Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Life Update | In Sickness and In Health, Love Yourself


The last time I posted here was in December of 2016. And while I am a procrastinator anyway, I hadn't planned on taking such a long break from blogging. These past 7 months have been somewhat of a mild breakdown for me. I tried to connect with my inner self to understand and introspect where I was going right and/or wrong in my life. 

Believe me when I say I have THE most leisurely life possible. I eat, read, sleep, laze around as I please. I don't work a 9 to 5 job so any work-related stress is something I have never experienced in my life. I freelance when I want to, blog about beauty on and off, and on most other times I do nothing. I am completely blank. 

Another thing I have never mentioned before on the blog is that I have endometriosis since the past 3 years or so. The debilitating pain I used to go through at every menstrual cycle is gone due to medication. The condition, however, continues to worsen day by day and there is no scientific 'cure' in sight. If you or anyone you know has endometriosis or PCOS/PCOD, you'll know what I am talking about. So while there is nothing malignant about this condition, some very irritating side effects are always at the ready to put you through immense mental pressure.

I am generally always 'chillaxing' ever since I got done with schooling, except for the past few years. If you are constantly faced with chronic fatigue, weight gain, bloating, hair and skin disorders, IBS, hot flashes, constant mood swings and general weakness, life isn't all that leisurely to be honest. See the irony from the second paragraph? I mean, if you have all the time in the world to do anything you want at any time yet you are unable to do so because your mind and your body refuse to cooperate, seriously what's the point? 

I'll touch more on endo later; so I decided to refocus my entire attention to bettering my health as best as I could. Medication is helpful, no doubt, but I wanted to do something that could give me some hope, some respite from my mood swings, weakness and such. I didn't feel like blogging or being active on any social media to join in on the competition or even just for the sake of it. It seemed too pretentious when all I wanted to do was stuff myself in a cocoon and sleep away the troubles.

Since March, I took to healthy eating and sleeping habits (should have done that long ago, I know!). Eating healthily (and gradual fat loss) helps in normalizing body's insulin levels, a common cause of inflammation/swelling/bloating etc. While I still binge on a lot of potatoes and other outrageously delicious food, which can be deemed as unhealthy if cooked in the wrong way, I have managed to drop around 8 lbs. No crazy crash-diets, no starving and no overdosing on detox waters and green teas. Nothing. I've done none of these extra fancy stuff. In fact, I'm generally eating much more than what I used to. My sleeping pattern got sidetracked during the month of Ramadaan and I'm trying to get it back to normal again. A "Sleep early, wake up early" mantra and my entire day is much more calm.


Next, I took to exercising seriously. Nothing fancy here too. I do a smart mix of cardio, strength and Pilates just at home. And I rarely go above 30 mins at a stretch. My body just doesn't allow it and I don't push it to do something it doesn't want to do. Listening to (and understanding) my body's signals has been one of the hardest things I've had to learn, really. But truth be told, it feels really great after I break out a sweat. It clears my head and I'm able to focus clearly.

Only recently, I have started practicing a lot of affirmative thinking and that has also released some of the mental pressure off constantly brooding over all the little things that make me feel sick, and always moody. I have a deck of affirmation cards that I use from time to time to encourage myself to think positively.

None of the above steps have been drastic. I have taken it really slowly, incorporating one small change at a time until it became a habit for me. And thankfully until now, I've stuck with it. My mood swings and anxiety have reduced, I feel energetic in and out. I still go through periods of unexplained depression but its SO much better now than it was before. 

That's my health update. On the lifestyle front, I've chucked out enormous amount of things that were serving me no purpose. I de-cluttered boxes upon boxes of clothes and other stuff that belonged to me and also other people in my home. And just like that, I gave them away. I am not a minimalist, but to do a cupboard-cleanse every now and then feels really good. I get to make a lot of life's serious decisions while I'm properly folding my clothes, lol. 

I also try to stop buying unnecessary items. That includes clothes, shoes, and yes, even makeup. I think the last big beauty related haul I did was waaay back in December. I still have lots of products that are unused, brand new clothing items that never fit me as I put on over 25 lbs during the past few years. The point is, I am really blessed with so much of stuff, it seems crazy to continue hoarding. It gives me no pleasure at all. I constantly thought about how much I already had, and never put it to use, and that caused me a lot of stress. Since my "ban everything" ban has been underway, I sincerely push myself to use what I already have. If I had about 3 more heads, I would easily survive for a year on what my beauty drawers contain. Since dropping a few pounds, I am also able to wear clothes that I couldn't before.

I have a lot more planned ahead in terms of de-stressing and de-cluttering my life. It is going to be a long, (and) slow process but I'm looking forward to ticking off all the boxes from my list. 

:-)

PS. I know people go through much worse, and I am not portraying myself as a weakling or attention-seeker. This post is just to convey that the somewhat "simpler stuff" is also hard to bear, at times. It's important to love yourself and to understand that you deserve better. I still have the most amazing life and I'm very, very grateful for it!