Health and wellness learned, the hard way...
It was around this time last year when the universe forced me to take a serious look at my health and wellness. I’ve always struggled to some capacity with my skin, however, it never looked as bad as it did at that point. Painful cystic acne invaded my face in a way I never experienced before and it was one of the last things I imagined myself to be grappling with in my late 20s, yet there I was. It was frustrating, at best, depressing, at worst.
For years, I convinced myself that it was normal to balance multiple jobs, school, a relationship, family, and whatever else life threw at me, all while functioning off of five hours of sleep (six, if I was lucky). I thought my juggling act was holding up well, but eventually, my body begged to differ. After years of hectic, jam-packed schedules, intense workloads, tackling everyone else’s problems, and less than stellar diet and exercise patterns, I was drained, both mentally and physically.
In hindsight, I’m lucky that it wasn’t a major health scare that forced me to slow down. As it turned out, my hormones were completely out of balance and gut inflammation was also wreaking havoc on my body. The more I tried to repair myself with “quick fixes,” the worse things got, and not just with breakouts. As I stared in the mirror one evening—a face full of bumps and scars, tired eyes, probably bloated (those good ole gut issues), and overall exhaustion on full display—it hit me that I was going about things all wrong. The answer was not to pile on makeup, buy new skincare, and hope that mild changes to my lifestyle and diet would work. I had to make my health a priority in the same way I did everything else that I let take its toll on me.
I recall chatting with Laila, owner of Wild Seed Botanicals, explaining my uphill battle and the frustrations that came along with it. “Focus on your recovery,” she told me. “Once everything aligns, your skin and all the outer things will fall in place.” Such simple advice couldn’t have been any truer. Healing from the inside out was key here, and if that meant scaling back on work to lower my stress levels, so be it. But that was only the beginning; it also meant designating time to cook nutrient-dense meals, going to bed earlier, doing the research on natural ways to balance my hormones and get my gut in order, and implementing my findings. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m in a much better place today than I was in the not-too-distant past.
As taxing as this experience has been, it’s one that I have a certain level of appreciation for. Lessons like these are reminders that no goal, no amount of money, no material items, or anything else we chase in life will ever be worth compromising your health for. Make time to tend to your physical and mental wellness. Listen to your body and don’t feel bad about taking time to relax and realign when life becomes too cumbersome. After all, your mind and body are two of the most sacred things you’ll ever have in life and should be treated accordingly.
To your wellbeing,