Feeling ill is just the worst. Its almost impossible to feel balanced, positive or just ‘yourself”. Feeling like ‘yourself’ is so important and equally under-rated. Its the best marker you have, so know it and feel it.
Recently, I’ve been blighted with some pretty rubbish colds, chest infections and end-of-termitis (a disease many teachers experience) and I’ve tried my best not to let it get me down, but within doing so I came to the realisation that acceptance can be just as powerful as a fight. Sometimes you can lay down the sword and admit defeat because it might be your body trying to tell you something. So here are my top tips when you’re not feeling tip top
1.Be gentle on yourself – I’m the first to admit that when I’m ill, I’ll soldier on no matter what. There is an unfortunate work culture where you are deemed to be not as successful as others if you take a day off sick. It’s bullshit quite frankly and don’t listen for one minute. What is essentially you, your mind and body, is most important. Whatever your job is, you can’t do it properly if you drive yourself into the ground – so get rid of the ego and start thinking about you
2.Food is medicine – the sooner we realise this in the world, the better. Food is healing and can change everything when it comes to wellness. I have seen it with my own eyes, people living beyond their ‘predicted’ years deemed by the doc, by changing their diet. But it doesn’t have to be that extreme. Sure we know sugar is bad and meat isn’t great. Sometimes all you have to do is add more foods into your diet. Heres my MUSTS when I’m feeling run down; –
Ginger: It has to be fresh – its known to fight infection, anti-inflammatory, improve brain function, help with nausea.. the list goes on. Add it to food (miso soup or stir fry is lush) but I love to make ginger tea. I make it not just when I’m ill but all the bloody time. The only difference is if I feel really crap I add more ginger root. Chop up the ginger, add to water, simmer (NEVER BOIL – it’ll boil away the goodness) and let the ginger root steep. Drink and enjoy!
Lemon: the health benefits of lemon include treatment of throat infections, indigestion, constipation, dental problems, fever, internal bleeding, rheumatism, burns, obesity, respiratory disorders, cholera and high blood pressure, again the list goes on. Drink it in the morning with water or add half a lemon to your ginger tea (honey to taste)
Turmeric: turmeric has been used in indian medicine for thousands of years. Its incredible. Its anti-inflammatory, an anti-oxidant, it’s said to ward off Alzheimer’s, fight cancer, reduce the risk of strokes… again the list goes on. Adding it to food is easy enough (I made a delicious sweet potato curry with it the other day) but remember to add pepper with it. By mixing turmeric and black pepper together, you increase your body’s absorption of the turmeric by 2000%! I like to get a good dose of turmeric by drinking ‘Golden Milk’ – warm and comforting and made with almond milk and honey…. the recipe I use is here
Increase the veggies – Veggies top the list when it comes to wellness, so fill up on the green stuff instead of fruit. You’ll notice the benefits instantly. Choosing foods based on colour has major feel good feels. Variety is the key so think rainbow, the more colour you can get in your diet the more benefits you’ll feel. Green is so hot right now and seems to be the best for fighting infection. Whether you sneak them into a smoothie or serve them in a salad, leafy greens boast loads of benefits
3. Drugs are bad, man – Well not always… but in general, don’t let a prescription be your first port of call. Your body is an incredibly intelligent thing. It KNOWS how to heal itself but just sometimes needs a helping hand. First thing is to determine what the issue is then how best to deal with it. For example, when I have a headache, a paracetamol might be the first thing you think of but instead try have some water, or massage lavender oil onto your temples, take a footbath. There are loads of natural home remedies out there to try and surely thats better than pumping chemicals into your bod?!
4. Listen to your body – The word disease means just that – dis – ease. Some people believe (me included) that when you are ill, something is out of balance. In Chinese medicine they believe that when you are ill, there is a disruption to your natural energy flow (chi). It goes without saying I’ve been trying hard to keep a balanced life, mind-body-spirit, but I couldn’t work out why I suddenly have been diagnosed with asthma and struggling with chest infections. I was looking after myself, plenty of rest, nourishing my body… weird. But then after reading more about Chinese Medicine (I mean… they know their shit when it comes to mind/body) I found out the organ directly related to grieving is the lungs. Perhaps my body was dealing with that and I needed to let it.
Stay well my loves!