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life in my bedside table like a bible, and when I’m not well I remind myself what thought patterns could be creating illness.
3. Rest more than usual
It’s not a sign of failure to spend all day in bed. Nature has cycles: grow, bloom, harvest, rest. We humans also have cycles, and women have very obvious ones. The earth doesn’t produce all year round; in Winter, the plants go back inside themselves to get ready to a rush of energy in Spring. Honour your own cycles. If you’re under the weather, clear your schedule for some hibernation.
4. Reach out for support
Often givers find it hard to ask for help. When we do work up the courage to reach out, it can be so rewarding for both parties. After I told a good friend that I was getting divorced, she promptly booked me a massage – it was heaven. When I thanked her she said she was just happy to help. You don’t need to pretend to be perfect and have everything together all the time – your friends will be glad to be there for you.
Does this resonate with you? I'm giving away 3 complimentary health consultations (via Skype) in August! Simply leave a comment below to be in to win.