There’s More to Health than What You Eat…

I debated long and hard about writing this post, probably lots of overthinking, but when I realized that sharing my journey is not only what this blog is all about, there’s also a chance it could help someone else. I had a big wake-up call this summer and knowing that all of it could have been prevented is what pushed me to share this with all of you.

So grab a cup of tea, a snack, and get comfortable as I’m about to share a rather lengthy personal journey…


If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been absent almost all summer. I’ve been known to take a break here and there, but never for more than a few weeks. It all started when I met a friend for tea back in June and we got to talking about social media. She one day decided to completely delete her IG account to be more present in real life. We talked about our frustrations with the lack of authenticity, how everything appears to be perfectly staged, and how time consuming social media is. After we parted ways that day, I decided I really needed some time away from all of it. I noticed how I would get anxious about even opening the  app because that meant having to respond to all of the comments and catch up on everyone else’s pages. It felt overwhelming and I was struggling with balance. I also struggled with the behavior and energy received while on IG. The whole “follow for follow,” “like for like,” “comment for comment,” was unappealing, not to mention being a smaller page and blog, I allowed myself to feel unworthy. Unimportant.

But please know that IG was just a small portion of my stress.

In July, I started to notice that I wasn’t feeling or acting like my usual self. Everything felt off and I hated it, so rather than pushing down all of the feelings, I reached out to our naturopath. When I met with her the first time (mid-August), I rattled off my symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Poor digestion (bloating, pain, inflammation)
  • Irritability
  • High anxiety and stress
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of interest in usual things

She took a small blood sample and we looked at it under the microscope together. It showed heart, adrenal, and colon stress. Wow. She had a pretty good idea as to what was going on, but ordered a full blood work up to get an accurate reading. What I found out shocked me and took several days to process it. Here’s what the results showed:

  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Chronic viral infection
  • Signs of hyperthyroid
  • Low stomach acid
  • Malabsorption of Vitamin D, zinc, and protein

What? How can that be?! I’ll tell you why….

STRESS.

All of the stress had caused adrenal fatigue and since my adrenals were so overworked, my thyroid stepped up in an attempt to balance everything. This just goes to show how amazing our bodies are – they work very hard to protect us. My gut also needs some serious love and with low stomach acid, it’s causing quite a bit of discomfort with a lot of foods.

I’m not going to go into detail about how I allowed the stress of several situations get the better of me and to be quite honest, after discussing all of it with my naturopath, this could go back years. Factor in the key element of me being an empath, I’ve endured many, many years of stress and being affected by others emotions and energies.

So what now? How do I heal?

My naturopath put me on a supplement schedule since my body isn’t absorbing it from whole foods and I have been going back to check in with her – we’ll do another blood work up in a couple of months. Along with supplements, I was told to take time for ME. That has meant asking for help – with Willow and things around the house. My Mom is helping out one day a week with watching Willow so that I can do something for me…and that does NOT mean running errands or cleaning. This means anything that will help my well-being: yoga without Willow climbing all over me or calling for me, writing, reading, or even taking a nap. I have learned that the healing process for adrenal fatigue could take up to a year (depending on the person and lifestyle changes made).

I struggled so much to share this with anyone because I thought I was healthy because I ate healthy. When I received the results, I instantly felt like I had failed, like I was a fraud. Here’s the thing, there is SO much more to health than what we eat. Outside factors can greatly impact our health – lack of sleep, pushing yourself too hard, working too much, lack of quiet/down time, toxic relationships, etc. Yes, diet plays a huge role in health, but if you are stressed, you run the risk of very serious issues.

Did you know that chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide)? And that 75-90 percent of doctor’s visits are stress related? That just goes to show not only how serious stress is, but also how prevalent it is. I feel incredibly grateful to be in tune with my body and recognize early signs, as opposed to running my body completely down and facing a far more serious diagnosis.

For me, my battle is feeling like I have to do it all. What I’m learning is that I can’t and that our bodies aren’t designed to undergo that kind of thinking. I kept getting myself in that trap by seeing posts on IG of other moms who appear to be doing it all (exercise, work, household chores, parenting, etc.) when in reality I need (and YOU) to remember that you only get a snapshot on social media…you don’t get the full picture and often times things are edited or just not shared. So we need to stop comparing what we think others are doing and just BE. Do what feels right to you and if that means moving at a slower pace, taking a break, or posting “imperfect” photos, do it.

 

Just like each individual is different,  each one of us will react and handle stress in different ways. One person’s method may not work for the next person. Life would be so much easier if there was a universal way, a way that fit everyone. The key is finding ways to help YOU. It may take some time, lots of patience, and testing out various methods to fine tune your personal way(s) of coping.

There's More to Health than What You EatThere's More to Health than What You Eat
Here are some tips & methods that have been working for me and also for those close to me…

TIPS TO REDUCE STRESS:

  • Quit the caffeine (coffee, soda, caffeinated tea). I loved drinking coffee, but cut it out of my diet back in March and never looked back. I drink a cup or two of herbal tea a day as it relaxes me and contains beneficial ingredients. Coffee actually promotes stress hormones – It may be difficult to let go of, but your body will thank you.
  • Meditate. I have gotten back into the habit of daily meditation and it has done wonders for my health and well-being. If you find you’re one to be easily distracted and can’t sit still, there are wonderful apps and podcasts that have guided meditations. I use Headspace and Calm – both are free to download via iTunes and offer sessions as short as 10 minutes!
  • Breathe. An obvious one, but sometimes when you’re in the midst of a stressful situation, you tense up and either hold your breath or breathing becomes erratic. Take a few really deep breaths and try to focus on just that. *PLEASE do not ever tell a stressed out person to just breathe or calm down…trust me, it makes matters worse.*
  • Get in the habit of journaling and doing free-writing. Take a moment out of your day to sit and write – don’t think about it too much and just let the pen take off. Write about whatever comes to mind. I like to do this just before bed (usually before meditating) so that I can go to bed with a clear head, I’ve emptied my thoughts and can hit the pillow completely relaxed.
  • Sleep. Sounds silly, but how many hours of sleep are you getting a night? If we’re being honest here, I was only getting 4-5 hours a night because I would be catching up on Instagram after Willow fell asleep and then try and read before finally going to bed around 1-2am. Now, most nights I’m not far behind Willow – I fall asleep between 9:30-10:30 and get a full nights sleep (unless Willow wakes up in the middle of the night). They actually recommend for anyone with adrenal fatigue to go to bed no later than 10:30pm.
  • Get outside! Go for a walk, a hike, a run, or meditate in the grass. The fresh air and sunshine will do wonders. Not to mention getting some vitamin D!
  • Yoga. There are several YouTube channels for yoga or head over to Amazon to purchase some DVDs.  Doing yoga and stretching helps to keep you in the present moment while releasing any tension in the body. Below are the videos I enjoy (I’ve been using the Kundalini yoga dvd for several years and love it)…Willow and I occasionally do yoga together and her DVDs are a huge stress reliever as they’re silly and fun!

There's More to Health than What You Eat

  • Exercise. If you have adrenal fatigue, ignore this tip. I was told to stick with yoga, but for the typical person, exercise (running, cardio, etc.) can be a wonderful way to release stress.
  • Limit your screen time (TV, computer) and gadget/technology time (phone, iPad, Kindle, etc.) – especially before bed. In her recent post, Heather of Yum Universe suggested charging your phone in the kitchen and leaving it there…don’t bring it upstairs with you when you go to bed. I have drastically reduced the time I spend on my phone and I stop using it at least an hour before going to bed. If this is a struggle for you, I recommend putting your phone on airplane mode or turning off notifications at night. This helps to resist the urge to check it.
  • Find activities that create a sense of peace and calming within. For me, that is coloring, doing zentangles, reading, and listening to music. When Willow wants to color, I grab my coloring books and join her – it’s actually become quite the family activity these days.

  • Clean house. Both literally and figuratively. Declutter your home and let go of anything that no longer serves a purpose in your life – let go of the things that no longer bring you joy. This is not easy to do and sometimes this could include toxic relationships – those who either don’t support you, criticize, or hold you back from being happy.
  • Ask for help. If you’re like me, this is easier said than done, BUT absolutely necessary. Recognize those who support you and do not hesitate to lean on them during times of imbalance.
  • Talk about it! Reach out to your good friends and family – be open about your struggles – more often than not, you’re going to find out that you are NOT alone. Everyone is struggling with something and talking about it is therapeutic. In talking about it with those close to me, I found out that two other people happen to be in very similar situations health wise…all due to stress as well.
  • Know your limits and learn how to say no. Remember that you are human, one human, and can’t do it all. Only take on as much as you feel comfortable with. I think it’s great to step outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself, but if you are susceptible to stress or anxiety, know your body’s capacity and DO NOT allow yourself to reach a breaking point.
  • Let go of the idea that everything needs to be checked off your to-do list before bed. Do you make to-do lists? Mentally or physically on paper? I do. I’m kind of obsessed with lists because it helps my mama brain keep track of things – even little things like sweeping the floor. I’ve learned that lists are great, but they don’t need to be done in a day. My house might be a bit messier, but my stress level is down…and I’m learning to be OK with that.
  • Let go of the past and don’t worry about the future…put your focus on being present. I know how difficult this can be and that is why meditation is key. Being mindful of the here and now is what truly matters.
  • Be kind to yourself. Be patient. Have faith.

I can already hear some of you saying, “I don’t have time to…” And here’s the reality: We ALL HAVE TIME. We just choose to spend it differently. You will have to make adjustments in your life or put other things on the back burner and that’s OK! Pick up the phone and actually talk with a friend – not a rushed text. If you haven’t read a book in forever, start reading a chapter or two of a book that’s been on your list – instead of spending time doing things you think need to be done. I think you get the idea 🙂

***************************************************************************************************

So what does this mean for me? This blog? Social media?


I’m taking things day by day and putting sleep + rest as a priority. I’m making meditation a daily habit and surrounding myself with all the good energy I can. I’ve realized that with Josh’s work schedule, I absolutely NEED to ask my Mom for help more…being a full-time, stay-at-home mom can be challenging, especially since I’ve also taken on the role as homeschooler.

•••

As for the blog…I am very passionate about this blog and while I know it lacks good photography, it is my therapeutic outlet…even if only a handful of people read a post. I enjoy it and the people I connect with here. I am a casual “blogger” in that I get posts up when I feel like and it’s more of a hobby than a career – so I’ve also stopped comparing my little blog with others. I do what I can and I’m at peace with that.

Since I’m also playing around with my diet and making some adjustments, there might be either a lack of recipes here or recipes out of the norm…but always vegan! I will absolutely NOT stray away from being plant-based. I’ve been nut-free for a week now and feel better than I’ve felt in months – I’m also experimenting with AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) – which means no grains, nightshades, beans, nuts + seeds, and certain spices….which is super hard, but if it means healing, I’m all about it. Thank goodness for my cousin (she introduced me to AIP) and all of the crafty people out there creating recipes to fit that diet! My energy is at an all time high and my mood has drastically changed…not to mention my gut loves me!

A sneak peek of what’s coming to the blog soon…


•••

Hmmm. As for social media, I haven’t really decided. I deeply miss many of the people on Instagram, but I’m also enjoying being more present and building stronger connections with those close to me. During this absence, I’ve had several reach out to me via email and/or text with the very same complaints about social media – that it’s a comparison trap and feels like a competition. I truly LOVE the connections that I have made there and if I do return, I will be limiting my time on there during this healing process. To some of you all of this might sound over dramatic or way off base and that might be because you’ve got your stress under control or you stand confidently in your place – for that I genuinely applaud you.

I am a work in progress. I am forever learning and growing. I am healing.

To those reading this, if you’re struggling, please know that you are NOT alone. You are worthy of love and healing. We all are. Please reach out for help if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Do not put your health on the back burner like I did.

If you’re reading this and you know someone who is struggling, offer help or an ear. Never minimize their struggles or tell them that they’re overreacting because in their mind, it’s a huge deal. Be supportive and patient.
Thank you so much to all who took the time to read my rambles here.

Love and light.

❤️

35 thoughts on “There’s More to Health than What You Eat…

    • Love YOU!! And miss you. Willow was just reminiscing today about VT and how she wants to go back soon. Wish we lived closer! ❤️❤️❤️

      Like

  1. My beautiful sweet kind compassionate Mandy! I’m so proud/impressed/awed that you shared your thoughts and feelings in such an eloquent essay. I’m so sorry for your health problems and so glad you’ve identified the issues and are taking steps toward healing. @deliciouslyella posted today “comparison is the thief of joy” and that is so true right? While I miss you desperately on Instagram, I totally understand and respect your decisions. One benefit to being older is to know that nothing lasts forever – decisions you make now don’t mean you don’t have the freedom to change your mind in the future. You be who you need to be now and know I will always be here for you, supporting you and rooting for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true! Comparison really is the thief of joy…I fall into that trap quite a bit on IG and I’m thinking that when/if I do return, I’ll have to reconsider who I’m following or just stop browsing like I used to. The beauty in life is that we can always change our minds and adjust as need be ❤️ I can’t thank you enough for your support, encouragement, and kind words – both here and via text. You’re an amazing friend and I feel so blessed! Love you! ❤️❤️❤️

      Like

  2. So sorry you’ve been dealing with this! I truly hope you take the time to heal for yourself and don’t do anything that will halt that process. If it’s too hard for you to be on social media, then it’s much healthier to stay away. Although I personally am the type to laugh at the comments that others may cry about, I totally understand how awful it would be to take it all inside. It is definitely a fake reality, I know this and have no problem with it all, in fact it provides some great humor in my life when I read the ridiculous things that people say and do. But I know not everyone is like this, and I see how hard others take these types of things. I wish you only positivity from here on out and hope to see more pictures of Willow growing up through your blog posts! Big hugs!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, thank you, Sophia!! Means a lot to me that you took the time to read this and pass along some kind words. ❤️❤️❤️ When you’re in a rough place (emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically) things that wouldn’t ordinarily bother you, do – I’ve been ultra sensitive this year due to several events and curveballs – and I feel like I’m getting stronger each day. I sure do miss seeing your posts on IG and I have lots of catching up to do on your blog – you’ve got some yummy recipes that have caught my eye ☺️😘 Thank you, again! Big hugs to you!! XO

      Like

  3. First, I love your photography! Just wanted to get that out there. Your pictures aren’t lacking at all, they are beautiful and full of life. I totally agree with you on this entire post. I deleted my social media accounts for a few reasons and kept the ones I felt no pressure for perfection on, like pinterest. I think the biggest one I am learning little by little is to know my limits. Recently, I had to walk away from doing a homeschool co-op. Although it was a little expensive I thought it would be good for 3 out of my 5 kiddos. Then I started really thinking about it, getting email after email about meetings and functions. I thought why am I trying to do so much? Our relaxed homeschool is doing great and the kids are enjoying learning. Why am I packing so much in? I then did another one of your de-stressing ideas, I said no. I changed everything for something simpler, something I too would enjoy with the kids. I think letting go of the past is awesome, it’s hard to do, but goes along with toxic relationships. I think you can love someone in life, and not have them in it. I did that with some family and although I really love them, after years of trying it’s just too toxic.
    I have been meaning to read an ebook, titled: Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe by Todd Wilson. I think you might like it too.

    What a great post! I will have to apply many of your de-stressing ideas to my life. Having very high stress levels and anxiety has caused me to have panic attacks very frequently in my life. I need to add some of these ideas in my life! Thank you so much also for the yoga recommends. My 9 year old son loves yoga and I need to get back into it on a daily basis!

    I love your voice, thanks for sharing your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwwww! Thank you, friend! ❤️❤️❤️ You’re too sweet! I agree, it is not an easy task and it will often times sneak up on you, but letting go of past hurts, “failures” or toxic relationships is all a part of healing. Sometimes we need to be selfish and do what is best for us!
      I am adding that book to my list! Thank you! Sounds like something I could really benefit from.
      Gosh, panic attacks are awful. I am so sorry! I’ve had them before and it’s so scary. I hope some of these tips or ideas can help – yoga is amazing for the mind, body, and spirit! The videos I have for Willow are wonderful and although they’re definitely meant for young kiddos, I actually really love doing them too!
      Thank you, Kris!! You’ve been such an amazing friend! ❤️

      Like

  4. Oh my goodness Mandy, what a humongous wake up call! And a lot to deal with, I am so sorry. The body always finds a way to make itself heard, doesn’t it. I am so glad that you shared this though so I can quit worrying about you and missing you without knowing the reason ❤ Your deep serious posts like this are always so wise and stick with me–make me reevaluate my own life and stress and choices. Asking for help is SO hard! Heck just admitting internally that you need help long before ever asking is hard. But I admire you very much for doing it. I'm glad your mom is close enough to be able to be there for you and Willow. The stress-related diagnoses are some of the toughest to deal with I think, because it pretty much means a whole life change has to happen. Emails, instagram, projects–stress just creeps in so sneakily. I have been massively decreasing my instagram time lately because I just can't play that catch up game every day–it's too much! And I've been looking into AIP too, but it's very tricky as a vegan. Wow your gut loves you again, how wonderful! I'm really happy that you are seeing improvements 🙂 Thank you for sharing, for the tips, for the perspective. On here, on instagram, recipes, long thought provoking posts–whatever it is I always love hearing from you ❤ xo

    Like

    • Awwww! I love you, friend! I always look forward to your comments here and reading your blog posts…although I have fallen behind quite a bit. You always brighten my day! ❤️ Asking for help is probably the hardest part of all this – I’ve always been an “I can do it myself” kind of person. I’m so grateful for family nearby and a supportive network of friends – even those I haven’t met in real life! Gosh, these stress related illnesses are so prevalent and what’s scary is that so many people are walking around not knowing they have one – heck, I never thought it would be adrenal fatigue or thyroid issues for me – I think it’s also hard for many of us because we equate being sick with feeling or looking sick. Darn stress! Right?!?! It really does sneak up on you and piles up after days or weeks or months of pushing ourselves or feeling overwhelmed with all that we have on our plate. I used to think that I needed to reply to an email, comment (here or IG) the same day – now I get to it when I can. That catch-up game is a killer!
      The cousin who told me about AIP started eating chicken…I just can’t do that (for SO many reasons) so I’m thinking I’ll do this as long as I can – maybe a couple of weeks to kind of reset my system. Thank God for coconut and yams! 😂😂 I’ve been eating more veggies and fruits than ever before because that’s basically all you can eat.
      Thank you SO much for reading this and leaving such a sweet comment. I can’t wait to (slowly) catch up on your blog…I think I saw something pumpkin?!? 😍 Lots of love to you, Natalie!! ❤️ xo

      Like

  5. Oh sweet Mandy, my friend, what an incredible post. As always, you write with such heart, passion and wisdom. You and I have discussed so much of this, so you know I totally agree with you. I totally can attest to the whole comparison thing. I honestly look at Instagram and think, how in the heck do these people have time to be on IG alllll day and they must go crazy. I do my posts and comment on a few accounts here and there, but it’s not a stress factor in my life at all, like it was last year. I just don’t care, haha. It really does seem like such a facade and not reality.
    We all have to do what gives us peace. I’m at a good place emotionally finally. I am absolutely loving blogging and creating and working on projects. I feel so incredibly grateful to do what I love and it allows me to be home with Olivia and teach her as well. I definitely agree though when those comparison thoughts creep in, just tell yourself that you are YOU and nobody can take the place of you. We are all unique in our own way and special.
    I’m so sorry you’ve endured so much stress, but I think with everything in life, bad or good, they are teachable moments and help us to make wiser choices, which you are doing now. So glad you are taking time for yourself. For the first few years of Olivia’s life, I never ever even took 5 mins for myself. I was scared to and felt guilty. I realized that it made me more stressed out and depressed. Now, I feel NO guilt whatsoever in taking time for myself. I crave it and we all need our alone time to be better people and moms. Sorry you’ve had your body affected so much, but I totally agree that good food is useless if we are living under so much stress. Stress can absolutely make us sick and kill us. Glad you are taking all the steps needed to better your life.
    And for the record, I’ve said it so many times, but your photos are absolutely breathtaking. Nobody takes shots like you do. They have beauty and they have meaning and depth. These scenic photos are unbelievable and I love that last pic of you and Willow. You truly look so happy in it!!! xoxo
    Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your comment made me cry! I can’t thank you enough for how supportive you’ve been over this last year (and even longer than that). You truly are amazing and your genuine spirit brings me so much joy ❤️❤️❤️ I think because of all the stress, the little quirks about IG really got to me. It really is a facade, isn’t it?! When I was on there it felt like a totally different world where almost everyone was posting to almost show off or prove something. And it made me sad to watch so many people fall into the numbers trap and lose sight of why they started their blog or losing themselves all together. I know that if I come back it will be with fresh eyes, a new perspective and I’ll stick with keeping up with a few pages. I always appreciate your insight and advice – and you’re right – embracing the uniqueness is key.No sorries! I agree completely. These last few years have taught me so much about myself and life in general. While it may feel like it broke me at the moment, I know when I come out of this, I will feel stronger and wiser than ever. We’ve talked about this before and I am right there with you. I struggled BIG time being away from Willow – even for a couple of hours, but we’re both learning the importance of time apart. For over four years I have put myself on the back burner and focused on keeping Willow healthy and happy – I’ve learned that it’s just as important to keep my health and well-being in the forefront. You’re an awesome mama and Olivia is SO lucky to have you!! We all need time to just be alone and I’m learning how to do that. Thank you, sweet friend! That means a lot coming from you. Also means a lot to have you in my life – I truly value our friendship. Love you! And thank you, again! ❤️❤️❤️❤️ xoxo

      Like

  6. Hello! This is Carrie from IG! I could have written every word of this. I have been going through major health issues since July. I too have adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, insomnia and stomach ulcers. It came out of nowhere and the anxiety hit me like a bomb. After many, MANY dr visits tests and now therapy once a week, I am somewhat getting my life back. The sickness caused the stress and the stress caused more sickness. I felt defeated and embarrassed and lonely. I am also doing almost all of the things you listed! I hope you are feeling better! I am getting back to me, slowly but healing takes time. I love your blog and I too find IG pretty stressful at times. I keep my friends list low and I find that very helpful for me. I like connection not numbers. I’m sending love and healing your way! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie!! Oh, my goodness. I am SO sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling too. I can’t believe it! When stress piles up, it takes over and creates so much chaos. Wow, that’s how I felt! Defeated, embarrassed, and lonely. So lonely. I hope in talking about it you’ve started to feel better! I know it has helped me! I’m actually feeling a lot better – between the momentary diet changes, supplements, and taking more time for myself – I feel like a different person. If you ever want or need to talk, I’m here! I don’t want to leave my number here, but here’s my email address if you want to reach out: abradley215@yahoo.com
      Awwww! Thank you!!! That means a lot. ☺️😘 I think I’ll be doing the same when/if I return to IG – keeping the list small and focus more on the true connections. I’m sending lots of love and healing energy to you!!! ❤️❤️

      Like

  7. Love this post lady. Totally not on topic–but the pic of Willow coloring with the cat is precious and I love your hair braid in another pic (I love photos). So glad you are making progress to better that temple of yours –aren’t we all a work in progress 😊😊. I’m constantly monitoring myself for that balance of normal. Hugs to you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Love you, friend!! You’ve seriously been the bestest friend and I’m incredibly grateful for you. 😘🤓 Isn’t that photo the best?? Our cats are silly and not long after I took that pic, he tried to steal the pen out of willow’s hand! Haha! I love photos too – I’m one of those people who enjoy looking at other peoples photo albums 😊💕 Goodness, I pretty much wear it in a braid every day…easy and out of the way…also too scared to cut it!
      Balance is so tricky, isn’t it?! I feel like I’m constantly dropping something. But like you said, we’re all a work in progress and forever learning. I think the key is having support and understanding people in our lives 💗 BIG hugs to you!!!! ❤️ xo

      Like

  8. Hi lady,

    It’s been a while since I visited your blog, but it’s not been for a lack of interest or care, but rather due to a lack of time for social things… Like yourself, I found myself overwhelmed with social obligations and such and had to just take a step back. Also life has been just crazy with a lot of changes and forks in the road… I totally get you, only dropping it all is not an option for me as that is my job — so instead I just have to find ways of getting it to work for me without losing my marbles 💆🏻😄

    But pretty well all my health conditions can be traced back to stress in some way. I spent many years fixing it all through diet (which is great but not all, as you say) and trying to find “the illness”, not realizing the catalyst was stress. A naturopath once gave me a nice analogy for the stress + health connection. She said there are many things in our body / mind that can be like a little hairline fracture — it’s there, perhaps due to a predisposition or injury, but it’s latent, barely tangible. When stress comes, it’s like a punch to the wall, turning that tiny crack into full blown holes and gaps… the body struggling to keep it together under the imbalance. I related to that analogy a lot. I think giving yourself time to de-stress, re-balance, and re-evaluate is def an important part of healing. I’m certainly not a stress-free person, but I think being honest with yourself and accountable to yourself helps to set you on the right path.

    I wish you lots of strength in your healing and self-discovery journey. Thinking of you!

    Peace 💜

    Like

    • Well, how funny you should comment today because I was just thinking about you…and looking at all of the saved emails for your blog – I’m so behind 🙆🏻 I sure do miss our chats and know how busy you must be – just know that I think about you quite a bit. Kinda bummed you picked today to stop by the blog and see this crazy post! I’m actually feeling loads better – a combo of taking more time for me and making changes to my diet. Between being overwhelmed in regards to social obligations and being hit too many times by curveballs and loss in life – it kind of broke me. But I feel like things are beginning to even out now – thank goodness!
      Wow! I LOVE that analogy and can relate to it so much. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah, your blog and all of that is your job, while for me IG and blogging is a casual hobby – can’t imagine how overwhelming that must be.
      I hope you’re doing well (health and all), Audrey! I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by. Miss you ❤️

      Like

  9. I’ve been wondering where you’ve been. So sorry I haven’t reached out this summer. I’ve taken a step away from Bend and have focused on tightening friendships here in Sunriver. I always felt like I was rushing to get into Bend so we wouldn’t miss anything all of our friends were doing. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you. Sending you lots of love, friend! xoxo

    Like

    • Oh, no sorries – I’ve obviously taken a step away from a lot of things…I needed time away from IG to focus on the “real life” connections and those close to me…so I completely understand! I hope all is well with you and your family – one of these days we’ll have to get together. Lots of love to you! xoxo

      Like

  10. Mandy,

    What a wonderful, beautiful post. Thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to share about this journey you are on! I hope that you continue to find healing and that your health continues to improve as you make the necessary changes to focus on YOU and your wellness. I decided to share my recent struggles in my latest blog post for almost the same exact reason – I was also feeling frustrated and discouraged by the false sense of perfection that comes from other peoples’ social media accounts, but then I took a step back and realized people may be discouraged by looking at my social media for the same reason! Of course we all want to share the best qualities of ourselves to the public, but there’s something to be said about allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and open up about the not-so-perfect sides of our lives as well. Sharing about these experiences doesn’t make us “weak” or “failures”, we are ALL human and we all struggle. Allowing others to see beyond the seemingly perfect facade not only helps our own well-being, but like you said, hopefully helps others who may be experiencing similar struggles in life as well.

    Lots of love to you! xoxo
    Marne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Marne!!!! Your blog post was beautiful, too – and it really helped me to realize that others probably feel the same way (struggles, frustrations, etc.) – I’m so glad you shared your journey! I never looked at it that way – that maybe someone sees my account and feels discouraged – kind of changes things a bit…so thank you for that! I have no doubt that your post has helped others and eases some minds. It’s definitely hard to share the “imperfections” but it’s also kind of therapeutic, isn’t it? A sign of growth, too! And like you said, it’s not a sign of weakness at all, but more a sign of strength and willingness to heal.
      I really hope we can meet up one of these days because I think we have more in common than we realize! Big hugs, my friend!!! XOXO ❤️

      Like

  11. I am late in getting around to reading this, but I’m so glad you decided to share. I’m certain there are others out there dealing with similar things and it’s so nice to know we are not alone in our battles. In fact, a lot of the symptoms you describe, I’ve been dealing with the past year or so too. I DO have hypothyroid and the doc thought my meds were off. It seems we are changing dosages with every blood test and I’m convinced something else is going on. I really love the idea of reaching out to a naturopath to learn more. And I totally relate to the stress of social media and all things blogging. With all the kids activities these days, I have very little time for myself. What time I do have, I’m doing blogging related things. I need to let myself be ok with stepping back a bit to find time for ME. I’m sorry you are dealing with all the stress, but I’m so thankful you shared…this was the push I needed to start to find out more.

    Like

    • Hey, Jenn!! No way?? Gosh, I’ve been hearing this so much over the last couple of weeks – sounds like a lot of us are dealing with this or something similar. I’m so sorry you’re feeling the stress, too! Most moms struggle with that balance of finding “me” time and keeping up with mom duties and work related things. This is the first time in a long time that I’m putting my health first – feels weird, but I’m realizing it needs to be done – not only for myself but for my family. It’s hard to not feel the pressure of keeping up though, isn’t it? I’ve fallen behind on SO much over the last few months (reading other blogs, social media, home projects, etc.), but I’ve discovered I have more time to do things for me! I hope you do too! And I also hope you reach out to a naturopath – even to just get fresh eyes or a new perspective on what you’re dealing with. Wish we lived closer! Take care of yourself – I’m sending lots of healing vibes and love your way!! XO ❤️❤️

      Like

      • I’m definitely going to look into a naturopath in the area. I definitely don’t live in the mecca of health-land, so we’ll see what I can find. I totally agree about taking time for ourselves. I know it will make me a better person in the long run and I’ll have more energy to give to everyone else when I can. 🙂

        Like

  12. Pingback: My Journey to Health: Lessons learned on a plant-based lifestyle | The Luminous Spirit

  13. I just saw this…was hoping you had a post on your blog just to check in and make sure everything was ok with you and your family and just spent some time catching up here…I’m so sorry you are going through all of this! I can relate for sure…I never got help, but think i was pretty stressed 3 years ago with lots of lack of sleep, feeling like I had to be there and do everything, and it’s still affecting my healthy right now. I couldn’t have read your post at a more ideal time. I’m not sure if my emails get to you, but I’m emailing you right now. =) let me know if you don’t get it!

    Like

    • Thank you, Anjali! It’s scary how stress can impact our health. I appreciate the kind words ❤️ I just noticed an email from you! I will read and reply as soon as I can! I hope you’re doing well and thank you for taking the time to catch up here…I need to catch up on yours!! Take care and let’s talk soon!! XO

      Like

  14. Thank you for writing this, Mandy. I so agree with the whole comparison trap, and I have definitely fallen into it multiple times on IG. The one thing that’s great about IG though, as you said, is forming relationships with awesome people (like you!)!
    So glad that you’re healing and taking time for yourself- you need it! Don’t even worry about not posting- your “fans” will always be here when you get back. 🙂
    I love that you and Willow color together- such a great destresser. Hope you are having a wonderfully relaxing fall! xx

    Like

    • Ellie!!!! You are so sweet! Thank you very much for the kind words and encouragement – that means a lot. I’ve missed you SO much and know that you’ve crossed my mind quite a bit over these last few months. I hope all is well with you – I promise to catch up on your blog so I can read about what’s been going on! Sending lots of love your way! Thank you again! XO ❤

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s