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March 12, 2024

E17 | 4 Actionable strategies to manage autoimmune challenges fearlessly

E17 | 4 Actionable strategies to manage autoimmune challenges fearlessly

Are you tired of the uphill battle with autoimmune challenges and feeling like you're getting nowhere?

You may be inadvertently overlooking the power of your body's innate healing capabilities or getting stuck in a never-ending cycle of symptom management (a disease merry-go-round) without ever addressing the root causes.

But there's hope, and the solution is closer than you might think.


BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING TO THIS PODCAST EPISODE, YOU'LL DISCOVER:

  • How supporting your body's healing process can be the first step towards reclaiming your health.
  • The significance of taking small, consistent steps every day to create lasting transformation.
  • Why nourishing your body with the right foods and practicing radical self-care can fundamentally change your approach to managing autoimmune challenges.

 

By implementing these strategies, you'll begin to see your journey through a lens of hope and empowerment, rather than fear and uncertainty.

However, you certainly don't have to figure this out on your own.

With the right tools, strategies, and support system in place, you can absolutely take charge of your health and create the vibrant, fulfilling life you deserve. The path forward is clear - now it's up to you to take that first courageous step.

Feel supported, heard, and guided on your healing journey by joining our Facebook community "Embrace your healing journey podcast"—a safe space for women with autoimmune conditions who want to feel happy and healthy once again.

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@aninditarungta | nourish heal connect | Embrace Your Healing Journey

Chapters

04:33 - Coping with anxiety, depression, and chronic illness

06:24 - When your symptoms persist or return

08:50 - Personalization, hope, empowerment, visualization, self-healing, guidance, action

11:04 - Set micro goals in sleep, movement, stress

12:03 - Setting SMART goals to see real results

14:57 - Chronic stress is a major driver of autoimmune flares

16:42 - Empower yourself with radical self-care strategies

17:09 - Why is this so important?

18:16 - Consistency is key when it comes to managing chronic health issues

20:29 - Why finding a trusted mentor and a supportive community makes a HUGE difference

Transcript

 In today's episode, I'm going to share with you four actionable steps or strategies that you can take if you are dealing with any kind of autoimmune challenges with courage and hope. That's all coming up next right here on Embrace Your Healing Journey.

 Welcome to Embrace Your Healing Journey, a podcast for women with autoimmune and other chronic conditions to help them navigate the illness without fear of isolation and uncertainty, and find relief from their symptoms. Your body is your guide and ally in healing. If you're ready to embrace this journey with compassion and awareness, then the show is for you. Tune in weekly as I, a Functional medicine certified health Coach, deliver tips and insights that demystify the healing process, guiding you towards the relief you deserve so that you can feel healthy and happy once more.

In each episode, I share with you pieces of poems, pros inspirational and motivating motivational quotes and stories that might help you to draw strength from them. Just like it has helped me over the years. And for today. This is an excerpt from one of my favorite books of poems called Wild Hope by Donna Ashworth.

I hope you see the beauty in the brand today.
I hope you laugh until those tears just flow.
I hope you let your soul be as it must today.
I hope you'll finally learn to let it go.


I hope the winds of change will blow your way today.
I hope your heart is beating strong and true.
I hope you let the warmth inside your world today.
I hope you'll find some kindness there for you.

I hope you like the way your story goes today.
I hope you see the hero there is you.
I hope you'll write the chapter you deserve today.
I hope the happy ending will come true

I hope you know the impact you have today.
I hope you see your light for what it is.
I hope you do not pick yourself apart today.
I hope you know this life is yours to live.

I hope you feel the sun upon your face today.
I hope you'll share a moment with a love.
I hope you find some comfort in this place today.
I hope you also take some comfort from above.


It's a beautiful poem about hope, about finding the courage that you need to face any challenges. And there have been many times in my life where I've needed something to just keep me going, to give me some kind of hope, to show me that there was some light at the end of the tunnel.

And I remember that day clearly because. Or that night, I should say, because my daughter was again not able to sleep through the night. She had severe itching because of her eczema. And this was even after being on strong, uh, immune suppressing medications. And she would be extremely itchy. And no matter what we did, we had tried wet wrapping. where you wet? Where these wet clothes on your body, and you then moisturize and then wear the wet clothes and hope that your skin will stay moist. It does for a while, but it extremely uncomfortable. Then you try, you know, all kinds of moisturizers that you can think of. So, you know, we had done all of that and more and we had pretty much exhausted, uh, all the topical creams, lotions, moisturizers and techniques that we could think of.

And I remember lying next to her one night and again, you know, rubbing my hand on her back that used to help her somewhat to go to sleep. And we used to take turns. My family helped a lot in that. My husband, my mom, and praying that one day she would be able to sleep through the night. That one day she would know what a good night's rest actually felt like, because she had not known it for ten years of her young life. Right? It was finally, uh, ten years that we dealt with all this. And,  eventually we did find the solution. I found functional medicine.

And I've shared that in episode one of this podcast, our journey to finding the solution for her daughter's health issues. But at that time, I felt anxious about her future. I felt uncertain about what our whole entire family's future would bring. I mean, I didn't know, uh, you know what? What we would be dealing with in the future. And if it would get worse or it would get better. Because at that time, I was only banking on, uh, medications, um, and just finding a long term solution for her challenges. That sort of seemed near impossible at that time, but I refused to give up hope.

So maybe even you feel anxious and depressed, maybe due to the constant pain and fatigue that you are dealing with almost every single day. Or maybe you are worried that you will become more and more dependent on others, or maybe that you will need a caretaker at some point in time just to get through your day. And you know, a lot of people who have been dealing with these conditions for a very long time have these kind of thoughts. Or maybe you really struggle with people not believing what you are going through and you feel all alone. That's also very, very common. And the real problem is you are likely just stuck in a cycle of treating symptoms at and again, at a very superficial level without actually addressing the underlying root causes of your health issues, of what's really going on, of your gut gut health or of your autoimmune disease progression. Or maybe the problem is that your body is struggling to deal with gut imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, toxins, or even unresolved trauma.  All of these have a bearing on your disease progression. Or maybe you haven't been even, you know, given the proper guidance about the steps that you need to take and in which order you need to take them to identify and address the root issues. . So that is step one and then step two and then step three. And doing them in a half hearted manner is not really always helpful, is not really helpful. And it is quite likely that you have seen multiple doctors and specialists, but you are frustrated by the lack of answers or the lasting results and the relief. Each new prescription or treatment made you feel hopeful for a while at at least. Or at last, you found the solution. At last you found a long term resolution of your health issues.

But. Only you know it left you disappointed when your symptoms persisted or maybe returned. Or most likely you have probably tried various diets, supplements, lifestyle changes based on advice from the books that you are reading, blogs or well-meaning friends and relatives, but without the professional guidance of a health coach or a practitioner, especially in the functional medicine arena.  the personalization is missing and the personalization has to be, uh, you know, to your body's unique needs and requirements and root causes, and you are not seeing much progress or maybe even explored alternative or holistic therapies like acupuncture, massage, or herbs, right? Herbal medications, etc. and while these can certainly be helpful, they aren't often enough on their own to fully resolve complex chronic conditions such as autoimmune disease. So the issue is that isolated surface level interventions usually fall short. If you don't have a comprehensive root cause roadmap to guide your healing process, right. That's where the problem arises.

But in this in this episode, I'm sharing with you four actionable strategies that you can start implementing today, right now to manage your autoimmune challenges with courage and hope. And this is going to be quite, uh, easy for you to implement them. I've made it as simple as possible and this is something that helped us when we were dealing with our daughter's health issues. This is certainly helped. A client of mine, when she came to me, she had, um, many severe symptoms, a couple of autoimmune conditions. She was not able to take a bath because of she had a skin issue. Also, she was not able to go to work. So all of those things were also going on at that time. And just by doing some of these very, very basic things to begin with, gave her enough confidence, gave her the, uh, the jumpstart that she needed and gave her body the jumpstart it needed to do much more heavy work in the future.

So this is where you can get started to. So, number one, the first actionable strategy that I want to share with you is support your body's healing process. I talk about it all the time, but I don't think, uh, you know, we talk about it enough. Your body has an incredible innate ability to heal and restore balance. And by focusing on nourishing your natural defense mechanisms, you can work with your body's symptoms to improve your health outcomes. This is where personalization comes in. This is where cultivating a mindset of hope and empowerment comes in. So using using guided visualizations affirmations can really, really help you with all of this and get you going. And believing in your body's resilience is is gives you the power to create your unique healing path. Right. So for this you don't have to rely on others. And that's the reason I chose this as the first actionable strategy that you can take, because you might need a more guidance for diet, supplements, etc. for this you can get started today. And two of my favorite books on this topic is of course, and I've shared this before in earlier podcast, You Can Heal Your Life by Louis. Hey, that's brilliant affirmations and open your eyes to the power of self healing. And another book which I also love. It's called Why People Don't Heal and How They Can by Carolyn Miss. It will open your eyes to a lot of things about victimhood, about not taking responsibility for your healing, etc. so check that out.

The second actionable strategy that I want to share with you today is to take small steps every day. Again, another very underrated and underutilized strategy or a tool. Uh, you know, consistency is key here for any any positive change that you want to make. Consistency is really critical and real lasting transformation, which is permanent change that you want in your life. Permanent or lasting relief. Lasting results happens one small step at a time. And instead of feeling overwhelmed, focus on making achievable, gradual changes to your diet, lifestyle and mindset. All three are important. It's not enough to focus on diet, not enough to focus on lifestyle. You also have to focus on your thoughts, your mindset. And these little shifts will translate to big results over time. And this is the power of real transformation. And I call it transformative healing. And my clients see this all the time. The one word that they use at the end of the program, when they work with me for six months, for a year or a year and a half, when I asked them for their feedback, you know, they say that transformation and it felt almost effortless. So what you can do is set micro goals for yourself in areas like sleep. If you're struggling with sleep movement, maybe stress management, maybe drinking more water. the other day, only I was talking to a client and, you know, uh, she was she's been working with me, but she had undergone a couple of treatments, so there was a break, and she was struggling with not having enough water, so she was having a bit of headache. And also we went we went to the root. And we discussed a few strategies just to get more water. And it could be just putting a bit of mint leaves in your water to make it more appetizing. Uh, freshly squeezed, you know, cut lemon. Maybe your tangerine or an orange in your water. Uh, you know, buying those glass bottles which tell you how much you have been drinking and sort of, you know, motivate you to drink more. So there's so many different, you know, very, very simple but very, very effective strategies and celebrate each win small win along the way. Like if you start doing these things and you see the results, you know, and just celebrating that gives you the encouragement and the motivation to keep going. And you're smart. Goal setting can be really, really effective.

As health coaches, we are trained to, uh, you know, brainstorm this with our clients. If you don't know what Smart goal is about S for specific make this goal very specific M is measurable. You should be able to measure it. Like I said hydration. You should be able to measure that you're drinking water you know, finishing three bottles. You know, that is very, very much measurable is actionable or attainable. That means it should be practical and possible to attain this. Of course, in the case of hydration, this example, it is very possible to achieve this. A is realistic. Again making sure that it is a goal not to have seven glass bottles of water. You don't need to do that making realistic like how much can you actually do? And maybe you have a mix of 2 or 3 bottles of water and maybe some coconut water or something else. You mix and match that, right? That makes sense. And T is timely when you start. You start tomorrow, you start today, you start the day after. So, uh, smart goal setting can be a good way of helping you take small steps every day. This is the second actionable strategy.

The first actionable strategy was support your body's healing process. The second actionable strategy is take small steps every day.

The third actionable strategy is to nourish your body. I don't think we do that enough. And I'm not talking about only physical nourishment. Uh, here, uh, the even though the focus is on food is medicine, right? Nutrients can make a really powerful ally in your healing process. It will help in lowering inflammation. It will help in supporting your immune health and bringing it back to balance. And that's what you really want in the case of autoimmune conditions. But pretty much in the case of any disease that has immune dysregulation at the root, including my daughter's eczema. That has immune dysregulation. So experiment with anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense diet. Um, you know, and the simplest way that you can start doing this by is eating the rainbow diet. So fill your plate with a vibrant, uh, array of colorful fruits and vegetables, like make it as simple as possible. Have those, uh, 6 or 7 different, you know, uh, colors of vegetables in mind. You can get it off the internet and you can print it out and keep it with you and making sure that over the week, it's not going to be possible to probably have all of them in one day, all the different six seven colors. But over the course of one week, you can certainly do that. And making sure that you're having all kinds of fruits and vegetables. Focus more on the vegetables, especially if you're going if you have blood sugar imbalances. So that's nourishing your body. And you can of course, self-care can be the other part of it where you can take care of your body and, you know, uh, take enough rest if you need to. That's the other part, right? That's the more emotional take care of emotional needs. So all of that. But that's the third actionable strategy.

And the fourth strategy is practice radical self-care. See, chronic stress is a major driver of any chronic condition, including autoimmune disease and specifically autoimmune flares. Right. When you're going through a very stressful time, you will see that your flares are more frequent, more intense. So making self-care a non-negotiable part of your daily routine can help you to build the resilience that you need and even find ease even on the hardest days. So. And you need to make this, uh, part of your life, especially when you're not going through a flare. When you're going through a flare, you may not have the energy or the, you know, bandwidth to do this, but if you can do it throughout in between your flare. So when the flare comes, you're able to deal with it in a much better manner, right? So bookend your days with a morning and evening self-care ritual. I talk about morning routine a lot. I talk about evening routine a lot and just starting your day with a few minutes of mindfulness meditation. Gentle stretching journaling can make a huge impact to the beginning of your day and ending your day with a soothing bath. If you know if that makes sense for you, or a calming cup of herbal tea, or a book, or lighting and incense, and again, doing some stretches or a gentle yoga before bedtime can again end your night. And even gratitude meditation journaling can make a huge impact. So find some ways to bookend your days. So which is your morning and your evening before bedtime That makes a a huge difference. These small moments can actually, you know, add up over a period of time and lead to huge results.

 So the four actionable strategies that I mentioned today is, number one, support your body's healing process. Number two, take small steps every day. Number three, nourish your body. And number four, practice radical self-care.

 So these strategies will help you to harness the inner wisdom that you already possess inside that your body has, and the resilience so that you can, you know, manage and deal with, cope with any autoimmune challenge that comes up, any kind of challenge, really. And even if it is not health related, even that because you have everything that you need within you to heal, that's what you need to keep in mind. 

So why is it so important? Why is it that you need to embrace strategies that I have just mentioned here, that I've shared with you these four strategies? Because you need to. You need to believe that you deserve to feel empowered and in control of your health journey, and that it is possible for you. A lot of us actually get into this self-limiting belief or limiting belief that you know it's not going to be possible to take charge because, you know, my life seems out of control, or my health seems out of control, or my body seems out of control. That's actually not true. By doing, you know, implementing some of these, working with your body and learning how to allow it to be a guide can help you to tap into a deep well of resilience and strength, especially on the days that you needed the most. 

So believing in your own capacity to heal is a major catalyst in your healing journey. So that is that is the first thing. And that is why it's so important to, you know, have these kind of strategies in your life as a part of your healing regimen, apart from whatever else you might be doing.

 Then secondly, the consistency is key when it comes to managing chronic health issues, right? You it's not about doing something one off like a self-care strategy, or maybe just having doing a morning routine a couple of days a week, taking care of yourself or practicing self-care once in a while when you feel like it or when you. It's not about that. It is about focusing on small, achievable steps every single day because you are trying to set yourself up for sustainable progress rather than overwhelm, frustration and failure. That's what you want to do. You want to see progress, even if it's the tiniest progress that you're making. And I often tell my clients it doesn't matter as long as you're taking baby steps in the right direction, even if it's these tiny steps, you know, just like a baby. And you discovering the foods that support you while you are doing all this, which is nourishing your body, can give you the energy that you need. It can take care of your mental fog, the brain fog, maybe. You know, I think the vitality that comes in when you have the right foods, uh, that makes, you know, that brings you, uh, the joy, the confidence in your body. It suits your nervous system. And because you're trying to build a strong foundation for resilience and vitality and inner peace and food plays a huge part in that. You know, there is a. Connection between your gut and your brain. What affects the gut affects your brain. What affects your brain affects your gut. So making sure that this connection, uh, you know, you are taking care of both, which is the mind body space that we're talking about, which is what my program, Healing From Within is all about. Uh, that's what I talk about all the time. Uh, so you need to focus on both. One or the other is not enough. But again, here's the thing.

 Knowledge alone is also not enough, right? To truly transform your health outcomes. You need to take consistent action and stay accountable to your goals. And I shared with you one way that you can do that, which is by setting Smart goals. And without the right support and guidance, it's too easy to fall off track. To to fall back into the old patterns because you have not really changed your ways. You have not really adopted or developed healthier habits.  

And you want to see sustainable results, lasting relief. And that's why finding a trusted mentor and a supportive community can make all the difference in your healing journey. Uh, just by surrounding yourself with people on a similar journey in a, you know, similar space, who can understand what you're going through, who can understand the challenges, and who can then cheer you on and, you know, support you, encourage you every step of the way is absolutely priceless. And you don't have to figure it all out on your own. With the right tools, strategies, and support system in place, you can absolutely take charge of your healing journey. Take charge of your health. You know, getting control of what's happening to you. No matter what condition you have, no matter what disease you have, no matter what situation you are in, it's just up to you to take the first courageous step. 

And I hope that this podcast episode has given you that hope and that courage and the conviction to start taking those baby steps today. If you have any questions, you can connect with me on Instagram at the rate. And indeed to thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Embrace Your Embrace Your Healing Journey.

 If you want to surround yourself with people who understand your challenges, who can lift you up, inspire you, motivate you, uh, you know, on your healing path? Then join our free Facebook community by the same name. Embrace Your Healing Journey podcast, a safe space for women with autoimmune and other chronic conditions who want to start making plans again. In the next episode, I will talk about feeling unheard. We don't talk about it a lot, right? If you have been feeling unheard dismissed, uh, I would share, uh, steps to finding your voice and healing. Don't miss it. Your body knows how to heal. Are you ready to support it?