Last week I had a moment of such extreme thankfulness come over me—it was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I don’t quite know how to explain it other than I felt so good, so happy, that my life didn’t feel real. I was experiencing the moment with such an intense energy rush, and I felt like I was in another state of being. In just a single moment, countless happy memories rushed through every vein in my body. I felt as happy as I was when I was living in New York, and let’s be honest, that’s not something that happens—because well, I have spent the majority of the past three years more or less sulking about having to move back to Kentucky. Memory after memory filled me. I thought of the incalculable number of nights spent in the city with friends. I was filled with pride thinking of my academic accomplishments, my internships and jobs, and my artwork and film achievements. The overwhelming sense of feeling ALIVE— that feeling I’ve only ever had in New York—started to encompass me. I was filled with love of college friends and my past adventures. I felt the excitement from when Kyle and I first started dating, from when he first told me he loved me, from the moment he told me he wanted to marry me one day. And yet, I wasn’t having this feeling because I was experiencing anything in particular that would make me feel so alive—I wasn’t roaming the streets of NYC or working on an artistic masterpiece. I was living the same, tame life I have been living for the past few years.
Let me get real for a second. There are days when I feel like I need to scream because damn it, sometimes I get the urge to die my hair to look like a unicorn, I desperately want to put my nose ring back in because it feels as much a part of me as my arm, and I want to wear anything other than what I imagine a professional, young business woman to wear. I want to have conversations that matter— I want to talk about philosophy or art or society and culture—seriously any deep conversation that is actually important, I’m craving to discuss. I want to say all the things that I can never say because I don’t want to be ostracized or bullied and tormented by the many, many people in these parts who would not like my ideas and beliefs. There are days where I feel like a lifeless object because I am progressive, and often I am so frustrated that nothing around me is developing in the right direction. I feel drained hearing one derogatory remark after another, and I have yet to decide whether it’s better or worse when words are said out of ignorance versus speaking them with the knowledge of why they are wrong. There are many days when I don’t like to think about my life because I am upset with myself for letting a specific location shape me. My appearance, my words, my actions. It’s all a lie because nothing of my outward appearance is me. I’m an artist who thrives on expression, yet I am living in silence. Seriously, what the hell kind of nonsense is that? And the reason I am saying all of this is so that you can understand why suddenly feeling so alive is monumental for me, given that my current environment isn’t one that I naturally thrive in.
Physical and emotional wellness are deeply intertwined, and I am starting to feel well again.
Something huge occurred last week. And I have my fingers crossed that it wasn’t just luck, and that I will be able to continue with the improvements in health that I have been experiencing. This sounds silly, but I ate lunch at 12:30 yesterday. Granted that is a pretty standard lunch time for most, but a couple months ago I could eat anything before 2 or 3 or sometimes even 4. Well I ate lunch, and although this isn’t something to brag about, I ate an unhealthy lunch. I was at a work function that was catered with IGA lunch plates of chicken tenders, green beans, macaroni and cheese, a roll, and cookies. I could only fit half of the ginormous meal inside me, but I ate all that food, and I didn’t get sick. A few weeks ago I had a granola bar for breakfast and you would have thought I had eaten a platter of hot wings. Even just last month I had a turkey wrap from the local deli for lunch and that just about destroyed my insides. This was unheard of for me to be able to do.
My anxiety has also greatly improved. We all know how closely connected gut health and anxiety are. I think this very much has to do with the collagen I take daily, and the essential oils I use. As I talked about here, collagen is important for healthy skin and hair, and can help combat wrinkles and cellulite, but collagen is also very important for a healthy gut. Collagen does A LOT. It repairs the digestive track, decreases anxiety, prevents bone loss, repairs tissues and joints, and is also a natural appetite suppressant.
My oils have also been working wonders. I roll on my essential oil to the back of my neck whenever I feel anxiety starting to consume me. On days that I feel relatively calm, I only use Lavender oil. I ingest Peppermint and Lemon oils to aid my digestive health. I’ve implemented Frankincense and coconut oil into my skincare regiment. I’m using all natural deodorant combined with various essential oils. I use an all-natural lotion, all-natural bath products, all-natural laundry detergent, all-natural air and fabric fresheners (made from my YL essential oils), and have recently switched to an all-natural toothpaste. I have eliminated just about all of my chemical household cleaners. My next step is to switch to all-natural cosmetics. I have been able to do all of this only because I have invested in quality essential oils. Read more about how I’m using essential oils here.
PUTTING NATURE BACK INTO THE WORKPLACE
I have also drastically changed the environment of my workplace. I have used an Ott Lite to replicate the sunlight for years now, and I have been using an essential oil diffuser for the past several months. Some newer additions I have made to my office are an electric tea kettle, so that I can conveniently make green tea at any time. I have also bought a plant and I want to buy a few more for my office in the near future. I have to be a little picky when it comes to which plants I can have because I live in a concrete dungeon without windows, so there is minimal exposure to sunlight—though I am waiting to ensure that my single plant grows well with the Ott Lite, and if it does, I plan on buying a few more plants.
This is why I am all about plants in my office:
- Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen
- Increase room humidity through moisture vapor—linked to a decrease in colds and viruses
- Air purifying by removing toxins from the air
- Health improving—research shows people with plants need less pain medication, have lower blood pressure, and less fatigue and anxiety
- Greatens attentiveness
Of course, I always have my essential oil diffuser going. It not only freshens the air, but it also purifies the air—also combatting colds and viruses. Diffusing essential oils helps me reduce stress and increases productivity and focus while I’m at work. Contact me if you are interested in buying a good quality brand of essential oils!
Now going back to my Ott Lite that I have mentioned—I have been using this full spectrum light since a freshman in college. When I moved to New York, the long winters and the short days of sunlight really started to affect me. A friend had been sent an Ott Light and wasn’t interested in using it, so she so generously gave it to me. I would sit under the light for several hours a day, while I did homework at my desk or watched TV shows on my laptop. It really makes me feel lighter and more upbeat. I love daylight. Sometimes in the winter I back my car out of the garage and park facing the sun, and just sit in my car, enjoying the warmth against my skin. I crave that sort of interaction with sunlight in the winter. I hate feeling trapped indoors, and I am always cold/ can be found with a space heater just feet away. This light helps replicate the sunlight. It helps me bring daylight indoors, which is especially important for me because I do not have any windows in my office. The light looks likes real sunlight, and studies have shown that plants grow well with full spectrum lighting, and that chickens raised under full spectrum lighting live twice as long, lay more eggs, and lay healthier eggs. These lights are supposed to treat seasonal affective disorder and help with sleep disorders, as well as improve scholastic performance and vitamin D syntheses in the body. Not to mention, you see much more clearly and don’t have any eyestrain.
The last item you may notice is my earthing mat. I am in love with this product, and will be devoting a full blog post to this mat alone, so I don’t want to go into much detail right now. But to sum up, for thousands of years, humans were in direct contact with the earth’s energy. Today, we live most of our lives indoors, and when we are outside, we are usually wearing shoes—which are most likely made of materials that are poor conductors and this inhibits the health benefits that we could be getting from earth’s energy. When you have a direct connection with the earth, your body’s positive charge is reduced to zero, aka you are “grounded”. When you become grounded, every cell in your body is grounded, and your body can start healing at a cellular level. I love my earthing mat that I bought here, and I will go into more detail about it shortly. (I do definitely suggest this specific company because of their superior customer service and relations, which again I’ll get into later.)
I am so thankful for feeling well. For feeling healthy. For being happy.
This is something we all deserve and something that we can all be.