“A healthy outside starts from the inside!”
People often comment on how young I look and ask me what I do!
Having had chronic Shingles for a 10 year stretch in my twenties, I had to learn to manage my stress, take care of my immune system by getting proper rest, eating regular meals/ eating nutritiously, as well as moderate exercise. (Any chronic illness isn’t any fun, and anyone who has one can benefit from taking care of these things too!) When I don’t manage these self-care areas well I run the risk of triggering a shingle episode.
In my early twenties I also suffered from exercise anorexia, brought on by my inability to handle the stress of being married to an alcoholic and drug addict. I used extreme exercise to try to conquer the stress and severely limited my calorie intake to try to exert some kind of control in my chaotic life!
The good coming out of being forced to take better care of myself instead of partying hard and burning the candle at both ends, has been younger looking skin and feeling better physically!
So, here are some of my tips!
I have to avoid getting too much sun because it’s a trigger for more outbreaks, but that meant that my exposure to the sun over the course of my life has been far less than for many people!
Less sun exposure is less aging! If you do go out in the sun. protection is very important! Sunscreen is now controversial for the environment, so I wear a hat, sun-glasses and often a long sleeve silk shirt to protect my arms and shoulders.
I usually let people know what I use on my skin (I love oils instead of just a moisturizer, and I favor a hemp oil), I don’t wear makeup except for mascara and eye-liner, due to allergies.
When I talk with people I don’t usually speak about my nutrition, as I’m not wishing to accidentally point out someone else’s habits. I don’t like any fad diets, counting calories or focusing on how much I weigh, which can be a trigger to relapsing into anorexia, so I focus on balanced and healthy eating.
I eat as healthfully as I can, trying to focus on nutritionally dense foods and superfoods. I also try to have a small salad with my lunch and supper.
My breakfast ususally is a refrigerator oatmeal concoction I make and a large bowl lasts me around 2 weeks or so. I use the old-fashioned oatmeal, not the quick cook or instant (but the instant kind makes a great snack, especially in the winter!)
Refrigerator Oatmeal recipe:
(choose the flavors you like; you may not be able to find the same size container, so approximating the quantity is fine!)
In a large mixing bowl combine:
Approximately 20 oz (500g) old-fashioned oatmeal (1/2 of a large container)
Large container of Yogurt 32 oz (1Kg)
Large jar of apple sauce 46 oz (1.3Kg)
1/2 cup – 1cup (100g – 200g) Raw Cacao powder
1/2 cup (100g) Beet powder
1/2 cup – 1cup (100g – 200g) Hemp hearts
1/2 cup – 1cup (100g – 200g) ground nuts (almond, walnut or any type you prefer) or raw sunflower seeds
FRUIT ADDITIONS: (choose which fruits you want)
1/2 cup – 1cup (100g – 200g) each raisins, dried cherries, dried blueberries, etc
1/2 cup – 1cup (100g – 200g) fresh chopped fruit or berries
For sweetness: Optional: 1 cup of jam or 1/2 cup (100 g) of sugar (any kind)
Mix all together. If consistency is too dry add fruit juice: 1/2 cup – 1cup (100g – 200g)
I bring some of the oatmeal to work each day, and keep the rest stored in large containers in the fridge.
Regular sleep habits are great stress busters and help our mental health!
When we don’t get enough sleep or good quality sleep, over time the sleep deprivation affects our physical health and our ability to handle even basic problems in life!
When we’re sleep deprived it’s hard to think properly or to process our emotions, so we tend to get moody or even slide into anxiety and depression.
Not everyone believes in taking supplements, but I’m someone who sees the difference in her health between taking them and not taking them!
I usually buy mine online because they less expensive, and my go-to company is Swansons Vitamins. I love their website because you can search by brand, type, and even ailment or issue.
I take supplements for my immune system, as well as for sleep support now that I’m aging.
On my list: fish oils, vitamin C and D, CBD with Melatonin, B-complex, Mushroom complex, as well as some occasional miscellaneous items which may be on sale!
Having been an exercise anorexic, I am mindful not to overdo the length and frequency of my workouts. Overdoing exercise can also be a trigger for a shingles outbreak, so I have another thing to keep in mind.
Moderation is key, especially as we age!
I favor walking because it can be done almost anywhere. When I feel anxious or stressed, a walk in nature is very therapeutic!
Here’s a couple of very interesting articles linking exercise with mental health!
I found that when something stressful happened in my life, that because of earlier abuse and criticism, I had internalized the negative messaging and became very good at speaking harshly and very negatively to myself.
Naturally, this only made me feel even more stressed, and then anxiety kicked in, followed closely by feelings of depression.
In order to break this cycle, I had to teach myself to suspend the inner judgement and had to learn to speak nicely and gently to myself.
Trust me, this didn’t feel natural for many months! I may be a very slow learner, so you may have faster results than I had!
Check out some of my archived posts to find bits of encouragement and support! https://tamarakulish.com/archived-posts/
When you feel stressed, anxious, depressed, please look to the above steps to start getting your mind and body back on track!
These days, many people are feeling the effects of long-term stress from the pandemic and all the repercussions in everyone’s lives.
I have found that sometimes we just can’t rush the process of returning life back to a feeling of normalcy, all we can do sometimes is practice taking care of our mental and physical health!
You’d be surprised what these seemingly small things can do for you!
Guided Journals help you work on a particular issue by answering questions to help see patterns and to find solutions:
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