Oh hiii! It feels so good to blog again after so long. Nursing school is really taking over this quarter, and I miss this little bloggy! I wanted to talk to you guys about wellness today, and how my journey to being healthier and more present has grown exponentially in the last few months.
I have always been very health conscious and aware of the benefits of exercise, eating whole foods, and eliminating stress, but lately I have been doing tons of research on different ways to complement this mindset and help my body be the best it can be. My interest in this field has really peaked since I started nursing school, which is basically just one big pressure cooker no matter how you swing it. I have long and intense clinical days on top of long lectures, simulation labs, and hours of studying. Add momming to the mix and anyone would go a little crazy. I found myself feeling lethargic, unmotivated, and experiencing physical symptoms like stomach pains, intense muscle soreness whenever I worked out, headaches, you name it. There is a reason we diagnose ourselves with every chronic disease in the book when we start nursing school people!
I know that a lot of these maladies are caused by stress and anxiety, and have been dedicated to finding ways to ease the pressure I am putting my body under. I learn everyday, in almost every lecture it seems, how the body’s response to stress and pushing yourself too hard is like a domino effect. Hormones go out of wack, blood sugar increases, cortisol increases, and the body fights tooth and nail to try and remain in equilibrium. The result is fatigue, gastroesophageal reflux and other GI issues, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and pain is a big one! Let’s not mention what stress-eating that plate of french fries and inhaling coffee all day does in the long term! But whether we are in nursing school, becoming new parents, in a demanding job, stress will always be present in our lives.
I appreciate and am amazed by modern medicine. It is something I am obviously dedicating my life to by pursing a career in nursing. I am thankful for all the medications and the science we have to cure or treat many diseases. But I am becoming increasingly impressed by alternative medicine we can use in conjunction with our typical medications and treatments.
In nursing we call it Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), which basically includes anything like herbs, tinctures, massage, acupuncture, etc. that are not part of standard medical care, but that have proven to be effective for many people. I first came across this term in graduate school, and experienced it firsthand when I started getting acupuncture for intense pain in my neck and shoulders that no medicine would relieve. I felt like I had figured out this secret to life that I had to share with the world! My acupuncturist taught me about the use of essential oils which was also a huge game changer, and I was opened to the world of CAM. Acupuncture helped with everything from pain to anxiety, and even helping me induce labor when I was so ready to deliver Parker at 39 weeks 🙂
I have been tinkering with different things like using herbs and adaptogens in my coffee and smoothies (will definitely be writing a post about this!), taking collagen peptides everyday which is helping my body recover after workouts, and using food as medicine (turmeric bone broth anyone??). And of course, my essential oil obsession is very real! I am really excited to share all of this with you, and will be honest about what I love, and what does not work for me. Stay Tuned!