Part two –
**Disclaimer – I’m not a medical professional. I’m simply wanting to help others learn what I’ve learnt about how the body and mind can help to heal itself using harmless techniques, however, they are not meant as a replacement for proper medical care. Please consult your physician for physical and mental health issues. Thank you**
It took that experience at the beach to realise that something was indeed wrong, and not just me overreacting to an existing balance/sensory problem and having a pity party. (Note: anyone with a longstanding health issue that is in any way restrictive will tell you that eventually all symptoms/feelings will automatically be attributed to the original problem, and that’s how things creep up on you without realising.)
Testing showed a vitamin deficiency as well as other results which were on the low side of the“normal” range (how they know what’s “normal” for any individual is beyond comprehension when the range is so wide). In addition to this, I knew that stress and all it’s cascading consequences had had a major influence.
Once supplementation was sorted, I needed to get to the bottom of what was going on in my head and how much of the cognitive issues could be attributed to deficiencies and how much to psychology. As an avid researcher, it didn’t take me long worming and clawing my way down the rabbit hole of health googling and extensive podcast sessions to notice the patterns of symptoms which stood out or were obscure (everything can cause fatigue), and ultimately I kept being oriented back to some sort of Adrenal dysfunction. I won’t go into the details, but needless to say, it is associated with stress at it’s most basic level (which I’ll get into more in another post because it’s a fascinating subject: think “cavewoman”!)
There is one aspect of adrenal dysfunction which was a huge lesson. To some it’s obvious, but to me having read a lot about stress in the context of psychology and anxiety, in particular, it came as a shock (after which I felt so stupid) to have to acknowledge that exercise is also a form of stress, and it can be a fine line between getting it right and overdoing it based on the individual.
In 2016, after floating along quite happily(ish), I decided to optimise my diet by going more plant-based than I was previously. At the same time, I upped my running in addition to regular local hillwalking, yoga, and the odd kettlebell workout here and there. I also had additional worries that hadn’t been there the year before (plenty to ruminate on – more on surprising facts about rumination in another post) which subsequently saw me falling asleep at 10pm, waking for up to 2 hours around 3am without fail, and waking up at 5am, if I had gotten back to sleep at all. So basically I put more pressure on my probably already depleted body and mind in an effort to get healthier(!??!?!).
Where did I go from there? This is partially what my blog is about. I began to get better in more ways than I could imagine, and although there are still many of the symptoms hanging around but steadily improving, I’ve changed for the better in unexpected ways.
I cant do all of the individual approaches I’ve experimented with so far justice in this two-part post so I’ll be going into greater detail about them in individual posts, but a combination of physical and psychological tweaks, some that on the surface sound a little la-la but have been scientifically proven, and others that you’ll have heard of but possibly laughed at as I did, even though I’m open-minded. I can explain why they work for me now when they didn’t in the past. Improvement is a work in progress, and I’ll be learning and adding to what I’m already practising, and in addition, I’ll be throwing in some posts about how I’m challenging myself (with fun/adventure/possibly humiliation) to feel empowered.
Please feel free to leave a comment below!