Mom’s: listen up!
Let’s learn how to take care of ourselves now, not later!
Every day we are being bombarded with new claims, new miracle treatments, new cures. We hear about “Eat eggs” followed a few years later by “don’t eat eggs”. All of it gets confusing–quickly! I hear about alkaline water and think it must be the newest, greatest thing on earth! Only to hear a few months later to just drink spring water. UGH, if we can’t even agree on water, what are we supposed to do about exercise, medical choices and big decisions???
What do these terms even mean? What should I be doing?
As women, we tend to focus on others and not listen to our internal cues when we just don’t feel right. But it is confusing to figure out what you should do…You need a guide/resource. I know because I was there…..
In my late 20’s I was a Physical Therapist working in an inpatient rehab hospital – a hospital for people who are stable enough to get out of the hospital and need physical therapy, but who are not ready for home. The work was challenging (transferring patients every 30 minutes) and rewarding(seeing people walk again), but I was struggling. I was so exhausted that I would have to pull over on the side of the road after work to take a nap because I couldn’t make it the 20 minutes home. My back was hurting more and I found it hard to run. My posture was changing in strange ways (my butt stuck out more, my arms went sideways instead of front to back). I was way too young to be dealing with these issues.
I am a 6th generation Texan who grew up learning how to tough it out, how to multi-task and how to take care of others. If my stomach hurt or I was sick, we went to the Doctor and got some kind of good tasting concoction/antibiotic/prescription medicine. I went the traditional route for a solution.So when i was an adult and had pain, I had other PT’s work on me. I tried everything they taught me in school but it just wasn’t working. My pain and low energy persisted, and when i looked in the medicine cabinet, I saw a lot of Advil, and Pepto-Bismol.
This is where the wheels of the bus basically fell off.
This era in my life launched me on a different road. One of alternative medicine, learning, and discovery. So hang in there and let me share with you some options I have learned on this journey.
- Learn to stretch every day. Taking an hour class is amazing, but even 5-10 min of self-care while waiting for the dryer to be finished is incredible. Stretching helps our connective tissue, releases some tension, and makes us feel better. When you slowly stretch (using time instead of force) and hold for at least 5 minutes, you get a much deeper stretch than what i refer to as “7th grade track stretching”. Leaning a leg on a track hurdle when you are 12 is great, but that probably has more to do with being 12, than doing a fabulous stretch. Take it slow, back off when it hurts, and just stay there.
- Learn how to use essential oils (like lavender–we are not talking about canola or olive oil) to decrease inflammation and pain. Using oils can replace using over-the-counter medicines in many cases. This is all about using the best brand of oils, (top 2 brands are Young Living, and DoTerra) not the kinds found at the grocery store. The oils have many uses and are great for relaxing, clarity, and decreasing pain. This is an entire new world of learning, but it comes in really handy to have an “all-natural first-aid kit” that can help with anything from bug bites that itch, to help stop bleeding.
I tend to think about our health as a game piece in trivial pursuit–it’s not just one piece of the pie that wins the game. We need the ER, we need surgeons, but i am not always sure we need tons of medications. What if there was another option than those we are most familiar with?
Looking at the entire picture also helps make it easier to prioritize taking care of yourself. I don’t know about you, but it always seems easier to take care of the family, office, or dogs instead of making myself a priority and putting myself at the top of the list.
It can be a road less traveled, or at least one with more roadblocks and resistance. Not everyone understands if you happen to be chemically sensitive, or that you want to eat a certain way because you can feel it in your body (are you gluten free just to be trendy?). This is a great time to start realizing it is ok to put yourself first. That you are worth the time, effort, and money to get better and heal your (fill in the blank—gut, body, mind).
If you need help in any of the areas above please reach out to the team at Monarch Physical Therapy. We offer stretching classes, Young Living oil Raindrop sessions, and even have monthly memberships for Myofascial Release massage therapy. Let us know how we can be a resource to you, on your journey to wellness.