Updated: Jul 13
by Jana Janak
In September of 2021 I realized that I was not taking care of myself, in the toughest way possible. I was rushed to the emergency room and hospitalized for 3 days. I was given tons of meds and sent home. Confused by what had just happened to me, I knew major changes needed to happen in my life. Luckily I wasn't alone. Tim Jr, a team of doctors, and a therapist helped guide me through to recovery. Of course, being a puppet to all those puppeteers was not what I had in mind for my own life. I had to do my own research too, so I've been reading books and learning how to better take control of my own health. I learned that self-care is critical and although children, husbands and others in my care are important, I can't take care of them if I am not healthy myself.
Although I thought I was taking decent care of myself by eating mostly organic and exercising sometimes, there were huge holes in my self-care. Here are some things I learned: being consistent is key, I was ignoring foundational principals for good health, I experienced meditation does help relieve stress, taking vitamins along with medication is beneficial (oops!), and talk to a doctor early for signs of a problem. I wanted to review some of these things because if they are helpful to just one person who reads this then at least my words have affected one person in a positive way.
Being consistent with a self-care routine is key. This does not mean that you have to be perfect at it, but that you have to follow a routine more often than you do not follow it. Tim called this hitting the target. Like in archery sometimes we hit a bullseye and sometimes we don't, but being consistent is hitting the target most of the time. Even if you have a few wild arrows that do not hit the target does not mean that you should give up. The more you practice something the fewer stray arrows you have and the more bullseyes you hit. When Tim Jr was teaching me this, I knew what I needed to do. I set up a journal that helped me track my self-care habits. There were habits I could set and if I could at least do the minimum I was doing great and on target. I also could track if I did more than the minimum which was ok and I could track if I did less which was ok too, because in the end I could see that I was meeting my target more often than not.
Tim loves to talk about the 6 foundational principals of good health. Although I had heard him talking about these principals, I cherry picked what I did for my health. There were definitely parts of the foundational principals that I was ignoring. The 6 foundational principals are thinking - learning more about your dream, breathing - in through your nose and out through your mouth using your diaphragm, hydration - 1/2 your body weight in ounces, nutrition - eat whole foods (for me this also means that those dietary restrictions of gluten free and dairy free have to be followed), sleep - 7-8 hours each night, and movement - 20-30 minutes each day.
I had put my dream on hold to help raise my children. Although raising my children was part of my dream, I did not put any effort into my own learning. Sure, I got to share things that I already had learned, but I was not expanding my own mind towards my dream. I began pursuing knowledge both for my physical and my spiritual growth.
In the past, I did diaphragmatic breathing, but that was where it ended for me. I learned about meditation. Before, it had been just something extra that was more a suggestion and not something that I needed to do. I had not realized the benefits of meditation because I had made it a chore instead of a joy. I found, that when done right, meditation relieves stress. I had to go through some trial and error here because I realized that my mind needs someone else helping it to calm down and to focus on breathing (at least for now). I also found that I couldn't stand listening to some guided meditations and others were so helpful. So without giving up on the practice, I started looking for better ways for me to meditate. Being able to focus my mind on my body and my spirit I now love my meditation practice. I feel it helps calm my mind, helps me in my relationships be more forgiving quicker, allows me to be more calm, and connects me more deeply with the divine.
Although I drank mostly water before, I would often only get a cup or two in daily. I began to track my water intake. As I drank more water I could tell a difference in my digestion, my skin, and my overall health.
For me, nutrition has been a pain in my side. I have to eat dairy free and gluten free otherwise I end up irritable and bloated. In addition those symptoms, dairy and gluten also cause inflammation that is not as apparent, but affects my organs and hormones. Although I know this about myself, it is very inconvenient. I often would find every excuse as to why my health wasn't important and everyones opinion or their convenience mattered more than my restrictive diet. Now I have to put my health first and eat what is right for me. Now I set myself up for success by planning ahead cutting fruit ahead of time, preparing lunch while putting away dinner, and making sure I have healthy snacks nearby.
As for sleep, my sleep had gotten so sporadic. I would not go to sleep at a consistent time and I would wake in the middle of the night. My diet helped improve my sleep, but also taking the right amino acids helped me resolve the sleep issues that I was having.
The last of the foundational principals is movement. During this period of my life I was training for an extreme sport, hiking the Grand Canyon in one day. I was not physically ready for this type of extreme activity because I did not have a good healthy foundation. Moving can happen for two reasons cardiovascular/body health and mind health. Tim likes to call these working-out and working-in. I got on a better schedule and decided not to continue this extreme sport for now. I started working out daily and I also focused more on my breathing while working out so the toll exercise took on my body was not as extreme.
I have found that taking vitamins along with medication is beneficial. I know, no brainer for some of you, but I really struggled with the idea of being dependent on something besides myself. I also struggled with being consistent, I could not see/feel how these helped me. Now I know that there are things that can help me. If I set them up I can be consistent with taking them on a regular basis. Pill containers don't work on their own, but setting up a "stacked routine" helps with consistency. A stacked routine just means that I do X than I do Y. So, now before I hop into bed I take my pills. If I find myself in bed and I haven't taken my pills, I hop out of bed and take my pills (I try to stack my routine a little better than that). Now at least if I hop into bed without taking my pills I know I have to get out and take my pills. The consistency helped me feel and see the difference these things had on me. I also tracked how I was effected daily on a chart, which helped me more clearly see what was working and what was not working and I could make adjustments as needed. This also helped me with my doctor visits.
One thing I have added to my self care is Adaptive Cacao. It is full of adaptogens that help my body deal with the damaging effects of stress. See, stress also leads to inflammation which leads to more stress on the body in a never ending cycle to disease and dysfunction. Adaptogens help keep cortisol levels lower helping your mind-body allocate resources to rest, repair and growth.
Lastly, talk to a doctor early for signs of a problem. If I would have gone to my doctor earlier about that first symptom instead of waiting till it was unknowingly completely out of hand I might not of ended up in the emergency room that day. Take symptoms seriously and take care of yourself.
If you would like to know how to set up a better self-care routine contact Tim Janak Jr or Tim Janak Sr, they are trained Holistic Lifestyle Coaches and believe that the true balance of the body (mind, body, and Spirit) achieves health.
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