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Okay, so this post may be an interesting one. I have been looking into what 'experts' & the media tell us is a 'healthy' way to live our lives to maximise our health in our 20's.

Being 26.. I felt I should look into this age group.

As you all know I am trying to challenge my body at little. Fed up with playing safe & being maybe over curious I decided to push my body a little.

BUT what do the 'experts ', say?

I am no dietician, I am just a girl trying to live the best life she can & create as much happiness as possible.

This advice we must add is based on 'healthy' 20 something's but it doesn't mean that chronic illness sufferers can't relate or take some advice.

  1. A good relationship with alcohol.

Knowing your limits, not abusing it, drinking too much or too often.

Okay, so we have that ticked. I don't often drink at all & if I do its one or two because I know it's not great for my Lyme yet when it is my birthday or Christmas I want to enjoy myself a little. Is that a crime? I don't feel I fall down on this point.

2. Don't consume too much 'fast' food or food on the go.

OK, again! When I am out with friends and family I don't eat the heathiest I will admit BUT let's be real, I am NOT OUT EVERY WEEKEND. We can probably say I would (not in lockdown) but normally eat out on an average 3 times a month.

3. Watch your potassium levels.

So, I like a little bit of rock salt on my veggies, salads and peanut butter but we aren't pouring it on ( let's be real!) I cook all my food more or less from fresh so when I am at home ( I think we are good!) I have no control when I am out and about but again it's rare & I don't add salt to already seasoned food.

4. Get enough sleep.

OKAY, so this is where we begin to SIN badly. SLEEP.. it's like the Holy Grail. We crave it, we wish for it but it feels unreachable. 8 hour a night -- I WISH. Chronic pain guys, you don't get a break. You don't get a holiday. We have had a good night if I have had 4 hours sleeps. According to the experts ( as I think we all know - restores & recharges our bodies as well as promoting the detoxing process it. )

5. Stay away from tobacco.

We have ac'ed this, will never smoke and have never smoked.

Tobacco reduces collagen production and increases aging ten fold.

6. Eat your veggies!

YAY... we have well and truly got this covered. I know the amazing natural healers veggies are. Experts advise 6 serving of fruit & veg a day to give your body a good dose of vitamins and minerals to heal the body and protect it. WE HAVE THIS COVERED.

7. Reduce screen time.

Experts advise 'screen fasting. ' I can understand where they are coming from. I get wiped out every day because I AM SICK OF LOOKING AT MY SCREEN. I feel exhausted, run down & brain fried. When you are running your business online & it's so focused on social media this 'screen fast is difficult.' I have tried to stop using social media in the evening & ACTUALLY watch TV rather than be on my phone constantly. Especially when I start as early on socials around 8am and throughout the day are constantly phone & computer focused. So, on this point I definitely fall down.

8. Move your body more but not harder.

So, I am no gym bunny. Compared to my old swimmer self I feel VERY lazy now. I do understand the importance of moving your body though. Not just for your mental health but physical health too.

I need to keep moving otherwise my joints do stiffen up & the pain is NOT pleasant. I also do a lot of stretching for my stomach & so my muscles don't tighten up from sitting so much.

I do TRY to get out on a walk every day. At first I did this to try a lower pain levels but as time has gone on I've realised it really helps my mental health. It is my 20-30 mins a day with my music on or a podcast where I just lose myself for a minute. Stress, panic, work at the back of my mind. It really is helpful.

The experts say gentle exercise is better than hard exercise as you don't want to be causing injury to your body. You also don't want to make it the worst part of you day.

9. Prioritise gut health!

Now, now, now - let's not come down to hard on me. I know I am currently adding further stress to my already dyer gut but long term I am hoping it will help me, help my gut. We just ( like with anything ) will have to learn so we can improve & grow.

I can FULLY understand where the 'experts' are coming from here. My gut makes my life a MISERY!! It is hardtop manage & causes me a lot of pain & upset on a daily basis.

They advise you eat your probiotics like yoghurts and so forth & plenty of veggies. Which again, I do, do but chronic illness doesn't follow the health rules my friends.

10. Ditch diets.

YES TO THIS, diets have the world 'die' in them so I have never been a fan but the argument is here that constantly being on some form of 'trendy' diet confuses your body & leads to all sorts of problems down the road. You are constantly adding, taking things away from your body so it doesn't know how to function to the best of it's ability.

BUT when you have a chronic illness or health problem often you have to ensure you cut certain foods / add certain foods into your every day eating / living to keep you healthy. I think this is not an angle they are getting at. It is more the yo-yo diets and the 'fad' diet that everyone is on which they want you to stay clear of.

We have to learn to listen to our bodies and know what it needs. We are all unique. As we clearly show an example of RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. What Sarah down the road at 23, maybe a long distance runner, fit with no health problems needs compared to me would be totally different. So, don't get caught up in comparison cycles.

11 Mental health matters!

I agree with this totally. We are bombarded by media constantly telling us, what we should look like, where we should be in our lives, what we should be doing etc! It is exhausting and tiring. We doubt ourselves we are hard on ourselves. Often leading us to neglect and run from the pain caused through our mental health.

I love the quote that good mental health isn't a privilege it is a key essential. Remember how strong your mind is and how it dominates your life. Make sure it is having a good influence on your life & wellbeing.

So, how do gain a healthier mindset & improve our mental health?

  • by cutting out things in our lives that cause us pain. Whether this is people, objects, habits, work and so on. We are allowed to outgrown and evolve.

  • taking time OUT. Taking time for you and doing thing YOU enjoy. Whether this is playing sport, listening to music, baking and so on.

  • consume 'feel good' & positive content don't soak up negative content.

  • resting & taking time off.

Just to name a few. Your mental health is so important. Mine isn't brilliant, far from it & it is something I am working on because I know in so many way my inner critic holds me back SO much.

12. Learn to cook!

YES, I love cooking and baking & I have my Mum to thank for this. I totally agree here though. Cooking is a life skill and doesn't just help you improve your diet & how you fuel your body but also helps your mental health as so many people find it enjoyable and calming.

I love cooking and baking. I adore trialling different recipes & having fun.

13. Use you vacation days wisely.

It is encouraged that you don't waste your 'days off' sitting on the sofa watching Netflix. YES, rest is important but feeling like you have achieved something in your day is more beneficial for your physical & mental health.

Whether this was getting dressed up and going for a family meal.

Trying a new coffee shop with a friend.

Having a movie day with the family.

Exploring a new place.

There is so much you can do. OK, so this is a bit limiting in terms of chronic illness. This isn't always easy and we feel we don't get 'vacation days' I feel you. So maybe, the key is ensuring we are spending time with people who add smiles to our faces & doing activities we enjoy: baking/ drawing/ sewing etc.

14. Be yourself!

It is the hardest thing in the world but I feel the experts are right here. It is the key to freedom. You are unique, you DO bring something to the table & NOBDODY can be you.

I definitely don't try and be anyone else but I am human & I do get stuck in the comparison cycle, I do doubt myself & I have my bad days. I am only human but it is something I am committed I improving and working on every day.

15. Reduce stress.

I fail here... admittedly.

I know that stress is a huge key player in decreasing your health in more ways than one and the experts do also say this.

In a world that is a pressure cooker it truly is difficult to come up for air. It is quick sand.

I do believe adding small exercises and making little changes to your habits, routine and schedules can help manage stress levels more efficiently. They don't magically zap them away and nobody can live a stress-free life but we can actively hold ourselves accountable for trying to reduce stress levels.

  • self care!

  • a balanced routine with breaks.

  • days off and days of rest.

  • hobbies and passions.

  • exercise.

  • a good sleep pattern

And so many more.

Again, I am no angel here, I AM A STRESS HEAD AND A CHRONIC WORRIER but I try. I try to have a balance that works, I do my hobbies & exercise to calm my mind and so on.

To conclude...

I feel like all the points raised and the advice given to us WAS good advice. It was general & not too biased. Of course, we all have our problems going on health wise which can mean that some points don't apply, maybe we are EXTREMELY guilty of not following one point for example or guilty of neglecting our health badly, whilst on other points we may be shining stars.

I wanted to raise these points & talk about them openly using myself as an example that we are all just out here doing our BEST. It is hard. There is amazing advice but there isn't an define right or wrong answer & that is what I really wanted to get across.

We shouldn't be silly with our health but we also need to ensure we are creating happiness for ourselves too. NOT getting caught up in advice, comparisons and expectations. We have to take elements & create our own journey - that is the magic of life.

Let's have some fun. Let me know if you are ac'ing these tips, if you are struggling or have any advice for me from your own journey.

Feel free to message me.

Don't forget to follow me over on Instagram: @sophiewardy .. we have everything from chronic illness, lifestyle, positivity & travel.

Love always,

Sophie xoxo


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