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Calling all lemons! A home for those who look great but feel like absolute crap to make some lemonade out of lemons.

Self Care 101

Self Care 101

Living with an autoimmune disorder can be exhausting in itself. Taking care of yourself with an autoimmune disorder: taking supplements, eating right, exercising just enough but not too much, looking for new research, treating curveball symptoms, finding new to the market treatments, the list goes on and on, can absolutely feel like a full time job. With the addition of a full time job it can feel impossible. 

I even started putting time in my schedule to take care of myself (like taking a 20 minute walk during the day) in these various areas because I was forgetting to. It can feel immensely overwhelming and I'm not going to lie-sometimes it is hard. So, I've been working on mitigating the stress to keep myself well by simplifying some of my wellness prep throughout the day. Whether you have an autoimmune disorder or are just trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, here's what I've found has been helpful in making sure taking care of myself doesn't feel like a full time job. 

10 Steps to Make Self Care Easier

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Food Prep Makes Eating Healthy Easier    

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  • Make Large Batches of Food: This allows you to always have something nutritious to grab when you're strapped for time.
  • Use Your Sundays Well: Take Sunday to prep for the week. Make a lot of chicken, roast a ton of veggies, and a few dressings/sauces and you can put together endless combinations for the week. 

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Find Your Motivation To Love Exercise

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  • Find Your Flow: I hate yoga. I know, I know. it's antithetical to my vibe. I've tried, it's just not my thing. But, through experimentation I know I love kickboxing, running, dance, spinning, and pilates. Find what you love to do and it will be easier to do it, not what everyone says you "should" be doing. 
  • Save It For The Gym: I've seen plenty of people who wait to watch their crappy TV shows until they're running it out on the treadmill. I personally wait to watch all my Instagram and Snapchat stories from my favorite bloggers. Find something to save for the gym (or even after) to give you another reason for going. 
  • Treat Yourself: Nick and I have a calendar specifically for workouts. Despite this being a nice friendly competition between the two of us, it also allows us to celebrate with a special treat yourself reward once we've hit our goals.

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Subscribe to Wellness Tips

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  • Email Subscriptions Are Your Friend: One time, I ordered five health books intending to read them all within the month. None of them have been opened. It's often too overwhelming to read through a ton of health literature, so I'd rather be emailed the highlights and choose what I want to delve into further. I subscribe to everything from medical science journals to Chalkboard Mag and Well + Good to stay up to date on the latest health news.p
  • Get Social: Facebook groups have been essential for me to get up to date info on treatment options. Also, following Instagram and Snapchatters who live healthy lifestyles is great for tips and tricks. These are easy and quick notifications that will grow your knowledge base and get you in a good place to take control of your health. 

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Small Changes Lead to Big Results

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  • Avoid Information Paralyzation: The health and wellness world can be unbelievably overwhelming. Commit to small changes each week. This week, I told myself I'd drink three green juices (and make them myself). I actually feel better and it's a change I'm going to continue. 
  • Slightly Bigger Changes Come Once a Month: Once you've gotten into the hang of making small changes, try to make a slightly bigger change once a month. My last one was swapping all my plastic containers for glass ones. 

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Make Work Work For You

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  • Introduce Walking Meetings: I've started this with a few of my coworkers and in addition to helping get us physically moving, it also helps creativity, not confined to the walls of our office and away from our notebooks. 
  • Get a Stability Ball: Sitting all day is terrible for us. I have a tendency to curl up in my seat and lean back on pillows. Recently, I purchased a stability ball which helps me sit up straight and is a constant workout for my abs. 
  • Do It Together: Staying healthy is always easier with a group. Do a potluck lunch. Have a steps competition. Take a lunch hour for a workout. Doing it together will keep you motivated and make you feel like the office can help your healthy lifestyle.  

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    There's Power in Pretty

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  • Be Inspired: Start following healthy influencers whose foodstagrams look amazing. Search "smoothie bowl" on Pinterest and pin recipes you could only dream of creating. By changing what you're viewing day to day, you'll actually start to change what you crave. 
  • Show Off To Others: Yes, this one is totally superficial, but when you make food that looks good, you'll be more apt to eat it. Take a picture. Show it to your friends. Post it on social media. You'll start setting a bar for yourself that can only be met by making healthy and beautiful food. 

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Look for Healthier Social Activities 

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  • Switch Up Happy Hour: Usually Happy Hour or brunch are my friends' go to suggestions. Lately, I've started suggesting more out of the box and healthier ideas like going boxing, taking a trapeze class, or going for a hike and ending it at a brewery. These usually create better memories than a happy hour ever could and your friends start to look to you for ideas for "fun" things to do. 
  • Redefine a Good Night: I haven't been able to drink in a few years, so going out to a club or a bar until 4AM has not been my thing. I've been waiting for my friends to shift to wanting to have a chiller night and I realized part of it was them simply being unaware there was any other option. I've started instituting Friday Night Friend Dinners, Game nights, and excursions to free comedy shows or nighttime laser tag. Your friends may not always want nights like these, but they'll begin to realize how fun they can be and then you have more of an opportunity for a healthy night. 

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Remember, You Have Support

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  • Lean on Your Support System: I'm lucky my family, friends, and significant other generally support me even in my weirdest health endeavors. Explain to your support system why you're making these changes and they will eventually come around. If they don't or if you need additional support, groups and forums are a great source for camaraderie, as are gym classes, your doctors, and women's circles. 

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Know What You Like and Own It

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  • Forget Embarrassment: I'm interested in crystals and the healing energy they provide. I get teased mercilessly for this. Part of living a healthier life is letting go of what other people think and starting to tune in to what you think and feel. If it works for you, and you like itown it and become an expert in it. You will thank yourself later for not giving up. 

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Be Kind To Yourself

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  • Staying Health is a Journey: You will never be finished trying to be healthy. Knowing what to do to feel good will always be a moving target, so don't be so tough on yourself. This one has been especially important for me in reminding myself not beat myself up after eating a bagel or downing a sheet of cookie dough (yes, I did feel sick after). 
  • Know Your Limits: Sometimes, I don't want to meditate at night but I'd rather watch a stupid show. Other times, when I should be exercising, I lay in bed all morning scrolling Pinterest. Listen to your body. Every moment of your life doesn't need to be "healthy", But with small changes, you'll start feeling better and it won't feel like this insurmountable second job you must add on to the stress of daily life. 
Green Goddess Warm Summer Salad

Green Goddess Warm Summer Salad

Cheers to My Stomach Roll

Cheers to My Stomach Roll