The Herbivore: National Wellness Month

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National Wellness Month 2020

By Zachariah Finning

 

August is National Wellness Month; this focus is more important now than ever, during these uncertain times. Wellness month hones in on the importance of self-care and self-management. It is said through continued discipline, physical actions, as well as mental preparation, we can better handle the stresses that accompany our daily lives. It is of utmost importance to find a daily balance between your obligations to the outside world and the responsibility you have in taking care of yourself. In this blog, we will discuss the varied forms of self-care and self-management and how they can ultimately help you preserve your mental and physical agility. We will also discuss how some KAYA wellness products might be added into these routines contributing to your overall well-being.

Self-Care according to the Oxford Languages Dictionary can be described as “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress” (S1). The importance of Self-Care cannot be emphasized enough in today’s manic world. According to Tami Forman, a writer for Forbes “The way self-care is portrayed today is completely and utterly backward” (S2). She states that “it is characterized as an indulgence. This means both that the practice is something we are [only] occasionally allowed to indulge in and that is should feel like an indulgence” (S2). This misaligned concept in today’s society of what Self-Care truly is has led to many an individual feeling not only overstressed but also out of touch with oneself. Forman goes on to insist “Self-Care is not an indulgence” but rather “Self-Care is a discipline” (S2). “It requires tough-mindedness, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities, and a respect for both yourself and the people you choose to spend your life with” (S2). In essence, Self-Care is about as important as the air we breathe and the jobs we hold.

It could be thought that most of us are so busy achieving, completing, or just plain trying to survive that we forget, or rather neglect, to cultivate the most important part of ourselves only because we don’t have the time. However, that is simply not true. As stated previously it takes a certain discipline to truly harvest from Self-Care. “Self-Care is actually kind of boring” which is why it can be described as a discipline (S2). It requires a certain mindset for us to do the things that are in our best interest rather than the things that feel good momentarily. It takes an even higher consciousness to take complete ownership and responsibility for our own well-being. “Self-Care is a discipline because it’s not something you do once in a while when the world gets crazy”. It’s the things you do every day, every week, every month in order to take care of yourself. It’s caring for yourself in a way that does not require you to “indulge” in order to restore. “It’s making the commitment to stay healthy and balanced as a regular [daily] practice” (S2).

With a deeper sense of what Self-Care is and why most of us ignore this department within we can now try to delegate a few crucial tactics and demonstrations of Self-Care in practice. Physical Self-Care is a fundamental part of what I call the “tri-force” of Self-Care, with the other two pieces being Mental Self-Care and Social Self-Care. Physical Self Care isn’t only referring to soaking in bath bombs, doing facial exfoliations, and enjoying the 400 thread count fine silk bed sheets. In fact, no physically comforting action in self-care’s endless list will help you if you are not helping your body. “Keep in mind that there’s a strong connection between your body and your mind” (S3). When you purposefully and intentionally take care of your body you will not only have a better outlook in mind but your body will feel better daily. True Physical Self-Care brings into question and to one’s attention “how you’re fueling your body, how much sleep you’re getting, how much physical activity you’re doing”, and lastly “how well you’re caring for your physical needs” (S3). A set daily routine for awake, sleep, physical activity, as well as a healthy diet will all increase your body’s ability to repair and re-center itself. In turn, this will allow you to succeed in the second force of Self-Care.

Mental Self-Care is just as important as the Physical discipline yet maybe a little easier to get started. It includes “doing things that keep your mind sharp, like puzzles, or learning about a subject that fascinates you” (S3). Learning new things, watching movies, or even reading books that intrigue you all nourish your mind in a healthy way. The second half of Mental Self-Care includes doing things that are positively reinforcing to the mind. “Practicing self-compassion, acceptance”, and even forgiveness can help one “maintain a healthier inner dialogue”. This nurtures what we call the spirit as well as the mind. Spiritual Self-Care is encompassed within Mental Self-Care and in no way needs to be religiously involved. Simple meditational practices, praying, even daily mantras can all be considered both spiritual as well as mental self-care (S3).

The last side to the triangle of self-care would be Social Self-Care. Socialization is fundamental to self-care, but too often it’s harder to make time for friends and easier to neglect our relationships when life is hectic or stressful. “Close connections are important to your well-being. The best way to cultivate and maintain close relationships is to put time and energy into building relationships with others” (S3). This may “include activities that help you acknowledge and express your feelings on a regular basis” which will in turn help you express and connect better with the individuals in your life. Family Game Nights, a one to one dinner with a close friend, even regular therapy are all-inclusive to Social Self-Care. There is no magic number of hours one should set aside to work on friendships and other relationships. Each person has different social needs and limits that are to be addressed when planning Social Self-Care (S3). The main take away from this last leg of the tri-force is in harboring true, meaningful, and deeper connections within your personal relationships. These organic and honest relationships will help you if there is ever a time you need a shoulder to lean on.

Finding time for Self-Care in this day and age should not be rocket science. We make time day in and day out for obligations and responsibilities that may not even be our own. Looking inward and focusing on yourself is not a selfish indulgence as modern society would have you think. It has been a crucial part of human growth since the beginning of history. Finding a daily or weekly routine for your Self-Care can be as easy as prioritizing your personal needs. After a long day at work, or with the kids, take 5 minutes to be honest with yourself about how you truly feel. Where are your personal needs at this present time - are they physical, are they mental, or are they social?  Within those 5 minutes, you can delegate the side of the tri-force of self-care that needs attention most. After you have done this make a small check-list of activities or actions you will take to tend to your needs. This can be a list of things to do in the present, that night, or a list for the whole week. Sometimes Self-Care by itself can be overwhelming or not as instantly nurturing as we would like. Again, self-care is a discipline to be practiced daily not just when we are burnt out. The goal of Self-Care is to prevent “burn out” or breakdowns - not to heal you from them, although it will certainly help if you find yourself in either of those situations.

Here at High Mountain Health, we have a commitment to wellness and Self-Care both in our personal lives and professional. An assortment of our KAYA Wellness Products can be introduced into your routines to enhance the overall benefits of Self-Care. KAYA’s Health Oil is an amazing full-spectrum cannabis oil similar to the known RSO (Rick Simpson Oil). Kaya Health Oil can be used for a range of ailments including, but not limited to, chronic pain and insomnia. Smaller dosages of the Sativa derivative during the day should help with a majority of chronic pains, which could mean feeling less fatigued and more agile during the day. Higher dosages of the Indica derivative an hour or so before bedtime will release any tension or pains from the day and help one drift into a sleep not known since childhood. KAYA’s Suppositories are another wellness product that can be added into daytime or nighttime routines. They were originally created with women’s health in mind. Inserted vaginally or rectally, they can help relieve the cramps, pains, inflammation, and nausea associated with menstrual cycles. Rectal insertion has also been known to help with neuropathy in the feet, sciatic pain, and lower back issues. Using the suppositories on a day off when you’ve planned some time to yourself may help achieve a deeper overall feeling of body relaxation, with no mental side effects.

Sensuality and the expression of intimacy is a staple of wellness. Our KAYA Sutra is a medicated personal pleasure spray. It was designed to alleviate the pains and discomfort sometimes felt by women and men alike during sexual intercourse. The spray works by increasing blood flow to the genital area, lubricating through coconut oil, and all the while medicated cannabis oil topically relieves any pain during intimacy. Using the KAYA Sutra spray after an amazing night out with your significant other, or maybe even on a night alone, can drastically increase your pleasure through sensuality. Whatever your Self-Care routines KAYA has multiple wellness products to enhance the overall benefits of your Self-Care.

Just as Self-Care is a discipline and learned habit which one must actively cultivate medicating with medicinal marijuana and the multitude of products related to it is also a learned form of wellness. We each have a different endocannabinoid system which will respond differently depending on the form of medicating, the derivative, the strength in milligrams, the cannabinoids involved, etc. It is up to us as holistic patients to perform rather trial and error type medicating until we find the right strain, oil, topical, or any other form that is suitable for us and our personal ailments. The symptom tracking log in the HMH Education Handbook may be helpful in narrowing down preferred and best acting medicines in a quicker amount of time. Just like taking the 5 minutes at the end of Monday to prioritize your Self-Care activities for the week or month, this is a way to hone in on the things that work best for you. It is an active and personal discipline when medicating with medicinal marijuana just as it is when considering how to approach your Self-Care. In these times of uncertainty and social unrest wellness through Self-Care is crucial in the preservation of mind and body. Make sure to take the time for yourself that you deserve in order to heal and re-center as we approach the last quarter of the year.

Sources:

    1. Oxford Languages Dictionary- Self-Care
    2. https://www.pathforward.org/self-care-is-not-an-indulgence-its-a-discipline/?gclid=CjwKCAjwps75BRAcEiwAEiACMSiPLyv0No2D_hqp-asLELbP9xiUV-Y0jwik6wP6qAqhtysbKB7b9hoCpYAQAvD_BwE
    3. https://www.verywellmind.com/self-care-strategies-overall-stress-reduction-3144729

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