A needed mental health break.
“If life gives you limes, make margueritas”… ~Jimmy Buffett
God talks about times of being in the desert, and how it affects our mental health. I feel like the Sahara has moved to Suffied, Ohio. Man, when we thought the last 2 years were tough, 2023 came in and said “hold my beer”! This year, for us, has been full of disaster on top of disaster. In March, my husband was in an accident, and broke his tibia in 3 places. A week after his accident, I lost my hearing in my right ear, and had severe pain up until August, when I finally found out what was wrong, and had surgery to fix it. On my birthday, August 29, I started having severe abdominal pain and went to the ER. I was directly admitted, and ultimately had gastric surgery to reroute things because the upper part of my intestines was twisted. We won’t even talk about the family BS that was so graciously intertwined with our medical dilemmas. So, needless to say, I had to take a needed break from my business.
What I Have Learned
Through all of this, I learned some very important lessons. First, we cannot be everything to everyone. We have to take care of ourselves. I spend my days as a nurse caring for others. As a Health Restoration Coach, I spend my time helping others improve their lives using nutrition and the plants and herbs God put on this earth for us to live healthy lives. Do I take my own advice? Apparently not. I learned that I cannot be the nurse, wife, mother, and all the other jobs in between if I am not healthy. I have been told from some people that I am one of the strongest people they have met, that my life seems so perfect, and that I have it all together. Apparently, I should have been an actress instead of a nurse, because I got them all fooled! I am not that strong, my life is far from perfect, and I feel like I have nothing together sometimes.
Another thing I learned is how important our mental health is to our physical health. Sure, I know that these cannot work well without the other. I tell my patients this, my clients this, and my family this. But did I tell myself? I may have, but I am very non-compliant. Stress, anxiety, and depression go hand in hand with ill health. So what can we do to make our mental health better?
Dr. Noah Shpancer described mental health as “not a destination but a process. It’s about how you drive not where you are going”. This quote really got me thinking about how I was living, not what I was doing. When you get sick, and you have to turn to doctors and surgeons for help, you learn that sometimes, the root cause is how you are living, not where you are trying to go.
So I had this major surgery, 2 surgeries in 2 weeks. I am not able to do anything for at least 2 weeks. This is an emotional blow for someone who does not sit still. My sweet husband called me when he was working while I was in the hospital, and was so upset because he was scared something awful was going to happen to me. At this moment, I felt absolutely defeated. I could not comfort him, I could not be the strong one, and I couldn’t tell him at that point he was wrong. This hit me hard. Now, at home, sitting in my room, stuck in bed for at least the next two weeks, I made the decision that I am NOT going to let something happen to me. My family needs me.
What is best for you is best for everyone around you
I have put 2 things to the side in my quest to please everyone but who matters. The first, of course is my own well-being. I put off doctors appointments, health screenings, and regular blood work because I felt I couldn’t take off work. Where did that lead me? In bed with 5 incisions in my abdomen, and trying to recover. The other thing is that I have lost faith. I have put to the side my faith in God and tried to take control of everything in my life. That really worked well, didn’t it? I used to joke about how nice it would be to be able to take a week to stay home and lie in bed in my pajamas…. not as much fun as it sounded then.
Preventative Care for Mental Health:
The main theme to my Health Restoration coaching, and using the SHAPE ReClaimed way of life is preventative health. I see my clients, and I see how committed they are, and how great the results have been for them. I have seen people release an astonishing amount of toxic fat, eliminate pain and inflammation, and even come off some heavy drugs for Hypertension and Diabetes. So why the hell am I so stubborn that I don’t care as much about myself as I do my clients? That’s what we do and it so so wrong. We only get one physical body. How we treat it is up to us.
A healthy brain = Optimum Mental Health
There is also a concept of preventative health when it comes to mental health. Again, the plants, and herbs God put on this earth is for our whole being, our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Eating healthy, eliminating toxic foods, and staying well hydrated not only helps our physical health, but it also helps us mentally. The neurotransmitters in our brains need healthy nutrition to function properly, just as the heart, lungs, and other organs do. Supplements are sometimes needed to help balance the chemicals in our brain so that it functions properly. When someone has an illness like Diabetes, we in the healthcare world give that person insulin to replace what is missing or can’t be made by our bodies. Mental health is the same. If your brain is running low on serotonin, norepinephrine, or any of the other chemicals that our brain needs, we need to replace these just as we do for a diabetic. So why is it so difficult for people to realize this? Our brain is an organ, just like the pancreas, and yet even in 2023, there is still a stigma against seeking help for mental disorders. This should not be. We could get into so much related to this: the increase in people who are mentally ill being incarcerated, the devastating increase in suicides. But it all comes down to how people perceive mental health, and what we do about it.
So what now?
So I am here to say that yes, I am a successful nurse. Yes, I have a great thing going as a Health Restoration Coach. Yes, I have an amazing husband and great kids, bonus daughters, and 2 wonderful grandsons. Yes. I look like I am strong, and have life where I need it. But, yes, I need to fix my mental health just like everyone else. So as I get back to the land of the living, I will do my best to take care of me, and advocate for those who need help with their mental wellbeing as much as they do with their physical well being. I will continue to help those who come to me seeking holistic well being and want to quit feeling like garbage. While I am doing this, I will follow my own advice and take this journey with you. SHAPE ReClaimed can not only help your physical health, but also nourish your brain so that you are happier, have less brain fog and anxiety. Visit my website to join me in taking a new lease on life.