Stress Management is critical to managing our stress. The discoveries on how stress impacts us CAN be serious but should not be of concern, as there are a number of strategies to reduce stress.
Some strategies include maintaining a healthy social network, regular physical exercise and adequate sleep nightly. These are considered the building blocks for a healthy lifestyle.
When we have adequate social connections, we can talk about issues and problem solve, better reducing our negative effects on our physical and mental self. Enjoying the company of others, especially trusted relationships, reduce stress. Laughter also reduces stress. It is during social times that we are able to lessen the focus on the issues that are creating stress and enjoy life. When our social group is not the best option, talking to a church pastor or a therapist might be another option to reduce stress.
Regular exercise, even just walking or dancing in our kitchen, reduces stress. Not only does it release endorphins that make you feel good, but it also gives you some time to yourself to clear your head. Even if you can't make it to the gym every day, try to fit in some form of exercise into your schedule, even if it's just a brisk walk around the block.
And sleep. Stress levels go up, only further amplifying our stress when we are not getting adequate sleep nightly. Practicing good sleep hygiene, such as developing a calming routine to implement nightly, can be very beneficial in managing sleep. Limiting electronics an hour before bed, reading a book, journaling to get those to-do's out or talk about your day, and taking a warm bath with epson salts can all be good tricks to implement. Magnesium is a common need for people under stress, as it is depleted with stress, so adding it into our evening routine helps to calm our nervous system. Practicing deep breathing when laying in bed is another way to focus on adding calm and inducing sleep.
Sometimes it is difficult to feel we are managing our stress in this busy world. But, if we are watching what we can and implementing regular tools to reduce stress, it can stay manageable and will not impact our day to day life or our health.for the long term.
If these tools are being regularly implemented but you need more, let's talk! There are solutions and ways to reduce your stress and benefit your health... it just takes time. :)
I cannot tell you what a shift the past week has been in my health journey!
Let me back up... I have to start out by saying that in the past few years, I have done so much research and been my own biggest advocate in looking at all the pieces possible for creating better health. I use amazing supplements that are life-changing for the gut health and mood. I exercise, although I often struggle with the motivation (despite the gym being my stress-relief and happy place). I have been very intentional about my sleep habits and my nutrition is on par. (Meaning my sugar, carbs and processed foods intake is extremely low). I have regularly scheduled chiropractic appointments and massages. I have improved and eliminated some of my symptoms but there have been some lingering issues.
The symptoms that I have continued to struggle with most are:
*Weight not changing
*Inflammation, including swelling of joints and hives
*Brain Fog- not every day but often
*Lack of Energy
*Lack of Focus and Motivation
Well, anyway.... I have been doing WHOLE30 in hopes that it helps in some way with the inflammation. I feel that it has been decent and I feel a slight bit more clear minded. But what REALLY changed for me was that I noticed a post that caught my attention 2 weeks ago. The post was about the exact symptoms that I have continued to struggle with, despite all my efforts, and how they were relieved after the IUD was taken out of the body.
I cannot even tell you the impact that post had on me. I instantly started doing some more research about the Copper IUD and the Mayo Clinic description states:
The ParaGard device is a T-shaped plastic frame that's inserted into the uterus. Copper wire coiled around the device produces an inflammatory reaction that is toxic to sperm and eggs (ova), preventing pregnancy.
It was the words "Inflammatory reaction" that solidified my AH-HA moment. So, If all my symptoms are related to inflammation, and diet and all the other things I am working on or have been doing are not reaping the ultimate results, where is the inflammation coming from? I KNEW this information was life changing.
One week ago today I had my IUD removed. It was incredible to see how instantaneous my body responded. I felt clearer, less foggy and there was not a pain in my abdomen but it felt calmer and lighter after removal. (Maybe there was a dull pain that was "normal" until I noticed it was no longer there). Later that evening, an hour or so, I had more energy than usual for that time of day and still felt even more clear headed. The following days were equally telling with just more clarity and energy. It was a HUGE shift in my body and a definite improvement!
Three days later, my period was supposed to start and was a little delayed but all is as it should be (as far as I am aware of!). Even with the water weight that I am currently carrying, my body has shed weight. My tummy area (which has been my biggest struggle for MANY years) has shrunk! And, remember- toady is only 1 week post removal.
Now.. I feel like I need to get on my soap box for just a minute.
I know that I am educated and I do my research. I am not a medical professional but I have a lot of certifications and LOVE learning about natural and holistic health and remedies. I personally am shocked (and a bit disturbed!) that in all my years of researching and doctors, etc., I have yet to come across this IUD information! I have felt silly and dumb at times for this out-of-sight-out-of-mind object that may have been the cause of some, majority or ALL of my issues in previous years. I have had a copper IUD 2 times, after the birth of each of my girls, totaling approximately 17 years. All my symptoms started accumulating then... I can look back and see areas that I can line up perfectly. Not everything is accounted for under this IUD category but WOW. I have had a few moments of extreme grieving in 1) Me not discovering this information sooner and 2) living in a world where doctors and big pharma are running the show. (I could REALLY go on a tangent here but....Another time, perhaps.)
(Big sigh here!)
Regardless, HERE I AM. I feel like I am exiting a suffocating space and can see clearly. Breathe deeper. Move faster. I feel like this removal will be a brand new shift in ME. I already feel more like ME and, Boy, have I missed her.
I cannot wait for her to fully emerge. <3
Stay tuned... More updates to come.
I am ready to see what the next few weeks hold for me.
------->Have you had an experience with any kind of birth control and a reduction in symptoms? Is this information new to you? (Please tell me I am not alone!) Feel free to message me and share your experience with me!