Great Advice From Dr. Christiane Northrup
Last week Siobhan shared an article from Prevention with our dear friend Anna and me. It was written by Dr Christiane Northrup, a woman who has been a teacher to all three of us at different times in our lives, and for different reasons. If you have yet to read Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, you’re in for an eye-opening treat. This woman gets women.
And while it’s not exactly news, it always bears repeating: Real beauty is the hard-won result of self-love and self-care. Sure, it’s clean products, lots of veggies, yoga and piloxing (still my fave!)… But how many of us truly take care of ourselves in a deeper, holistic (and consistent) way? Yeah.
“Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that consistent, thoughtful self-care is the single most important aspect of our health, period, ” says Northrup in the piece. Below are highlights from her recommended ways to care for yourself. How many of them do you practice?
1. Express your needs.
So many people I know, myself included, have a really hard time asking for help and support. I don’t think this is exclusive to women, but we certainly live with the perception that we should be able to handle everything and execute without a glitch. According to Northrup: “Unmet needs create stress, and stress produces toxic hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine, that cause inflammation and suppress our immune systems. So it’s vital to learn to ask for what we need.”
2. Listen to your body
When you’re hungry do you eat? When you’re tired do you rest? Do you do things because they feel good or because you think that you should? Here Northrup tells a great personal story about growing up in a family of athletes: “They were fabulous role models for physical health, but that go-go-go approach was not my style. It wiped me out and drained my energy. I felt guilty about that for years, until I discovered activities that work for my body. I fell in love with Pilates, a stretching-and-strengthening program that has made me stronger, thinner, and even taller. That kind of exercise fuels rather than drains me.”
3. Face uncomfortable feelings
This one’s a toughie, but a goodie because we believe in these parts that unexpressed feelings have a way of staying in the body and wreaking havoc. Northrup agrees: “Facing your emotions helps you process them and get rid of them. Ignoring them, on the other hand, keeps you stuck emotionally and can contribute to physical problems, from fatigue to migraines. So pummel a pillow, cry, shout, throw things. Movement, tears, and making sounds are all nature’s way of moving your emotions up and out of the body.”
She also advises to see age simply as a number, and to live life by your values. You can read the entire wonderful article here. Does her advice ring true for you?