I admittedly don’t have the answers for what is going on in the world right now. I have been doing my best to listen, observe, learn and explore all of this to gain a better understanding of how to move forward in a more positive direction.

But there is one thing I do know

……the heaviness of all of this could be affecting your health.

As I’ve talked to many friends, family members and clients over the past weeks of all ages, ethnicities and social status, what we’ve all had in common is the stir of emotions and stress related to the recent events. 

Life will continue to happen and you can’t always predict or avoid stressful situations, but how you choose to navigate them is what makes a difference when it comes to your health.

And whatever stance you take on the current issues, or even if you are choosing to not participate, your health plays a vital role in your ability to live, breathe and speak your truth.

It’s difficult to see clearly, to communicate your truth and navigate for a better future when you are rundown, tired, irritable and not feeling like yourself.

In order for change to happen, we have to make intentional choices to change, and being in a healthy space supports your ability to do just that. 

The emotional load from what has been going on between COVID-19 and the recent events following George Floyd’s death could be taking a HUGE toll on your health and you may not even realize it.

For example, emotional stress can:
– Diminish digestive power and your ability to absorb nutrients from food resulting in nutrient deficiencies 
– Alter sleep quality leaving you feeling foggy headed, irritable and not fully recovered in the morning to bounce out of bed or get through the day
– Increase cortisol hormone production leading to other hormone imbalances, food cravings and weight gain

What is going on in the world is of great importance, and so is your health. 

You need strength to fight the good fight (whatever that means for you right now) or to weather the storm as an observer, and these 3 tips will help you do just that during these ever-changing times…

1. Consume Consciously
It’s easy to get sucked into all the information being broadcasted on social media and the news. Before you know it, hours have gone by leaving you less time to take care of yourself in the ways that you want to and with a larger bag of emotional baggage to carry. And to top it off, all that screen time also stimulates the release of cortisol hormone which can lead to other hormone imbalances, food cravings, disrupted sleep and weight gain.

It’s possible to stay informed without letting it derail your whole life. Be conscious of how much time you are spending consuming information. Set healthy boundaries around information consumption time. Pay attention to weekly screen time reports provided by your devices or download an app to keep track and remind you when time is up. 

2. Sleep On It
Sleep is more valuable than diet and exercise when it comes to your health. Poor sleep will quickly cancel out your exercise and healthy eating efforts because without quality sleep during the right times, your body can’t fully recover at night to make the most of your healthy choices. 

When you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to be irritable, make hasty judgements, get angry, crave foods and make poor choices.

Make a commitment to turn off the lights and be asleep by 10pm so you can wake up feeling rested, focused and motivated to get your message out, to take care of yourself and your loved ones. 

3. Check Yourself
We’ve become a generation of living zombies, roaming through life on autopilot numb to what is going on around us or inside of us and in my opinion, this is a BIG reason why we are where we are today as humankind and when it comes to poor health. 

Check in with yourself daily to see what YOU need. Maybe it’s a good cry, to let go of anger by screaming at the top of your lungs, a hug, a nap, something to eat because you didn’t realize you were starving or a moment of silence to gather your thoughts. 

Bottled-up emotions and ignored needs are a breeding ground for disease and dysfunction. 

The best way to care for others is to first care for yourself. Because when you care for yourself you can show up bigger, brighter and better for others.

I hope in some way this encourages you to do the same.

Kimber, FDN-P

Photo by Taylor Smith on Unsplash