If you saw me walking down the street today, you could not imagine the journey that I have gone through. People tell me that I am the picture of health, but this has not always been the case.
I have suffered from Atopic Dermatitis since birth. This is a genetic autoimmune skin disease that causes rashes that are extremely itchy. It used to occur in relapses and has been sometimes better, sometimes worse. On the worst occasions, I have had rashes all over the body, itching so much that I scratched myself until I bled. course, my parents were desperate and tried everything: From wrapping my small fists with cotton so that I couldn’t scratch myself at night when I was a baby, to experimenting with acupuncture, Bach flowers, homeopathy, cortisone ointments and more. Nothing really helped long-term.
Physicians said that I might grow out of it in puberty, but unfortunately I didn’t. It stayed with me. As I grew older, I noticed that I had especially strong relapses in stressful situations like moving to new places, losing a loved one, exams or other big changes.
In my teenage years, I started to experiment with food, to read books on health and wellness and generally to try and find ways I personally could improve my situation. Over time, I did start to see improvements in my atopic dermatitis. This was impressive to me, and was the reason I chose to study Health Management and attend various other health-related courses.
This journey gave me so much understanding and insight on health and wellness issues, and equipped me with the knowledge and motivation to help other people. As an added bonus, I got to visit some of the world’s best health resorts, where I met wonderful wellness experts who broadened my horizons and developed my understanding of health and well-being even further.
So here I am today able to share what I have learned so far. Here’s what helped me to feel better about myself and continue my life feeling lighter and happier than before.
- Dropping perfectionism and instead committing to do the best I can within my capabilities
In the past getting work finished always came before the things I enjoyed. The trouble with this is that tasks were never ending and new assignments kept on coming, the nature of life.
- Refusing to waste my energy on things I cannot change
I finally understood that in everything we encounter that causes us stress, we only have two options: change something or accept it and let go.
- Ditching energy vampires
I learned the benefits of limiting the time spent with people who drag you down and don’t believe in you and what you do.
- Listening to my body
By this, I mean listening to your body to see what you really need when it comes to food, movement and beyond. If you listen, your body will give you signs. For example, do you feel like having a salad today or do you feel more like having some protein with sautéed veggies? Are you stressed and feel that a run would help you to relax or stress you out even more? Forget rigid plans and listen to what you truly need and want.
- Understanding my specific nutrition needs
With regard to food, I noticed that an anti-inflammatory eating regime works best for me. This cuts out (surprise surprise) white flour, sugar, meat, and alcohol and includes a lot of fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. Here, once again, I follow a flexible approach and follow the 80/20 rule. I still enjoy cakes and sweets.
- Making workouts fun.
When it comes to exercise, it’s essential to find something that excites you and that you look forward to. If you think about exercise and it stresses you, it becomes pointless. In that situation, you definitely have to change something.
- Practicing loving self-acceptance.
This may sounds strange but for me it really helps. My atopic dermatitis is like an early warning system. If the eczema starts to appear then I know it is time to sleep more, eat better and focus more on myself. This is the reason I have learned to live with my condition. Others may misuse their body for years without any signs. I get a warning sign immediately. Perfect!
These tips have worked for me as well as for my clients. Results will not be achieved overnight; it's a step-by-step process just like everything else. Therefore be patient. Keep your goal in mind and enjoy the journey and results. :)