Sunday, November 18, 2012

Take care of yourself

Yesterday while I was walking downtown and mulling over how my semester has been going, I had a giant realization. This may turn into a brain dump of a post - so bear with me here!

So I call my blog a "healthy living blog". I eat mostly healthy foods and I exercise regularly, so I must be healthy right? I'm not so sure about that. I know I probably come across as healthy, but health is about so much more than just eating well and staying active! And to be quite honest, I've been neglecting those other vital aspects of health.

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As I've mentioned in my posts over the past few weeks, I've been having a rough time this semester for various reasons. And this has translated into me not taking care of myself. What do I mean by that?

Lately I've been feeling fatigued and just zapped of energy, so I've been wanting to make an appointment with my doctor to get some blood work done to get my iron checked. But I keep on making excuses that I'm too busy to do it. Also my knee is still bothering me but I haven't made a physiotherapist appointment yet.

Mentally, I'm neglecting my health too. I've been stressed like crazy this semester and I definitely haven't been managing it properly. Without getting too personal here, I'll say that I've struggled with depression in the past and I'm starting to see its familiar patterns again. But I've just let it get worse instead of dealing with it.

Even looks-wise I'm neglecting myself. I need a haircut, I've been living in leggings and Lululemon sweaters, and I haven't worn make up or done my hair in weeks. It's like Robin post-break up with Barney, only without the Cheetos in my hair (any other How I Met Your Mother fans out there?).

And this needs to stop.

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Other aspects of our life - work, school, family, volunteering, exercising, cooking - should not take priority to the point where we neglect to look after our own needs. But yet this always happens. And why are we okay with this? Why are we okay with putting all of our efforts into our commitments, but no effort into ourselves? We need to remember that we are important! We deserve to be healthy and happy and confident and energetic and sometimes even pampered. So no matter how busy we are, it's okay, no it's essential, that we take some time out of our day to do something for ourselves. We are worth it!

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So what's my game plan? In the next week I'm going to a) book a doctor's appointment, b) book a physiotherapist appointment, c) hang out with friends who make me happy, d) go to at least one yoga class, e) get a haircut, and f) put on some damn pants!

Have you ever struggled with neglecting yourself?

What is something you've been meaning to do for yourself? Go do it!

33 comments:

  1. Its very true...there's so much more to overall health than just eating right and exercising. And often, we can eat well and workout all we like, but it won't matter if the other areas of our health are neglected. It's great that you recognize that just getting dressed and taking care of yourself can do wonders! It's so easy for me to slip on a pair of loose yoga pants and head to work like that, but I actually find that I'm happier AND more productive when I dress myself up a little, buy some new makeup, and become friends again with the flat iron. And its not because I'm vain, but its because it simply makes me happy. Those little changes add up and have helped me get through the blues (we all have them!).

    Hang in there and let me know if you ever need to chat. Email me at any time!

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  2. AMAZING POST CHELSEA!!!!!!!
    You can't even begin to fathom how much I respect you girl. The fact you recognized the issue, stepped back to make a plan and are tackling it head on is FABULOUS :) Enjoy your rest my friend, you deserve some quality time with yourself!!

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  3. love this post chelsea!!! I completely agree! Taking time for ourselves is one of the most important things we can do for our over health and happiness!

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  4. Chelsea, you are so worth it! I love this post and your authenticity. I know you will feel alot better after by making those small changes to look after yourself. Trust me, I can really relate to how you feel. You're determination is inspriring, one thing at a time!
    P.S I'll put on some damn pants too!

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  5. This is great Chelsea! So many people think that healthy living stops at eating well and exercising...but there's so many more aspects to it!
    I'm sorry that old patterns are popping up again in terms of mental health...I had issues with depression when I was in high school, so I know how awful it is. But, I think noticing the patterns early before things get worse is key in turning things around.

    I was meaning to take a few days away from school obligations before the final paper-rush of the semester begins. Definitely accomplished my goal with my Chicago trip!

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  6. Awww chelsea!!!! I knew you were stressed but I had nooo idea you were feeling this crappy! I completely agree - in our north american culture there's just soo much pressure to ACHIEVE at all costs, and yeah - people neglect not only their family and friends, but themselves. It causes allllll kinds of awful stuff - depression, obesity...ugh. I'm soooo glad you recognized this and you're gonna take some steps to take care of yourself! And most importantly...don't beat yourself up for slipping up on self-care and socializing (which is something I have totally done in the past & it just makes everything worse). For me, getting in some intense workouts, getting a manicure/pedi, buying lots of produce and just having a day where I don't even THINK about doing work is what I really need to get back on track! Hope you start feeling better ASAP girlie! <3

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  7. Great post Chelsea! There are so many other components to health that go far beyond eating right and exercising. We need to be working on all these things that keep us in good health all around. It seems people just crave to be busy, busy, busy all the time and never allow themselves to de-stress from this busy lifestyle. And quite frankly all the busyness is so unhealthy. We get stressed, anxious, get digestive problems, and other bad things. I'm sorry that some old habits are creeping up again, but at least you are acknowledging there are issues and you are working on them. That's amazing! You deserve that quality time with yourself!!

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  8. Ah wonderful post, Chelsea...and one I am sure we can all relate with to some extent! When life gets away, it's always our own selves that instantly take a backseat...that's not how it should be! We should always be our number one priority regardless! I love that you have recognized yourself falling back into old habits and taking care of yourself before it gets worse! It sounds really silly to some people but my hair is always done- I rarely leave it au naturel and that's purely because when I make even that little bit of effort in my appearance, it makes a world of difference to how I feel...maybe it is superficial but it works for me :)!

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  9. Lovely post chelsea!!! I agree with u! Taking time for ourselves is one of the most important things we can do for our over health and happiness. your post is really very inspiring.

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  10. Great post, Chelsea! Although I'm sorry to hear that it's the result of you feeling so crappy :( I can definitely relate to neglecting myself when things get a little hectic. I have no idea why it is that we put ourselves last when we should really be putting ourselves first. Not taking proper care of ourselves only makes us feel worse, and that goes on to make our performance suffer in all other aspects of our lives. It's great that you've noticed and are looking to do something about it, though. Looking forward to hearing about your haircut/appointments, and hope that you feel better soon! <3 <3

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  11. Oh, Chelsea, I wish I could fly to London and give you a big hug. <3 Hang in there, girl; things WILL get better! This post really resonates with me because, as you know, I've been experiencing many of the same feelings this semester. I kind of hit rock bottom a few weeks ago, and after crying an ocean, realized that nobody but ME could turn things around. Since then, I've been focused on paying better attention to every facet of my health. Like you, I was solely focused on staying healthy by means of eating well and exercising, yet I was neglecting my emotional and spiritual health. It's truly amazing what time spent with friends/family--especially when laughter and hugs are involved-- can do for the soul! You deserve maximum health and happiness, and I know that you'll experience it again soon. Love you SO much. Please please please let me know if I can help! xoxo <3

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  12. This post is so true! As a nutrition coach I see it so often. People may be eating right but they are not living a healthy life. They are neglecting other aspects like stress and mental well being that are so key to a healthy lifestyle! Amazing post.

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  13. Ha - I love your to-do list there at the end. This post it too true, and I'm glad to hear you're making time for you!

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  14. to me mental health is a REALLY important thing. i often fail at this - it is hard when school/work get busy and we get stressed. i'm learning that this is just as important as exercise and eating right, too.

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  15. i COMPLETELY feel you and understand where you are coming from as i've struggled with the same thing. sounds like you've got a great plan in place, and remember i'm always here for you!! xoxo

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  16. Glad to see you have the motivation to be proactive. You can do it!!

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  17. GAHHHHHHHH i could have written this post word for word. Same deal, stomach issues again yet no time for a doctor visit. Need a haircut like no other, need warm clothes, should so something social. I am in the same boat as you, I hope that this break I can sit down with myself and put together a game plan. I am with you, so with you on this.

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  18. I'm sorry to hear you've been down! It happens to all of us at me time or another. Focusing so much on the things we think are most important while totally forgetting the little things that add up. You're only human so don't put too much pressure on yourself! Hope your weeks goes well!

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  19. Great post, Chelsea! I'm definitely a victim of neglecting myself here and there. I very often slip up on the social thing, letting everything else take precedence.

    I often let school and other things take over to the point where my physical health starts to suffer. That's usually when I get sick. Note to self, mental health is Just as important!

    "put on some damn pants" <-- I need that one too.

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  20. I'm SO proud of you, Chels. This post takes major balls to write and the way you just called yourself out is AMAZING! You're a total rock star. I have never struggled with depression specifically but I DO remember feeling depressed during school. The nutrition major is SO, SO CHALLENGING and we spend SO MUCH time alone studying that it can be super challenging and difficult. So, I do know how you're feeling there.

    I suggest waking up just five minutes early to meditate. Really connect with your heart and ask God to lead you in the direction of love. My favorite prayer from A Course in Miracles is, "Where will you have me go? What will you have me do? What will you have me say? And to whom?" I find that, when I re-direct my feelings of being "down in the dumps" onto how I can be of service to others, my entire energy and mood shifts. Only love is real - everything else that you feel (depression, sadness, anxiety) is an illusion that you create in your mind. You can choose love. And you just did it by writing this post. So, you're on the right track. Honestly, if you ever need ANYTHING, I'm here for you. <3

    I love you so much!

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  21. I so agree with this! I eat healthy and stay active, but lack in other departments, mainly sleep. Gotta work on that.

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  22. I'm new to your blog, but I have to say, great post! It's so easy to focus on one aspect of our health, be it healthy eating or exercise, that we forget about our emotional/mental health or even our friendships/family health. For me, I've been focusing on eating right and finding a creative outlet through my blog, but I've been neglecting physical health. Now that it's dark at 5:00, I refuse to run outside (not that I was doing it too often to begin with). And I need a hair cut, too! Hope you start feeling better. I guess the first step is realizing that you could be taking better care of yourself and then going forward from there.

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  23. I really like this idea of the six areas, but I don't really like the whole pie chart thing. I kind of think that a majority of our life is going to be spent figuring out exactly what our priorities are and creating this virtual pie chart for ourselves. We need to figure out what configuration of this chart works best for us. Like if we really feel good when we help out the environment, or if we feel that we need to give extra focus to the mental or physical sides. I think that everybody is just a little bit different, but that you should try to find a partner who has similar priorities when it comes to these things. Lining up on what you think are the most important things in life is a huge part of whether or not you'll work as a couple.

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  24. I'm definitely neglecting myself in some pretty big ways. It's interesting how easy it is for me to be nice to others, but then when it comes to myself, I'm downright cruel.

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  25. The worst thing I've done is to neglect my health by paying too much attention to it. I needed to control everything that passed my lips, and I needed to tell my body what was right. Turns out that made me feel at my worst.

    Now I realise that my body gets by totally fine without my interference! I work out without pressure, I eat what I crave, and I'm happy.

    You're a great role model and I hope you feel better, love!

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  26. Such a great post and I love the realization of the different aspects of health. As a community health person, I struggle with showing people that health is not all about calories and exercising but your mental, spiritual and emotional health are just if not more important.

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  27. I know what you mean! Lately I've been eating way too much processed food and not getting ANY sleep. I feel tired, fatigued and just blah because of it!

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  28. This is a great post and really reflects how this semester has made me feel lately! Please document how you get back on track, because I really need some guidance for myself!

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  29. Aww, Chelsea, I just want to give you a big hug right now! I know how you've mentioned being stressed lately, but I had no idea just how bad you were feeling. I can totally relate to this. It's so hard sometimes to focus on ourselves when we are being pulled in all sorts of directions with work, school, and other commitments. And I'm right there with ya on the perfectionism thing...I swear that adds ten times the amount of stress! But I've been that way since I was little. Just can't seem to shake it!

    I tend to neglect myself all to often. But lately I've been trying to do better...realizing that I don't have to say yes to everything, and taking time to myself...even if all I'm doing is vegging out on the couch watching Netflix in my PJ's all day...which is what I did last Sunday and it was marvelous! ;)

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  30. I really like the circle discussing the 6 sections of health. I really do think that health is an overall thing. It's not just something physical, but also mental, emotional, spiritual, etc.! One of the things I tend to neglect myself on is sleep; it's so hard trying to transform into a morning bird when I'm a natural born night owl. And just like how you are in college right now, I'm going up to Idaho in 5 weeks, and I've been trying to get myself back on a schedule I'll be living as a full-time college student. When I go to bed late I struggle to sleep throughout the night. When I don't get enough sleep, I struggle throughout the day. So, making sure I get enough sleep is imperative for my overall well-being (and the well-being of those living with me). I want to get to bed by 10-10:30pm at night, and then get up at 6-6:30am. That's my goal right now.

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  31. I have fallen way behind on the blogs I follow so I'm sorry this is a bit late. I am so glad you shared the wellness wheel. It's one of the things I try to use with my clients at my internship and am hoping to integrate into my private work in the future. It's so true that we often focus on one or two pieces of our health and think we're doing what's best, only to realize that we've neglected a huge chunk that makes us truly well. I've noticed it a lot in myself too and have tried to be better about my overall wellness. :-) Thanks for posting this.

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  32. Well said! Achieving a healthy life goes beyond the aspect of eating the right food or doing the right exercise. Thank you for pointing that out.

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