Updated: Sep 18, 2020
I’m a solutions person now. Not one of those whiny, complainy, tell ya about all your problems kinda people my family thinks I am. No. I will only be providing solutions from this moment forward. Solutions that, plainly put, will make your life less problematic. Here are five ways to make life better for the person in a terrible rut.
1) Keep Warm
The first solution I have pertains to mobility. A reminder of sorts of how important it is to keep our bodies warm, why with the winter months on the rise, even more so, especially for those of us with preexisting injuries or autoimmune diseases. As old injuries can be some of the more achey bits when the temperature begins to drop.
I personally use a lot of leg warmers in the winter months, and take regular soaks in the tub, or even just run my legs beneath warm water throughout the day. This also helps to get my energy up, as the cold tends to make me stiff, and so, sad. For people suffering from autoimmune diseases pertaining to the thyroid, make sure you keep several scarves on hand to keep around your neck at all times throughout the fall and winter.
If this or any more tender area/s gets cold it can be very problematic for a chronically ill person.
Drink tea or warm herbal remedies two to three times daily, targeting the time of day when you generally get the most tired but slightly before. It can be challenging for the very depressed or exhausted person to even attempt a cup of tea. So be sure to get the nourishment in when you have those little spurts of energy.
2) Keep Hydrated Without Over-Hydrating
We’ve all heard it before, how important it is to drink lots of water. But is it…?
Did you know there are entire regions of people who feel different about water consumption?
That’s right, there are quite a lot of cultures besides that of westerner, for starters, and also many who do not agree that drinking copious amounts of water is particularly great for us.
For instance, I once had a tennis coach who was from Africa. He had an incredible story as to why he ended up here, which I will reserve for his protection. But in short, the man was absolutely brilliant. He had the healthiest smile, and was always smiling in fact. He also had a great deal of energy, and held a beautiful way of looking at life.
He once told me “life was as easy is sipping out of this glass”, as he demonstrated an effortless sip from a grape juice bottle. He taught me a lot about moderation and how a glass of juice should be much smaller and really treated as like a sort of treat. He also told me something that few of you heroic method practitioners are wishing to hear.
It was that we all drink too much water. And that’s why so many people actually struggle with their weight. That much of the weight overwhelm people experience is in fact from their over hydrating.
I have in recent years heard Sadhguru mention another concern with over hydrating, a concern that is prevalent throughout India, which is that the overconsumption of water, and more specifically, the sipping of a water bottle all day verses drinking when our thirst response alarms us, we can begin to retain water in the brain. In turn making the brain feel foggy and sluggish, as this water retention is known to dilute our sodium levels. The brain needs hydration, but it needs a hearty amount of sodium and fat for it to function with clarity.
The tip here is, when we're thirsty, THAT'S when we need water. Or rather, a nourishing herbal infusion (which we'll talk about momentarily). Drinking until the thirst subsides. And if you feel it may be awhile before you drink again, why simply drink ten percent more.
One more reference just to put a little more diversity and weight in to this line of awareness, Susun Weed who we all know and love is also a huge advocate of not drinking water at all.
Yes, you read that correctly. No water. Not for drinking anyhow. But she will advocate infusing water with plant nutrients. Herbal remedies some of you will recognize, like nettle, comfrey, oat straw, red clover and linden.
You know what I’m going to say. “Yogically” speaking (as spell correct still will not register “yogically” as a real word), it is never really encourage to drink a whole lot of water. Though salt water is often used for cleansing the canals, herbs and teas are often the primary source of hydration. Some yogis even consider the consumption of water to be Dehydrating. As no plant or animal in nature would feel the need for such purging/cleansing.
Vitamins and minerals can be hard earned for some of us. So the questions is, why would one wish to flush these hard earned minerals away? The idea is to store minerals so we don't end up having a broken hip at eighty from tripping over one step. Continuously peeing and sweating does not support wellness as we age. Nor does keeping cholesterol low. We need cholesterol to support us through illness. Slightly elevated cholesterol in our middle ages on up may be natures way of showing us how much she supports us.
3) Make Vibrations With Your Voice
Wether or not you love to sing, everyone needs to use their voice. If you’re a singer or musician in general, you’re in luck. Much of what you’re already doing musically is a great attribute to your yogic practices. They are in essence themselves yogic practices.
For those who are not avid singers, you’re in luck too! As we have yogic practices specifically designed to open various subtle bodies which we call “nadis”, in which we have about 72,000. This can be done by making simple tones such as,”aaa”, “ooo”, “mmm” in equal measure. Try it next time you’re in the shower, begin to warm your vocals chords, as well as the 72,000 channels which stem from the solar plexus.
For people struggling with autoimmune diseases pertaining to the thyroid, there are a few things I would recommend doing to help enable the thyroid and the neighboring glands towards optimum function. The first one, your guessed it, is to sing more or even simply hum more. Making sure to get those positive vibrations up towards the jaw tongue and throat. In effect helping the brainwaves level out, inviting each hemisphere of the brain to work in unity.
This method can be utilized to gracefully put out a fit of anger and confusion, as well for the chronically ill, or for the chronically cognitive dissonant.
When in total despair, get a massage tool. I highly recommend the Hitachi Magic Wand…
4) Reach out to that one special person
This is a pretty important one. You’ll often find me talking about how breath is the forgotten nutrient. Well I would also fare to say that so is loving connection.
Many of the most chronically ill people we know are not sick from, or even dying from some mysterious, unsolvable condition. Many people can survive and live long happy lives, even whilst living with an autoimmune disease. Given they have the proper support, and at the very least, some form of self discipline that keeps their willpower charged.
It is often the lifestyle and support around a person that will encourage the path of the individual. Think about that for yourself right now. How you feel when you feel supported verses not having support. Or having energy to do things verses not having energy.
Truth is, we ARE energy. But our outer-space can greatly influence our willpower which is really the generator of our aspirations. When the willpower isn’t there it can be a real struggle to get the leg up. But with the proper support, even done in very small increments, the encouragement of another can "breath new life in to a person," as my dearest of friends so eloquently puts it. We’ve gotta take care of one another, and that’s the truth. While on the same token our advices can not be given too “preachfully," as I've just done here...
For my fellow advise givers, give advice how you would wish to receive it...
5) Dancin N' Cookin
You know I was going to find a way to squeeze a couple more yogic practices in there! Activities that are not only essential to our survival, but are actually very fun with the right jams and the right clothing.
As someone who despises pants and finds them drastically overrated, I personally love to wear barely legal clothing, accompanied by something warm, like long socks and scarves as mentioned above. This tiny clothing wearing allows me to keep a close eye on my figure, how I’m lookin and how I’m feelin' in clothes that generally make me feel pretty sexy.
On very cold mornings I’ve been sporting the good o’l fashioned long johns, and I’m not gonna lie, they’re pretty badass.
The nice thing about wearing one piece of fabric or even minimal clothing when possible, is that you can shake ya hips whilst cooking without worrying about any fabric catching on fire.
And when your legs and feet become inflamed from slaving away at the stove all day you can comfortably take a folded leaf and touch those little sausage toes. Spending a detailed emphasis on the rise as you’ll want to engage every available muscle you have there in the thighs and buttock.
Another truth is, if you find a point of interest to focus on strengthening, like the the abs or buttock, the surrounding areas are also going to benefit. So when I dance in the kitchen some of my favorite bits to focus on are the abs, hips, thighs and buttock. Kind of honing in on that mid-region like a salsa mama. Taking improv stretches whenever my body summons for it. This will also help to get some good healthy smiles and some much needed laughter in.
In summary, I invite you to nurture and have fun with your body. Enjoy being in it. It’s yours, and for but a pinprick of time...
Oceans of Love and Namaste,
~ Amber Martinez is a life yogi who creates daily through her passions of physical health, spiritual attainment and compassion to all. She teaches yoga therapeutically both online and in magical places like Sedona & Upstate NY. She is playful, personable and values sincere connections above all else - write in and say hello!
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