It took a full hold of me two days after the election night of 2016 and lasted a whole week afterwards....
I have to admit that I was reeling from the election results. I felt sad to my very core. Which is a highly unusual feeling for me. And that is precisely how and why I got that cold or, rather, how the cold got me.
Let me back up and explain. You see, I am exposed to “cold/ sick” germs all the time. I have two kids and volunteer at their schools. And yet, in spite of my frequent germ exposure, I get a cold (or any type of illness) about ONCE every two years or so. At the most. Yes, I realize that may sound unusual. And, honestly, this did not use to be my reality either. Back in my “gluten days,” for example, I was constantly barraged by colds. I thought feeling sick and foggy-headed was normal. Especially for a mom, right? Turns out, not really. While it took me a while to figure this out, I can tell you now with fully integrity that attending to my nutrition and stress levels have made the most profound difference in the strength of my immune system. Which, in turn, had a drastic change in how frequently germs are allowed to to “get me.”
These days, it truly takes a substantial “trigger” (Functional Medicine “speak”) to take me down. The last time I got a cold, before my most recent one, was two and a half years ago, when my family was vacationing in Spain. Seeing all the delicious locally made tapas, I declared that unhybridized European gluten was not going to affect me and indulged fully. Wrong, as proved just a week later, by a severe respiratory infection.
You see, the germs are all around us (and should be as, for the most part, we have evolved right alongside each other). As Louis Pasteur famously declared at his death bed, “it is the terrain, not the germs, that matter.” Whether or not the germs are allowed to "get us" is frequently the function of how strong that "personal terrain" is and that is where the concept of self care comes to play strongly, in my opinion.
This time around there was no gluten in the picture for me. I knew better. And, yet, my mind was troubled and my soul felt sad. My self care went out of the window. I spent most of my time talking to my kids about what had just happened. Underlining the significance of being as kind as possible to others. Especially now and especially to those who may feel threatened or unsafe. Especially those who need help. In retrospect, I needed help and I needed to take care of the myself in the face of the oncoming cold to stay strong and shrug it off, as I usually do. And that is where I failed.
Frankly, that was foolish. Because, in the end, I let others down. I was not as available to my kids at the time they needed me the most as, instead of being with with, I did my best to stay away from them to spare them from getting that nasty cold. I had to take a break from my work and volunteer activities. And my husband, unfortunately, did not escape the cold and came down with it another week later and had to miss work time as well. Which meant I was then "solo parenting" while barely having recovered myself. It was not a great situation and it was one that could have been avoided entirely. If I simply remembered that self care is crucial, when one is expected to take care of others.
This holiday season, as we all crawl out of the post-election heartache and life gets predictably hectic, it is more important than ever to practice self care. Because, without attention to it, we compromise both our health and our ability to help others and effect change.
I embrace what life is going to throw my way with renewed attention to my self-care. For me, this means attending to my sleep, my stress level and my diet. Truly practicing what I preach to my clients. Speaking of my dear clients: you are my priority right now (after my own and family needs are taken care of). Which means my blogging and posting is likely to take a break. Eventually my web site will look different as I fully incorporate a more succinct focus on brain nutrition and blood sugar management to help more people more effectively. I have not had the time to focus much on my social media and web presence lately as I have been busy finishing up my Functional Nutrition nine month long study course.
I am also in the process of scheduling more public talks. The best/ fastest way to find out about those in the future is by getting on my mailing list.
For now, I simply wanted to speak to the importance of self care and self love. It is not selfish as it is simply not possible to effectively help others while ignoring your own needs. This holiday season, I am truly grateful for my health and my family. And gratitude is something that translates very well to the concept of self-care and our ability to help others and effect the much needed change.
Happy Holidays to You and Yours!
Please remember to stay excellent to yourself: self care is more important than ever before.
© 2016 Trillium Nutrition LLC. All Rights Reserved. By reading my blog and email series, you acknowledge that I am not a licensed psychologist or health care professional and my services do not replace the care of psychologists or other healthcare professionals. I will at all times exercise my best professional efforts, skills and care. However, I cannot guarantee the outcome of recommendations on my website/blog/email series and my comments about the outcome are expressions of opinion only. Some of the links contained here may be affiliate links. This means that I may receive a commission if you click on the link and make a purchase from the affiliate, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products and services that I know or trust to be of high quality, whether an affiliate relationship is in place or not.