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Updated: Aug 3
There are some really basic things that might be affecting your mental health
It can be so easy to get caught up in day to day life and ignore your own needs until you just feel totally off.. Guilty!!!!
After years of juggling running my own company, motherhood, and feeling like I was always on the go… I found myself feeling exhausted and burnt out and, I couldn’t figure out why. I started contacting health coaches, googling my symptoms, listening to podcasts, & scowering the local barnes and nobles aisles for an answer.. I even bought a book titled Why Am I So Effing Tired… After crackling it open I learned about learning about gut health, immune health and hormones. I learned just how delicate the female body is and how everything can be thrown out of whack if these aspects of health are not taken care of.
I also picked up the SLEEP edition of the magazine Real Simple and started reading about all the really important processes that happen while we sleep. I learned that there are lots of unhealthy symptoms that result from not getting enough sleep as well. Here are a few biggies:
1) lower levels of serotonin (which increases depression)
3) immune dysregulation
4) increased anxiety & depression
In the fast paced society and culture the we Americans live in, it is so easy to overlook things as basic as good sleep hygiene. It is an absolute necessity. I think back to my early twenties when i was in college and out into the wee hours of the night with my sorority sisters– oh how times have changed. Now there are so much more responsibilities on my plate. From motherhood.. Aka being responsible for another human being .. To running a business.. Taking care of my home.. And being a partner. It is SO easy for sleep to get put on the back burner.
After months of feeling tired almost all the time I began to become concerned and convinced that I might have an autoimmune disorder or some other health problem. I started asking myself why this was happening and whether I should believe the unsolicited comments from people around me that it was just a result of being a mom & having a busy life, and that it was “NORMAL”. Being exhausted all the time is not NORMAL. I didn’t settle for that lie and you shouldn’t either.
Have you ever had a problem and pondered into what the big existential meaning is ? me either, I never do that, ;). My growing curiosity and determination to fix this issue led me to continue my hunt for answers. In this technological age of information, we tend to use things like web MD and google to feed our thirst for knowledge. This can be overstimulating and overwhelming. Were we really meant to be presented with so much information so much of the time? What happened to stopping to smell the roses, and other simplicities of life? As I kept reading I wondered… Could the reason I have been feeling like a character from the walking dead be as simple as I am not getting enough sleep? Yes Point blank. Period. The end.
It appears so.. After prioritizing sleep and getting 4 consecutive nights of solid sleep lasting 7+ hours I feel like a new me. Am I suggesting that this is the answer to all of your energy drain problems, absolutely not. But I am suggesting it is a huge and largely overlooked part of the equation…
For many of us sleep isn’t the only thing that will solve our energy drain and other physical and mental health issues. FYI I just began meeting with a functional medicine practitioner last week because now I am so interested in learning about gut health and horomones and what else I can do to optimize my health and my energy levels. After becoming a mama and entering my 30s with grand plans of all the things I still want to do, I can think if nothing better than diving deeper into my health and becoming the best version of me that I can.
I’ll share with you some solid suggestions she’s already given me or I’ve found through my own research for getting optimal sleep:
– At sundown use blue light blocking glasses (the blue light from your TV, phone, computer and even light bulbs tell your body it is time to be awake and your body produces cortisol as a result instead of melatonin) ** make sure they are from a reputable brand
– Change your display setting on your phone to reduce blue light on a nightly schedule
– Use a relaxation app like Calm or Synctuition
– Use Blackouts Curtains
– Sleep in a room that is 63 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit
– Reduce stimulants like coffee or other highly caffeinated drinks after mid day
– get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night (for adults, children need more)
Remember, you have more control over your well-being than you might think. In the holistic wellness triangle we must consider the 3 major areas of well being that need to function in tandem with one another: Mental, physical, and spiritual.
If you suffer from anxiety or trauma, please visit my site and we will help you find the right therapist for you HolisticMentalHealthNYC.com, We offer online sessions from the comfort of your own home & specialize in somatic techniques that remove trauma and stress from the body.
If religion is not for you or you are looking for a new addition to your spiritual routine I highly recommend Transcendental Meditation. I started meditating in 2009 and I never stopped, it has helped me so much. There are also so many proven health benefits like reducing anxiety, pain and depression. You can start with downloading a mediation app, a YouTube video or search for a meditation center in your area. I took a free transcendental meditation course at the Sri Chinmoy Center in NYC and it was life changing.
Unfortunately we currently have a broken health system that focuses on treating symptoms rather than preventing them. I highly recommend seeking out a trusted functional medicine practitioner that will run lab tests on all your hormone levels and other important biological functions. They can help guide you about nutrition choices, lifestyle choices, and making sure your body is properly nourished and supported.
For being part of this Holistic Wellness Community. I often find that the struggles we encounter in life become so valuable in helping guide others that come across these same challenges after us. I am grateful to be able to offer you my knowledge and support in creating the life you deserve to live.
– Lucia Falcone
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