How The "Health Queen" Got Sick - And What She Did About It
by Kiki Athanas
January 28, 2019
It’s incredibly embarrassing, but last week little miss picture-of-health me was feeling run-down, incredibly anxious, and struggling with some fairly debilitating bowel issues (gross but true).
Rather than hiding it from you and pretending it didn’t happen, I'm taking a leap and faith and deciding to share my take on WHY this mild tragedy happened in the first place, and what I did about it to get better in the end.
If you’ve ever had a tough week BOTH emotionally & physically, this might very well be worth a read, as I’m sharing what works (& what makes things worse) - at least for myself!
First, when you’re feeling exhausted…
Here’s what real rest might look like:
- Bailing on a dinner party & watching Netflix* at home in bed instead. (*Note, there’s a stellar independent film available and it features the hottest man alive aka Nicholas Hoult - it’s called ‘Newness’…you can thank me later).
- Ditching your meetings and taking a walk outside instead.
- Cancelling your workout and practicing restorative yoga instead.
For those of you who are still confused; Here’s what DOESN’T qualify as rest:
- Doing everything you usually do, just at a slightly slower pace, with slightly more coffee, whilst blatantly lying to friends and family: “I’m just taking it easy.”
Next, when you’re anxious AF, here’s what works:
- Deep breathing. No need to get hella fancy. It’s called STOP and breathe - inhale to the count of 4, exhale to the count of 4. Preferably for at least a few minutes while sitting or lying down.
- Do a forward bend. No really, I’m serious - a cross legged easy forward bend (with a block and bolster) or a seated forward bend (with a bolster and blanket) releases the upper back, opens the hip reduces anxiety and stress, eases headache and eyestrain, releases the frontal brain and calms the mind. The Restorative Yoga Deck was my go-to guide throughout my week of elevated stress and periods of worry and fear.
- Be honest. Cry. Ask for help. Give someone a hug. Get hugged. Hug. Love. Rather than bottling up your emotions and waiting for someone to shake that fizzy cluster F#$% - take charge and YOU let it out. I eventually broke down, awkwardly cried at a family dinner, and then admitted to my friends that I was in the midst of a mild panic and invited their patience and support. There’s something magically therapeutic about not lying to the world and putting on a “brave face” - and keeping it real instead.
Okay, now to get into the nitty-gritty sometimes uncomfortable bowel conversation…
A sour stomach or a funny tummy is often due to stress…I’m no doctor, but I’ll bet my life on the theory that 9 times out of 10, your weird spasmodic digestive issues are rooted in stress.
Here’s what I did to soothe my digestive track and get things back under control:
- Cooled mint tea. While hot water is generally the best tonic for everyone and anyone - at any time, it’s best to opt for room temperature or even slightly cool beverages if you’re struggling with loose stools. Peppermint has relaxant and antispasmodic activities and aids in reducing cramps and spasms in the gastrointestinal tract, bile duct and gallbladder.
- Small meals throughout the day (rather than my usual Intermittent Fasting regime). Snacking and frequently eating mini-meals allowed me to cautiously check-in with my gut every few hours, and appropriately judge if I can stomach any more…literally.
- When all things break loose (and my that I mean your bowels) - take some activated charcoal with ginger. I’m not about loading up on charcoal as a daily thing, but when shit hits the fan (okay, you get where I’m going with this…) - this is an immediate relief remedy that binds you up, and yet flushes out the bad stuff all at the same time.
Most importantly, above all else: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
It’s telling you something…maybe it’s that you need to switch up your eating regime - are you being overly indulgent or restrictive and is it doing more harm than good? Or maybe you’re taking on too much at work - saying yes to all those fun exciting projects and becoming overwhelmed just by glancing at your calendar?
Or, maybe you just need an emotional reset and an extra dose of joy in your life.
Enjoy a tea date with a friend, plan for a plan-less do-nothing day, or maybe you need a bit of retail therapy or to slap on some makeup and stroll through Yorkville like you own this city. YOU DO YOU QUEEN!
It was both ironic and devastating how “under-the-weather” I allowed myself to get last week, and I want to be upfront in sharing the lessons I learned, and offer support to others who may be going through something similar - or better yet, avoid the “crash” altogether.
I hope the above helps, and I’m sending SO much love to each and every one of you reading…YOU GOT THIS BOO!