Are You Ready to Show Up for Your Healing?
Have you ever heard the term “worried sick?” The idea behind this phrase is that when you’re mentally stressed and anxious, you feel nauseous.
This phrase is rooted in the very real phenomenon of the mind-body connection. If you’re depressed, anxious, or stressed, you can expect to feel crummy on the outside.
The good news, this connection between your brain and your body works in reverse. When you take care of yourself mentally and improve your mindset, your physical health takes a turn for the better.
Clare Cattarin (MSN, FNP, IFM-CP, S-CP) has seen the power of this mind-body connection among her Functional Health and Healing patients. When patients make the mental commitment to getting better—and follow through by working with a functional practitioner—they see a decrease in their health problems.
And what happens when you don’t commit to your health? You can expect limited results. True healing isn’t achieved through a once-a-day pill. A doctor can’t just snap their fingers and make you feel better. True healing means correcting long-held habits and pursuing healthy behaviors every day.
So, are you ready to commit to your health? If you are – if today is the day – then take a moment to reflect on your goals. To help you understand what a commitment to your health looks like, here are 5 key areas you’ll want to focus on.
1. Commitment to Eating Well
Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of functional medicine treatment. Our bodies absorb key nutrients, vitamins, and minerals directly from the food we eat. When you commit to eating nourishing foods, you’re giving your body the tools it needs to heal itself.
At Functional Health and Healing, we’re not about counting calories and cutting out food groups. It’s well-known that these behaviors don’t have any long-term health benefits. Instead, we want to help you improve your entire relationship with food. This is the best way to live a sustainable lifestyle that’s good for your physical and mental health.
Instead of restricting “bad” foods, we recommend that you start by adding to your diet. Incorporate more fruits and veggies, which are packed with nutrients, fiber, color, and texture, to spice up your meals and keep you satisfied. Whole grains, legumes, spices, nuts, seeds, herbs, and teas are also healthy foods we recommend incorporating. On the whole, we want your diet to be a balance of healthy protein, carbs, and fats—with plenty of color and texture from fruits and veggies!
Your relationship with food is as unique as your health situation. We won’t prescribe you a standard meal plan; instead, you’ll meet individually with one of our practitioners to discuss your goals and health situation. Then we’ll provide a custom treatment plan for your unique body.
The commitment to eating well is one of the hardest steps for many people. We’re not going to lie… it’s easy, “cheap,” and yummy to swing through the drive-thru instead of preparing a meal at home. But if you eat like this every single day, you’re unlikely to feel the greatest. That’s why we’re here to help you pursue a healthy diet that’s truly sustainable for your lifestyle.
2. Commitment to Exercise
Movement is an amazing way to get stronger, boost your energy, improve your mood, and even bolster your immune system. Most of us spend our time sitting at desks for work or school, sipping multiple cups of coffee to get us through the day. Our bodies could use some movement to spice things up!
It may seem overwhelming to get started with exercise. A single Google search brings up thousands of results. It’s hard to know where to start and easier to put on a pair of pajama pants and watch some TV.
The commitment to exercise doesn’t have to be something drastic or extreme. Don’t expect yourself to suddenly become a bodybuilder overnight. Start small: a 10-minute walk after work, 20 minutes of stretching before bed, or dancing around your kitchen. Incorporate more movement into the day, such as getting up to wash the dishes, fold the laundry, or take your dog for a walk.
When you’re ready to step things up, consider attending a weekly fitness class. You don’t have to purchase a gym membership… YouTube has hundreds of at-home workout videos with little to no equipment.
Daily movement is one of the best health investments you can make. Commitment to body movement is one of the best stress-reducing activities we can do. Paired with a healthy, nourishing diet, you can expect to feel stronger, more energetic, and more vibrant than ever before!
3. Commitment to Rest
Functional medicine is all about unlocking the body’s ability to heal itself. Nutrition and exercise are some of the best ways to help the body heal, but the real process happens when we’re asleep. This process of healing and detoxifying the body is part of our natural Circadian rhythm. Unfortunately, most of us disrupt this rhythm by drinking too much caffeine, turning on electric lights, and being on screens way too late.
With most of the population chronically sleep-deprived, it’s no wonder that we don’t feel good! We’re not giving our bodies adequate time to rest and heal.
Getting more sleep is easier said than done. For some people, commitment to rest looks like creating an evening routine to wind down before bed. Others may struggle with mental health, nutrient deficiencies, or conditions like insomnia that disrupt their sleep.
Here are some ways to improve your sleep:
- Turning off your phone 2 hours before bedtime
- Dimming indoor lighting
- Avoid caffeine in the evening
- Buying a weighted blanket
- Taking magnesium or serotonin (advised by a doctor)
- Engaging in calming activities (yoga, stretching, reading)
- Prioritizing mental health counseling
- Wearing earplugs
- Turning on white noise
No matter your sleep situation, a functional medicine practitioner like Clare Cattarin can help assess what hurdles are impairing your sleep and provide guidance for getting more rest.
4. Commitment to Education
It’s easy to spend what little free time we have in front of the TV or scrolling on social media. However, achieving complete health means learning all you can about your incredible human body.
You don’t have to become an MD, but accurate information will help you make the best choices possible. Ask your functional medicine practitioner for resources on healthy living—such as nutrition, exercising, detoxing, gut health, hormones, or mental health. The more you learn, the more you can apply healthier habits to your life and see better results. Empower yourself by understanding the knowledge it takes to heal. The goal is to get you to the point that you know how to take care of yourself without the constant aid of a healthcare provider.
The most important area of learning is yourself. The only way you can begin feeling your best is to understand how your body works. Pay attention to how you feel after certain meals, what activities lower your energy levels, and which environments seem to increase your mood. If you truly want to commit to learning about your health, you might do a genetic analysis through StrataGene.
5. Commitment to Yourself
When you commit to healthy eating, exercise, rest, and education, you’re committing to YOU. Don’t go through life just feeling “okay.” You deserve to prioritize yourself! So many of us have no idea of what it is like to feel “Optimally Healthy” because we have been worn down slowly into feeling “Okay.” Now is the time to commit to yourself to learn about health and to feel what it is like to be “Ridiculously Healthy”
When you work with Clare Cattarin, you’ll receive incredible encouragement and support. That’s because the team at Functional Health and Healing is committed to you! We understand health can be a touchy subject, but you don’t have to go through this process alone. Whether you have questions, concerns, or insecurities, we are on your side. We want you to know that you deserve a life free of aches, pains, and discomfort. You deserve a life of incredible vitality!
If you’re ready to make this commitment and show up for your healing, see how Functional Health & Healing can help you today.