Grab the must have "Autoimmune healing toolkit"
Feb. 26, 2024

E14 | 3 essential practices to build your coping toolkit amidst fluctuating health

E14 | 3 essential practices to build your coping toolkit amidst fluctuating health

Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed by your health conditions?

You might be making the effort to keep up with life's demands despite your symptoms, but find that it only backfires, leaving you more exhausted and frustrated.

Let's face the truth together and learn how to turn your struggles into stepping stones toward wellness.

In this episode, I share my own experiences around navigating our daughter's health issues, and the frustrations and isolation that can come with constantly shifting health.

I also talk about the importance of building emotional resilience and incorporating functional medicine principles to address the underlying causes of health issues.

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

  • The power of self-compassion in building emotional resilience and how it can positively impact your healing journey
  • How viewing your body as an ally rather than an adversary can transform your approach to health and wellness
  • Practical steps to meet stress with softness, allowing you to use stress as a tool for growth rather than a barrier

By incorporating these essential practices into your daily routine, you can build emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual resilience, creating sustainable support for your healing journey.

If you want to learn how to do this and create a loving, healing environment by connecting with your body and empowering yourself with tools such as self compassion, gratitude, journaling, mindfulness then the free ebook “Autoimmune healing toolkit” is for you!

Head to aninditarungta.com/toolkit


OTHER LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Episode 1: How I healed my daughter’s severe health issues when conventional medicine failed

Episode 12:
Why Doctors Don't Have All the Answers

Book: “Wild hope” by Donna Ashworth


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A must listen for anyone dealing with such chronic illnesses or anyone looking at improving their overall health and wellness” <– If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing my show! Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then be sure to let me know what you loved most about the episode!

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LEARN MORE FROM ANINDITA

@aninditarungta | nourish heal connect | Embrace Your Healing Journey

Chapters

03:32 - Healing is not linear

04:59 - Being stuck in a "disease merry-go-round"

06:13 - Struggling with health challenges and building resilience

08:02 - Why having a toolkit is very helpful

10:02 - Practicing self compassion

10:43 - Here are some affirmations to get you started

12:38 - What if....

13:56 - Here are 3 ways that you can meet stress with softness

Transcript

 In today's podcast episode, I'm going to share with you three essential practices that you can add to your coping toolkit to manage any health challenges that come your way without fear or anxiety. In simple, manageable ways.

That's all coming up right here on Embrace Your Healing Journey podcast. Stay tuned. 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 these 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. During 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.

So in each episode, I share pieces of inspiring poems, stories, quotes that may help you to draw strength from and stay motivated on your healing journey. They have certainly helped me. And for today, here's an excerpt from the poem

 A Day is Not Lost from the book Wild Hope by Donna Ashworth.

A day is not lost if you fail to tick off a list or a diet was broken.
A day is only lost if you forgot to say something kind to yourself or another.
A day is only lost if you forgot that life, even in the worst of times, is still a gift, a gift.
 You very much deserve to live through and not just survive.


So now back to today's episode. I know how isolating and frustrating it can feel when your health is constantly shifting. I walked in your shoes. I remember a time when my daughter's health issues were so bad that we were in the doctor's clinic almost every other day or every other week, a definitely, um, and both her dermatologist and pediatrician would try and put out these little fires that would come on every now and then. I mean, every time we met them, we were, uh, dealing with some infection or, uh, you know, a increase in the dryness. Then another day, it would be that to just stop her from scratching so badly every few days. We had these little fires. Every single day we were dealing with them. And every few days we would be going to the doctor just to try and figure out what medications would actually help to make the symptoms and the situation more bearable.
And somehow it was never enough.

I mean, we've we tried endless number of creams, ointments, everything. And she was already on oral immune suppressing medications. And also at one time, because of one particular medication, she had to have a blood draw every Saturday, uh, just so that they could monitor her kidney health.  All these medications have side effects. And our life was consumed by putting out these fires all the time. And each one we did put out one another, one would crop up, and it seemed like nothing was working. And it was very easy to get trapped in a downward spiral of negative thoughts.

But over time, I learned how to deal with this negativity so that I could help her deal with the kind of stress that we were going through. That I could support my family's mental and emotional health as well. And we, you know, I learned how to make this mindset shift and build emotional resilience. And that's what I'm going to talk about today so that we could cope right from, you know, and just manage day to day living. And I also realized that healing is not linear. And we uh, incorporated functional medicine principles. And, you know, I decided addressing her gut health, that was actually the root of all her issues. And I've you know, I've talked about this in episode one, I think, and, um, you know, and we started seeing improvements, but the improvement were not really linear.

So it's not like every day we could see improvements, uh, or, you know, and expecting constant progress is not really natural. And it only sets you up for disappointment and frustration. So all of these things we also had to deal with. Right, while everything else was going on, while we were putting out these fires. But we were trying medications, trying functional medicine, making changes. We also had to deal with the emotional and mental aftermath. And the three practices that I'm going to share with you today. Will made a huge difference to us and helped us to cope with those challenging times and also stay committed on the path.  As I said, it's a it's a long it's it's a path. It's a marathon and not a sprint. And that is what helped us to stay on track and get her off medications after two long years.

So maybe you have been taking medications for more than one year to manage your symptoms, but your health has deteriorated over the years. Like you've seen more symptoms cropping up. Or maybe you are just exhausted and tired trying to figure out what's wrong with your body, and you feel angry and disrespected by your own body. Or maybe you've stopped making plans anymore because you're at the mercy of unpredictable symptoms, and so you are stuck not knowing what to do or where to go next. And this is what I call being stuck in a disease merry go round because you're going round and round in circles, trying to find the answers, and you keep waiting and hoping that someone will be able to give you some answers, or the doctors will give you some solution that will bring an end to all your health problems. And yet, the symptoms keep on increasing as you wait for the solution to come, or the cure to come, or that miracle drug to come. 1s Um, what I want you to understand is this. It's not so much a lack of effort on your part or the doctor, or lack of commitment on your part, or maybe even the doctor. It is more like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

The approach that we are taking, the conventional approach of disease management simply fails when it comes to finding long term relief from chronic conditions like autoimmune disease by resolving root causes. And in fact, in episode 12, which is "Why doctors don't have all the answers", I go deep into this topic and I will share it in the show notes below. So you may have already tried various things. You know you've tried to cope with these fluctuating symptoms and predictable symptoms and all these health challenges that come your way. For example, you might push yourself to keep up with your responsibilities as a as a mother, as a wife, as a, you know, professional or even, uh, you know, keep up with the plans that you have made even when you are hit with fatigue, pain and other symptoms, but trying to ignore and override what your body desperately needs only backfires and only makes things worse. Or you may bottle up fear and anxiety when you get bad news from a doctor rather than processing it, which in turn can lead to feelings of hopelessness and dread and uncertainty about the future. Or you may even really yourself into thinking only positive thoughts for a while. When you have setbacks, instead of treating yourself with some compassion and forgiving yourself for any guilt that you may have for not being able to do things, play with your child, clean your house, you know, complete your chores.

And the problem is that none of these approaches teach you how to truly build resilience, not only at a physical level, but also at a mental and emotional level. So instead of, you know, using this approach, which is not really working for you, you can implement small daily practices. And I call these essential for a reason because they can really make a huge difference at the root level, because they can anchor and restore you, and you can create rituals that transform how you, you know, respond to symptoms, how you respond to your health challenges in the long term. We are talking about these small things that you do every single day that actually add up.

So here are three essential practices that you can use to build a coping toolkit. And I call it a toolkit for a reason. It's like having different tools at your disposal so that you can actually find the tool that you need at a particular time to, you know, use. Right. Because you can have if you have tools of mindfulness, if you have tools of self-compassion, gratitude, breathing, journaling, you know, all kinds of self-care. You know, all of these are different tools that you can use at different times. And you will figure out what do you need to use when. And that helps you to take control of your healing and stop feeling like a powerless victim. So the first essential practice that I want to share with you is self-compassion. 1s Research shows that those who treat themselves with compassion tend to be happier, have more life satisfaction, have better relationships and less mental health issues, and more importantly, as far as you are concerned. Uh, it also helps cultivate resiliency.

So when you're dealing with stressful health issues or any kind of challenges for that matter, practicing self-compassion on a regular basis can work wonders. And  I'm going to share one way. There are many different ways. And I talk about it, and I help my clients through it. In my, uh, coaching program, healing from within, uh, self-compassion actually runs through the entire program. One way that I'm going to share with you today is how you can treat yourself as a friend, because you deserve to feel better when you're facing difficult moments or challenges in your life. And your suffering is not a personal flaw, but a natural instinct that is a part of being human. So the more open hearted you can be towards yourself, the more you will feel connected with the rest of the world. So the less you will feel isolated, the less you will feel cut off. And even when you're going through a very challenging time and being kind to yourself is actually the foundation for genuine kindness towards others. But that's a story for another day. So practicing self-compassion actually helps you to deal with the guilt, helps you to deal with the challenges that it inevitably crop up when you're dealing with any kind of challenge, right? Be it health or otherwise, and treating yourself like a friend. Uh, maybe writing a letter to yourself, but just showing compassion like you would a friend is very, very powerful. So here are some affirmations that you can use to get started, right? You can just simply repeat them whenever you want, whenever you're feeling, uh, low, upset, you know, uh, angry with yourself, maybe your body disrespected by your body. Uh, these are some affirmations that you know, that you can, you know, use to get started. The first one is I accept the best and worst aspects of who I am. I accept the best and worst aspects of who I am. Changing is never simple, but it's easier if I stop being hard on myself. Changing is never easier, but it's never simple. But it's easier if I stop being hard on myself. My mistakes show just show that I am growing and learning my mistakes. Just show that I'm growing and learning. It's okay to make mistakes and forgive myself. It's okay to make mistakes and forgive myself. It's safe for me to show kindness back to myself. It's safe for me to show kindness to myself. I deserve compassion, tenderness, and empathy for myself. I deserve compassion, empathy, and kindness for myself. If you need, you can go back, pause, and just write down the affirmations so that and I'll actually show it in the show notes so that you don't have to remember all this and you can practice it.

The second essential practice that I want to share with you today is to make your body your friend. This thing that we have of fighting against our body, this adversarial approach costs us dearly, and it blinds us to the fact that we cannot separate our bodies from all these conditions or diseases. We have one body, one home that we know, one physical home on this earth, so we cannot separate ourselves from that. So by constantly fighting us and we are only just getting exhausted because we can't win this fight. So if we are in because we fear constantly in battle, then we are at war with our bodies too. And that's a battle that you can never hope to win. So ask yourself, what if instead, I used a different language and I had a gentler and kinder relationship with my body? So you can jot this down again and repeat it again. What if instead I used a different language and had a gentler and kinder relationship with my body?

And finally, the last essential practice is meet stress with softness. So stress is an inherent part of life. And if you're dealing with any kind of chronic conditions on a day to day basis, which affects your life on a day to day basis, you are dealing with a lot of stress, chronic stress, in fact, and stress. What you need to understand is stress is what arises when something about you of something you care about is at stake. So it may be your body, maybe your life, it may be your kids. That's that's when actually, you know, the stress crops up and you don't really stress about things that you don't care about. But you also can't create a meaningful life without experiencing some stress. That is the reason that we decide to have children, in spite of all the stresses that, you know, being a parent brings us because it is worth it is worth all that stress, right? So it's about the meaning that comes out of that. And stress is inevitable and your body is designed for it. The problem is chronic stress, that stress which never goes away. And that's an unfortunate part of dealing with a. In all chronic illness on a day to day basis. So here are three, uh, things that you can do.

Three steps that you can take to deal with stress with softness.

The first step that you can take is to acknowledge stress when you experience it. Do not run away from your emotions. Do not run away from uncomfortable, uncomfortable thoughts feelings. So just simply acknowledge that you're going through a stressful time.

The second step is to welcome the stress by recognizing that it is a response to something you care about that will really change things for you, rather than trying to eradicate, eliminate. See if you can. Nothing like it, but most of us can't. When you're dealing with these kind of health issues, stress doesn't just simply vanish because you want it to. So the second step is to welcome the stress by recognizing that it's response, something that you care about. So it might be that you care about that you're you know, you're not able to make plans anymore. You care about not being able to spend time with your children anymore. You care about not being able to go out and dance anymore. It can be many different things that you care about and that's why you feel so stressed.

And the third step is to make use of the energy that stress gives you instead of wasting the energy trying to eradicate your stress. So, um, you know, one way, a one very one example that I can give you right now is, uh, you know, when you are about to give a presentation, uh, if somebody is about to give a presentation or get up on a stage and they're really stressed and anxious, one way to look at it is that they are actually, uh, you know, uh, the reason that they're stress is because they want to do a good job and because they want to sort of help others like it's I'll take my example. In fact, when I first started, uh, doing these, uh, the live sessions and I used to get very stressed, uh, about, you know, starting off and how I would look and, you know, how I would, how people would react and you know, all of that.  but then I started focusing on the people that I'm serving, the reason that I'm doing this, and the stress actually was much more manageable than trying. If I was trying to put it all together. Right. You can. So I'm just giving you an example that might help you to think of stress in a different way.

So I shared with you three essential practices, uh, that you can start doing today. One is practicing self-compassion. The second thing, second thing is to make your body your friend. And the third thing is to meet stress with softness. And practicing self-compassion is vital because it builds emotional resilience from the inside out. Because when you treat yourself with kindness and understanding, you can actually manage stress better in the long run. It also enables you to be gentle with yourself during challenging times, instead of spiraling down into shame or guilt, which are far more, uh, negative emotions and situations that are far more difficult to deal with. And it really helps you to transform how you respond to setbacks, right?

Setbacks are an inevitable part of life, and making your body your friend is crucial to when you come from a place of working with your body cooperatively, like like a team, then healing actually becomes a team effort, and this empowers you to tune in to signals, catch you know, issues early on and prevent symptoms in the long run and nurturing your skin.  It's really game changing to have your body on your side as an ally. And this forms the crux of my own coaching program, healing from within, because it is actually based on a three pillar of body wise healing framework. So the entire premise is this that you can actually, if you're a guy, if you allow yourself to be guided by your body, your life can transform, your health can transform. Um, finally, meeting stress with softness is really important.

See, stress is inevitable. But if you can make use of the energy rather than try and fight it, then you can actually, uh, you know, uh, you can actually transform your relationship with, uh, with stress and you can control how you react to it. That's what you do. You don't, you don't, you can't if you can't really remove the stress from your life, if you can, then do it. But if you can't, then but you can control how you relate to stress. And the reason is these practices matter so much is that they build emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual resilience in ways that are interconnected, and they sustain you from the inside out, and they can all make all the difference when you are experiencing, uh, you know, uh, setbacks, symptoms, challenges, as you go through your healing journey and, um, yeah, that's that's what I have to share with you today.

If you have any questions, you can connect with me on Instagram at at the rate and indeed the router. And thank you so much for joining me today for this episode of embracing. Embrace your Healing Journey.

If you want to learn how to do this, you know, build the essential, uh, practices, cultivate these rituals, then you can actually download my free Autoimmune Healing Toolkit. You can head to an aninditarungta.com/toolkit. And you can download this free guide and it'll help you to do just that in the next episode I will talk about how you can move from surviving to thriving using the power of functional medicine. Don't miss it. 

Your body knows how to heal. Are you ready to support it?