We are spending the month of March in the Swiss alps with an American couple we met last year.
It’s the first time in 6 years (since getting ill) that I agree to be 24/7 with people in a shared apartment, sharing the same food, with little privacy and constant stimulation, without having full symptoms gearing their head.
When you are chronically ill and recovering, chances are that you’ve been very selective about the quality of the food you eat, the products you put on your skin, your laundry, and everything else that could be a potential stress to your body.
And for good reasons: to try to give our body the best chance at repairing itself.
But there comes a point in your journey when you are feeling much better, and you will be confronted to situations where you can’t always control external stressors.
Here are 3 tips that have helped me that I’d like to share with you – in the hopes that it helps you too:
1. Care about what you can control, and let go of what you can’t control.
It seems like a given, but it’s crucial that we do that.
When you’re very sick, your capacity for adaptation is very low. That means that any stressor in your life will generate symptoms in your body. That can be light, noise, perfume, strong scents, blue light, EMFs, wifi, laundry detergent, mold, warmth, exposure to the cold, and so on. In that case, you will have to control all the potentially stressful triggers in your environment so that you can give your body the space it needs to recover at its own pace. If that’s the case for you – don’t worry about being annoying about everything. That’s what I did. No tolerance for bullshit. I had to give my body any chance and any opportunity so that it could recover.
Once you’re feeling much better though, you will notice that your capacity for adaption increases. You will start to tolerate things that you couldn’t before, (and yay, that is a HUGE victory), without any symptoms arising. Somebody can spray perfume around you and you won’t even get a headache from it. That’s exactly where I am in my healing journey now. I can tolerate much more. Not everything, but much more than before.
When we arrived to our rental here in Switzerland, our host had bought many air fresheners and scented sprays to perfume the air, out of kindness, thinking it was a nice touch. The towels were washed with scented *toxic* softener, all the kitchen utensils were in plastic or aluminium. I gave myself 1 hour to care about the things I could control: I put all the scented crap in a plastic bag and shoved in at the back of a closet in the entrance. I opened the windows and let fresh air come inside. I replaced all the soaps and personal care products by some with clean ingredients. And that was it. The non-filtered water, I can’t control. The towels, I thought that it would be just for the first week and then we’d wash them with our organic detergent. For the food, I told my friends what I couldn’t eat. I made it simple: any heated oil that isn’t coconut oil (all the others are too inflammatory on the body) and any processed food that has glutamate in it (or yeast extract), as it’s a strong neurotoxic and I react very strongly to it. I got lucky, as per common agreement, we decided to not cook with gluten, dairy or animal products. And that was the rules. After that hour to organize and define the frame of living, I could let go of ANYTHING ELSE that I couldn’t control. And boy, did that feel GOOD. Sometimes the worry and the fear are creating an inner state that is worse than the actual thing itself.
2. Have easy swaps ready that you know work for you.
Those are mine, and I found that those choices work well socially:
Glass of wine, beer, alcohol -> sparkling water with an orange/lemon/berries in it, or fresh juice, or bottled organic pomegranate or blueberry juice
Tea, coffee -> herbal infusion
All purpose cleaner -> ozone spray cleaner (Tersano, code JULIE10 to save – I take that thing everywhere!)
Sugar -> dates, raw honey, maple syrup…
Pasta -> gluten free pasta (those made with red lentils are the best!)
When ordering at a restaurant -> Green salad with raw veggies with boiled potatoes / sweet potato, fruit for dessert.
3. Share your wellness habits with the people you are with.
Sometimes sharing what makes you feel good can be an amazing way to empower people around you to take care of themselves and live in a positive environment.
I always mention to the people I’m spending time with a few tools that I use and that changed my life: 3D sound journeys on my app Envol, laying down on a acupressure mat, with a manta sleep mask on your eyes and a hot pack on your legs… or simply lavender essential oils on your palms and feet… or my stretching routine… or best of all, sharing a cold pressed organic juice.
Next thing you know they start doing it 😊
So there you go, those were my 3 tips to enjoy having a social life again, laugh, have fun, and let go of what you can’t control, that can create too much stress on your body.
And remember that you don’t need a million gadgets or healing tools when you’re out living with other people that have different lifestyles.
All your need is restorative rest – which can come in many ways. Grounding and walking barefoot on the grass, closing your eyes and slowing down your breathing, meditating, going to be early with earplugs… all of this contributes to a deep regeneration while reaping the benefits of spending time in a community.