Healing Hashimoto’s can seem like it’s all about diet. Most of us know that avoiding gluten is the first step and many of us use AIP to identify the foods that are triggers for you. But it’s important to remember that achieving remission is about more than what we put in our mouths. There are lifestyle changes you can make today to have a healthier tomorrow! Here are just a few things you can do to feel healthier, happier, and more energized.
The Emotional Side of Healing
Often healing our bodies has an emotional and spiritual component along with the physical. Here are some tips to help you navigate the emotional side of healing Hashimoto’s:
-build a support network of family and friends
-join or found a Hashimoto’s support group
-realize you are not alone in your struggles with autoimmunity
-work with a therapist or coach to help you with this piece if needed
-find a spiritual practice, whether that is church, prayer, or meditation
The Importance of Sleep
It is important to get at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a dark room every night. This is the time your body has to regenerate and restore itself. If you have trouble sleeping, try some of these tips:
-try to have a consistent bedtime every night
-don’t use screens or technology an hour or two before bed
-have a relaxing bedtime ritual that helps you get in the mood for sleep—think reading in bed, taking a bath, or doing a meditation
-make sure your bed is comfortable, your room is completely dark, and that there are no distractions (like buzzing devices) to keep you up at night.
Managing stress is very important for those of us with autoimmunity and Hashimoto’s disease, because our bodies are already under more stress than the average person. Here are some tips to help manage your stress:
-taking breaks throughout the day
-taking naps and horizontal rests when needed
-getting adequate sleep
-hobbies like playing music, art, sports
-community and gathering with friends
Movement and Exercise
Movement is important to maintaining a healthy body with Hashimoto’s, but sometimes we don’t always have the energy we need to work out as we would like to. If this is you, focus on gentle exercise, like yoga, qigong, or walking, instead. Make it a goal to move your body every day. Your activities do not need to be a traditional work out, just make sure to get some exercise every day. This post has some simple guidelines for safe exercise when you’re coping with Hashimoto’s disease.
Responsible Sun Exposure
Regular exposure to the sun is important for making vitamin D. Conventional sunscreen actually blocks the suns rays that produce vitamin D, while allowing in the rays that cause cancer. A more responsible approach is to engage in smart sun exposure, by exposing some bare skin to the sun for 15-20 minutes every day, making sure never to burn. This ensures that you get enough sun to make optimal levels of vitamin D, which is extremely important for the immune system.
Living A Toxin-Free Lifestyle
It is important to examine your personal care and household care products for chemicals and ingredients that may be causing you a reaction. This article talks about the most common stuff around your house that might just be making your Hashimoto’s symptoms more severe. If nothing else, avoid products with chemical fragrances – and remember that even things labeled fragrance-free may have synthetic fragrance ingredients. If going through the kitchen and bathroom to hunt for products that may be harming you feels overwhelming, ask a friend to help you.