The Most Important Self-Care Strategy I Was Missing

by | Mar 6, 2023

About 8 years ago, I thought I had a solid self-care routine. I was careful about what I ate, avoiding sugar and processed foods. I was exercising more than I ever had in my life, training for sprint triathlons 6 days per week, pushing my body beyond what I thought I could do. I had a healthy sleep routine and a balance of socialization vs. alone time. My career as a school counselor was fulfilling. I felt good.

Until I didn’t.

During the summer of 2017, I started to notice things changing. My energy level was declining, I felt achy and feverish. I thought it was just a summer flu. My health continued to decline over the next several months and I ultimately needed to take a medical leave from my job. Simply taking a shower was enough to make me need a nap. After 9 months of searching for answers, I finally had some: Lyme Disease with a co-infection of Bartonella, Adrenal Fatigue, Epstein-Barr Virus, Coxsackie Virus and I was developing Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (fainting). My body was working so hard that my immune system became depleted. Basically, I was a mess.

So what did I do? I did everything my doctor told me to do. He said that the two most important things to avoid were sugar and stress. I took all of my supplements and medications. I rested. I avoided sweets and delegated tasks around the house to my family. I meditated and tried really hard to stay positive.

Although many of my symptoms had improved after 9 months of treatment, the fatigue was still crushing at times. I had to be very careful about how I used my energy. A trip to the store would still wipe me out for days after. I needed something more.

That’s when I learned the most important self-care strategy that I was missing…

As a former school counselor, I thought I knew how to manage stress. After all, I taught stress-management techniques to my students for years!

But I was wrong.

Chronic illness is HARD! It’s isolating, infuriating, devastating, anxiety-provoking, exhausting, and debilitating. No amount of meditation or breathwork was changing that for me.

But I was so conditioned to “stay positive” that I ignored my own emotions. I know I’m not the only one this has happened to. Staying positive did not erase all of those challenging emotions that were buried underneath. And guess what? Those buried emotions were creating stress in my body.

This is when I found Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).

EFT is a set of stress-management techniques that works on a somatic level with the body. It is also often referred to as “Tapping” because we tap gently on acupressure points as part of the process.

EFT not only has the ability to regulate the nervous system in the moment, but it also has the ability to help acknowledge feelings and communicate with the body in such a beautiful way. EFT provides space for the emotions to be there and the freedom for them to move.

After using EFT for several weeks, I began to feel lighter as I started to release those buried emotions. I started listening to my body more than I ever had in my life and began working with it instead of against it. We were finally on the same team.

I continue to use EFT on a regular basis. I pay attention to my emotions rather than ignoring them. Not only do I understand the impact stress has on my body, but I have the tools to truly help manage it. Sure, a nice bath and a cookie now and then feels nice, but my SELF is truly cared for when I tune into my emotional being and give it what it needs with EFT.

To learn more about how I can support you with EFT, sign up for a Complimentary Chaos to Calm Consult by clicking the button below.