woman practicing yoga

My Holistic Lifestyle: Part 1

When I made that decision five years ago to treat my endometriosis in a holistic and natural way, I didn’t really know where to start. But I knew what I was starting with – my body was tired, my mind ruined, my spirit broken. I sought the wisdom of family, friends, online resources, books and teachers, and I did my research – I then moved towards those changes that appealed to me most, so that my journey felt natural and unforced.

In this two-part series, I will walk you through the main holistic lifestyle changes I made to help me manage endometriosis...

I practiced yoga

Again, like meditation, I’ve always dabbled with yoga since a teenager, but I was never really committed. I’d done courses and classes, but would always fall out of step with it. Whilst I didn’t practice yoga much in the early days of treating my endometriosis, once I returned to the UK, I took up a practice again as and when I had energy. I found that was particularly useful during my period, at the times when my pain was at its worse. The movements seemed to massage my organs and the stretching session somehow distracted me from the pain.

Over the years, I’ve made my practice not just about the pain, but about maintaining a feeling of wellbeing. Yoga reduces my stress levels, brings me back to myself, clears my endo brain fog, and reminds me of how wonderful my body can be and feel (though I still can’t get my legs to straighten!) – this has an overall positive affect as reducing stress helps keeps my symptoms down, and feeling better about my body ultimately helps me feel better about living with endometriosis.

I loved myself

I’ve had a very broken relationship with my body since a young age. I grew up punishing myself, hating my body, and not even liking my own personality. Once endometriosis came along, it was just another reason to detest the body I was in. Though as I began to nourish myself through food for endometriosis, my perspective began to shift. I’d spent most of my life either starving my body or stuffing it with sugar and caffeine, or throwing insults its way. How could I expect my endometriosis symptoms to improve if I wasn’t treating my physical body well – and how did I expect myself to heal if I constantly directed hate towards myself?

I set out to change my relationship with myself. First, I began loving my body through food, then with gentle exercise, then with kind words, and finally through a deep soul connection. I read books by people who had been on similar journeys such as You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay and Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I started meditating on self-love and attending workshops to help me practice self-kindness. It took time, it still takes time, but it’s changed everything.

Coming soon... Part 2: Mindfulness, spirituality, changing careers, and therapy.

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