Step 1: Be healthy (or do what you can)
While I wanted to start this blog off with some fun, happy-go-lucky, girly daydream posts, this past week I ran into a medical issue that distracted me from all that fluffy stuff. An ultrasound found that I have some “abnormalities” in my thyroid, which will be further diagnosed with an upcoming biopsy. I’m a bit freaked out, and I have my reasons (both my parents have been affected by cancer). Loss of control over a situation can lead to feelings of anxiety and worry. I’m in that strange place where I’m trying to not think about it, and trying to find a sense of what I can control.
In attempt to find that balance, I’m trying to build and maintain some healthy habits. Here are a few:
Go for a walk everyday. While this is not a big deal in many parts of the world, it’s been something like -30 degrees Celsius in Montreal for the past 2 months now. It can be really discouraging when I look outside and see blowing snow and a bleak grey sky everyday. But I just have to get in my parka and do it. I normally love walking, and find they do great things for me mentally and physically.
Have a green drink at least 3 times a week. I know they’re overdone on all the blogs and have become somewhat cliché. The truth is, leafy greens make my skin feel amazing (I have a bit of rosacea, and my skin is super dry and itchy, especially with all that indoor heat blasting constantly). While eating salads is also great, from what I’ve researched, the benefits of leafy greens are much better absorbed when pulverized into tiny bits. Plus, B vitamins are great for a number of other things, including strengthening the body’s response to stress.
Try to have some seaweed daily. One of the times I felt at my best (in terms of energy, alertness, overall wellbeing) was when I was consuming about a tablespoon of Spirulina or Chlorella powder almost everyday for about 2 months straight, usually in a drink or smoothie. I’m not gonna lie, they taste like the bottom of a murky pond, and I’m still looking for a way to improve that aspect. I’ve also been treating myself to delicious wakame salads and adding dulse leaves into my soups on the days where I can’t stomach drinking the mossy-colored sludge.
Include chia seeds and ground flax seeds in my diet. Omega 3s are still all the rage, and whether it’s all psychosomatic or true, I feel I am able to think more clearly when I consume foods with Omega 3s. Especially lately with this never-ending winter, brain fog can really get me down. I have taken fish oil supplements in the past, but I like that chia and flax are plant-based.
Continue practicing yoga consistently. I currently attend a class about 3 times a week, at a hot yoga studio nearby. While it’s hard to find the motivation to go each time, (peeling myself off the couch, getting my stuff ready, making my way there in the cold, putting my body in uncomfortable positions and sweating all over the place, ruining my good hair days, etc.), I find my mood much more positive after every class.
Go easy on myself. If I’ve had a busy week and only managed to fit in one green drink, that’s ok. The same goes for exercise: If I can’t make it out for a 45 minute walk, I try and just do 10 minutes. Life’s too short to feel guilty about everything, do what you can!