Achieving Wellness Even With A Chronic Health Issue

Wellness is defined as the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal. If you’re like me and you’re working on healing thyroid, adrenal and gut issues, achieving wellness can seem like a roller coaster. One day you feel well and the next day not so much. It can get discouraging at times but I want to encourage you that it is possible to achieve wellness. 

I’m often asked how to achieve wellness especially when challenged with thyroid, adrenal and gut issues so keep reading for some key components and strategies to get you there.

The 3 Aspects of Achieving Wellness

  1. Physical wellness is listening to and taking care of your body so you can function optimally and be healthy. It is often what we think of and pursue when we have chronic health issues. If your thyroid is off making you exhausted or your gut is spasming causing you pain then physical wellness is gonna be your main concern because it’s the thing that’s giving you discomfort at the moment. We need to remember the mind-body connection to understand that the spiritual and mental components of wellness are essential to work on to truly achieve wellness. 
  1. Mental wellness is the sum of our emotional, psychological and social well being. It means that your mind is functioning in your own best interest. You’re able to think, act and feel in a way that has a positive impact on your physical health.  
  1. Spiritual wellness is the sense of being connected to something larger than yourself. It’s guided by a sense of values, beliefs and morals that provide a sense of purpose. 

In the beginning of my healing journey I focused so much on physical healing without too much focus on the two other important aspects of wellness even though I was lucky enough to have a fabulous spiritual teacher. I thought that I would get well by fixing the physical because that was what was causing me pain. Silly me. 

About a year in and still not feeling well I decided to give more attention to the mental and spiritual side of things and I started to make more progress. Over 6 years in now, I couldn’t imagine doing just the physical wellness stuff. I finally get it. 

I hope the following tips help you with your goal of achieving wellness too. 

5 Steps To Achieve Wellness (Even With A Chronic Health Condition)

1. Eat for health even if you’re not there yet

  • Avoid foods that don’t make you feel great or have been shown to worsen your condition. If you have thyroid, adrenal and gut issues this means avoiding gluten, dairy, soy and any other foods that don’t work well for your body. If you have a known allergy, definitely avoid that food even if the reaction seems minor. It will interfere with your goal of wellness. 
  • Do eat whole foods that will give you as much nutrition as you can get. Lots of colorful organic veggies, as tolerated, grass fed, pasture raised meats and healthy fats.
  • Eat your meals slowly and chew very well to help with digestion.
  • Drink plenty of water. Shoot for between 0.5 and 1.0 ounces per body weight per day unless you have another health condition that limits that. 

2. Move for health whatever level you’re at.

  • We know that moving your body has so many benefits both physically and mentally but if you’re dealing with health issues you may not have the energy or motivation to move. Any movement is helpful even if it’s walking up and down your hallway. 
  • Movement helps to 
    • Release endorphins which make you feel good and help with pain control.
    • Reduce anxiety and stress. 
    • Improve blood flow which helps in the healing process
    • Strengthen the immune system
  • Just don’t overdo it especially with adrenal issues. Pace your movement to how you feel. Walking, yoga, pilates and stretching are the exercise forms that I do on a daily basis but not always at the same intensity. It all depends on how I’m feeling that day.

3. Get as much sleep and rest as possible

  • We all know that during sleep is when our body repairs itself but how do you repair if you are having trouble sleeping? REST. Resting means ceasing work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength. Like that’s the literal definition if you google it. Resting doesn’t mean you’re lazy or not productive but on the contrary it means you are working towards achieving wellness.
  • If you can’t sleep for 8 hours, shoot for resting/sleeping for 8 hours.
  • Take 1 day a week off to rest. Chill on the couch and watch Netflix all day and enjoy it.

4. Practice gratitude

  • Practicing gratitude has so many benefits including helping you to feel happier, sleep better, be more compassionate to others and have a stronger immune system. 
  • Practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be fancy or time consuming. It can be as simple as saying a short thank you for the food before a meal. 
  • Other ways to practice gratitude include:
    • Journaling 3 things that you were grateful for before you go to sleep
    • Telling somebody 1 thing that you appreciate about them
    • Keeping a gratitude jar out for your family and having everyone write down something they’re grateful for every day on a piece of paper and place it in the jar anonymously.. At the end of the week gather together and read the notes. 

5. Have a spiritual practice

  • It’s a practice that you do daily to help you realize who your true self is. It helps you to feel connected to what your purpose in life is, your values and your beliefs. This doesn’t have to have anything to do with religion if you don’t want it to be.
  • Benefits of a spiritual practice include 
    • Elevated mood
    • Increased sense of grounding
    • Decreased stress response
    • Improved concentration
  • Examples of spiritual practices include:
    • Meditation
    • Breathing exercises
    • Ceremonies or rituals
    • Prayer
    • Spending time alone in nature
    • Tai chi and certain types of yoga

It takes time, dedication and consistent action to achieve wellness but there are so many benefits along the way. Remember that wellness can look differently for each of us so try not to compare your journey to others. Focus on doing these things consistently and enjoy the ride. 

Need help or support with these Pillars? Reach out to me by email or on Instagram and let me know how I can help. Also join my private Facebook group Thyroid, Adrenal and Gut Healing for Women

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