Research shows that a holistic lifestyle is beneficial to those with autoimmune disease. But let’s be honest: it can be difficult for anyone to keep up a perfectly balanced lifestyle — let alone someone with an autoimmune disease.
It’s great to take steps to find more balance in your life, but sometimes you need to compromise — and that’s okay! Try using one of these three trade-offs that will help you to compensate when you can’t balance it all.
1. Stressed? Get your nutrition together!
Stress is one of the biggest depressors of the immune system and can trigger flare-ups or bad symptoms. When you are stressed, it’s tempting to reach for energy drinks or soda for a quick boost. Keep in mind, however, that caffeine can actually increase your anxiety levels. Since your immune system is already being compromised due to your stress, off-set its effects by nourishing your body with lots of amazing, nutritious foods. If you know that you have a big assignment or deadline coming up, try to “stock” yourself up with the good stuff so that your body has something to fall back on when the deadline gets closer and your stress grows greater.
If you’re anything like me, then thinking about a healthy meal plan when you have a deadline just seems to add to the problem. But instead of giving up and driving straight to your nearest fast food restaurant, think about grabbing some super quick healthy options like hummus, guacamole, smoothies, and trail mix.
Related: 7 Natural Energy Boosters
2. Wanna eat bad foods? Make sure you sleep!
I get it. Sometimes you just REALLY want to order take-out or eat way too many cookies. Plus, who wants to constantly feel like they are being deprived? While it would be awesome if you found some healthy alternatives for your favorite guilty pleasure foods, sometimes you need to live in the moment. Don’t always feel guilty about ordering the item that’s not the best on the menu when out and about with friends — just make sure you allow for plenty of sleep. Sleep has so many amazing benefits and it helps to heal and rejuvenate the body from daily wear and tear. Although you should be getting a lot of sleep anyway, make sure you make it a top priority if you aren’t going to eat the right foods. This means possibly reevaluating your bedtime rituals and making sure you carve out a good chunk of time — around 10-12 hours — to allow your body to recover from eating greasy, salty, or sugary foods.
Related: 6 Bedtime Rituals for Better Sleep
3. Staying in and hanging out? Hydrate!
Ideally, I would go to the gym every single day — but I have to say that I prefer to spend time with my couch rather than a set of barbells. Even though there are low-impact exercises (like yoga!) that can have amazing benefits for people with autoimmune diseases, sometimes you need a lazy Sunday (or Monday… or Tuesday). What’s more fun than putting on your favorite pair of pajamas and snuggling in for a movie marathon? I say, don’t feel bad about it; just make sure you hydrate! Staying hydrated keeps your joints lubricated, removes toxins, and helps to boost your metabolism. The health benefits of drinking water are seemingly endless (from radiant skin to lessening fatigue). Hydration can promote optimal functioning within your body and that will help to off-set your choice to not move very much.
Image credit: julien_harneis / Flickr