My Holistic Lifestyle: Part 2
In my last article, I began writing about some of the key holistic lifestyle changes I made to help me feel better with endometriosis. I’ve already taken you through my yoga routine and the relationship I developed with myself, and today, I want to explore some of the other steps I took on my journey...
I got spiritual
For me, spirituality hasn’t been about identifying with a religion, or praying to a particular God, it’s been about developing my own spiritual beliefs. Seeing myself as part of something bigger, feeling more connected to the Earth, humanity, and the universe.
At the core of this is the feeling that I’m not alone, and that I am more than my body and my disease. This knowledge has given me such peace and soothing in moments of stress, pain and anguish and has always given me direction when I’ve felt lost on this journey.
I started with reading books, attending workshops, talks and listening to podcasts, but of course, go with whatever suits you.
I practiced mindfulness
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that focuses on being present and aware. It’s been proven to have a positive affect on pain management, anxiety, stress, depression, mood, and even job satisfaction.1 Whilst I started with the Headspace app, I went on to do much longer and intensive courses such as the Mindfulness-Based Stressed Reduction, six-week course designed by John Kabat-Zinn.
Using mindfulness helped me to discover tools for anchoring myself in the now, rather than getting carried away with my fears and anxieties around managing life with endometriosis.
You can also practice mindfulness specifically for pain management, and I’ve used particular exercises for this in moments where my pain has been at it’s worst.
I changed careers
This has been my biggest change and one that’s taken the most time to complete. It was about trying out and reflecting on the kind of hours I wanted, focusing on what would satisfy me and fulfill me in my career, what would make use of my skills, and what would be good for my body and mind. It was a lot of trial and error, and there were some really difficult times, but it’s been worth it to get to where I am today, five years later and self-employed.
I got a therapist
Okay, that’s not quite true – I got several. Living with endometriosis really took a toll on my mental health and I needed help to feel better. I went to see a psychotherapist to go deeper into some of my issues and explore them further, a cognitive behavioral psychologist to help me change the way I was thinking about my life and endometriosis, and finally, a hypnotherapist to really help me break some of my patterns around pain, stress, and depression.
All of these helped, but they were suited a different time in this journey, so I urge you to do your research and ensure you find a therapist who suits you.
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