by chloe elgar
I haven’t always felt mentally fit in my work. Establishing balance and learning how to take care of yourself and your body- while also working hard and doing well in life is something that we aren’t taught in school. I would say that we are actually taught the opposite: how to do well in life at the expense of your health. University is basically a test of your stamina to stay up all night studying, go to class all day, maintain a solid social status while also looking physically attractive. Not an easy task.
However, times are changing. Rolling into work with huge bags under your eyes and smelling of cigarette smoke and whiskey- is no longer cool. It’s actually the complete opposite. Now a days, cool comes from sleeping 8 hours or more, eating greens everyday and relying just as much on ginger shots as you do on coffee to stay mentally and physically alert throughout the day.
Self-care in the healing industry
Now here’s the thing, when you are in the business of healing, it becomes more important than ever to know how to take care of yourself. Sure, there are people out there who are working with clients and really experiencing burnout while also thriving (in terms of success), however the thing is: it’s not sustainable. I truly believe that we teach what we most need to learn and that when you are in the business of healing- there is a deep passion and desire for internal/personal healing. The truth is it’s so important to remain consistent and connected to your own healing journey and to have a divine connection to what self-care and love means to you on a daily basis.
In Holistic Nutrition, one of the foundations of our practice is in noticing what stress is, the different ways that we are exposed to stressors and how that manifests in the body. Contrary to caveman ways, stress is not just about when we are running away from a sabre tooth tiger. Our body doesn’t distinguish between running away from a predator and the feeling we get when we’ve disappointed someone or get honked at in morning rush-hour traffic. Essentially, they are both situations that create the fight or flight response in our body, which stimulates a whole sequence of stress pathways to be triggered. Sure, we might not be running away from lions and tigers everyday, but our fight or flight response can be triggered through various situations including: emotional (relationship, family, friends, job), environmental (toxins, weather), technological (EMF, overactive stimulus), physical (foods, sugar, alcohol, drugs, caffeine, exercise) and more. When you think about all of the ways our body is exposed to stressors- you can imagine why it is that so much of the world is experiencing a version of burnout and suffering.
Sources of stress in my life
Internal pressure is the biggest source of stress in my life. Ever since I was a little girl, my Mum has always told me that I work well under pressure and am very focused. These, of course, are wonderful traits to have (especially when it comes to running your own business), however like everything in life- there are pros and cons/good and bad/yin and yang. When these personality traits get out of hand- I will overburden myself with emotional stress and in turn, neglect my state of alignment. I will know as soon as I’m out of balance because I’ll spend more time in my mind, will be less present and start to question myself and my decisions.
The best way to become aware of how stress impacts you is to check-in with yourself and how you are feeling in a certain moment. Just by simply breathing and checking in with our bodies, we can become more connected to our levels of stress.
Stress & social media
Another really relevant example of stress and how it impacts us, is social media. I have really become aware of the impact that social media can have on us lately. A few weeks ago I attended an intuitive teacher training and one of the activities that we practiced was in noticing how social media can impact our spiritual being (energy centers). In essence, after doing a guided meditation on magnetism and life purpose- we each grabbed our phones to simply scroll through Facebook. Within seconds, our energy collapsed and specifically our solar plexus closed. Our solar plexus is located just below the rib cage and gives us our sense of identity and personality. This area very much relates to creativity and purpose.
From a thought perspective, our mind’s voice went from excitement, inspiration and feeling ‘on purpose’- to comparison, competition and feeling small, within seconds. Since I discovered this I have become a lot more aware of how I use my phone/social media and when I am overusing technology.
Creating balance with social media stressors
There are some very simple strategies that will help to limit this exposure such as: removing social apps like Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. from your phone; having a certain time where you can use your phone (for example: not before 9am and not past 7pm), and keeping it out of the bedroom and putting it on airplane mode when you go to bed.
When it comes to behavioral change- the biggest first step is to have awareness. Just noticing that you’ve been using your technology too much, without inserting an internal dialogue of blame, guilt or deception. So, for me, an overuse will look like spending an hour mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and Facebook and then falling into the story of “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not doing enough” or “I’m not skinny enough”. The way forward is to have awareness that there is a connection between what I’m doing and how I feel.
As with anything, there is no right or wrong way to create boundaries with social media. It’s about paying attention to what does, or doesn’t work for you. That might mean unfollowing accounts which trigger you into competition and put you into a mentality of lack. It might also mean taking the weekend off of social media. Play around with different strategies to see what feels best for you- if you ask your body, it will let you know what’s best (breathe and ask, how is my heart feeling?).
Holistic nutrition & staying mentally fit
Enter holistic nutrition and intuitive living. When we begin to nourish the mind and body (and spirit) connection, we can become more aware of when we are in (or out of) balance. Our bodies will let us know. Holistic nutrition is basically all about individual customization. What makes you unique? What works for you? Before I began studying holistic nutrition, I had an idea of what ‘healthy’ was, but it was very influenced by media and the fashion/diet industry. I used food as a way to avoid my emotions and feel in control. I treated my body as this physical attribute that would determine whether or not I was worthy or desirable. Once I studied holistic nutrition, I realized how incredible my body is and how life really does change once you have an awareness of your mind, body and spirit and how they are all connected.
My perspective on alignment has transformed quite drastically over the last 5 years. I used to view alignment as how I looked on the outside- how skinny/fit my body was, how nice of an outfit I was wearing, and if my hair looked good. When these things didn’t fit with my idea of ‘perfect’, then things got really chaotic. My mind would be all over the place and I would be stuck in a lot of darkness. Now alignment is about how my body feels, how my mind feels (what are my dominant thoughts) and if I’m feeling spiritually connected. When I am in touch with these areas- things like my physical appearance just fall into place. They don’t determine how I feel about myself. How I feel about myself determines where they are. Essentially, going from the inside out.
Holistic nutrition & the mind
When it comes to wellness and my daily rituals- the truth is that it’s just as much about my mind as it is my body. My focus is not just on how and what I feed my body, but also my mind. What thoughts are circulating when I wake up- how am I allowing myself space to feel and move. Being a naturally fiery person (pitta dominant: Ayurveda), it is important that I incorporate daily practices of slowing down and peace. This usually includes writing, candles, palo santo, tarot cards and music. I love a morning of silence and connection. One of my favourite ways to start the day at the moment is waking up at 5am and hiking quarry rock in Deep Cove, BC (Canada).
The other big thing for me is flexibility and non-attachment. My routines and rituals are always changing, based on how I’m feeling, what I need and the season. For a few months I was very into spinning every morning where as now that summer is here- I am sitting on the top of quarry rock, meditating at 6am. The main constant for me is writing- it plays a pivotal role in my ability to express and hear my thoughts.
Staying mentally fit through holistic nutrition
When it comes to nutrition, because it has been such a huge part of my life, it is very much an auto pilot practice. I don’t have to pay too much attention, to know what my body needs (and what it needs a break from). I am always very balanced and intuitive with my eating, and my relationship with my body allows me to know when a craving is coming from my body’s needs versus my mind’s wants. And then it’s just about choice. If my mind is craving something and I can sense my thoughts are in a space of lack, then I can discern that eating that food will create more thoughts of lack and guilt. So, I might go for something more ‘holistic’ or ‘healthy’ so that I can shift my mind back into a space of self-love. In comparison, when my body is craving chocolate during my period, I know that chocolate is the way to go and I will enjoy some amazing dark chocolate with sea salt.
The biggest thing for me is to have access to the things that I enjoy and bring me a balanced sense of self. I know what makes me feel good and what makes me feel bad. For instance, even though I am not dairy-intolerant or celiac, I know that cheese pizza is going to leave me feeling uncomfortable, guilty and unhealthy. So, it is an act of self-love to eat delicious vegan pizza. And this type of insight has come from my own trial and error.
There is nothing serious going on here
With our mindset, the biggest thing is to practice this mantra: “there is nothing serious going on here”. Everything is here to try in life. We must take risks to approach challenges to know what works and what doesn’t. Otherwise, we are essentially living in a happiness bubble- living in fear of the unknown.
When we take away the seriousness of a decision, we are able to make a choice based on how we feel or what we need- rather than the consequences of the future impact. When it comes to food and eating, this is a huge strategy. If you wake up craving a chocolate smoothie bowl, there is no problem with following this craving. The only issue comes up when we decide that it is wrong or not good for us- and we then create a state of stress in our bodies.
Rounding it up: 7 Steps
- Create a healthy relationship with social media
- Check in with your body several times throughout the day
- Create a nutrition lifestyle that works for you and your body (it will be unique and your own)
- Health is just as much about our mind and our thoughts as it is about our body and what we put into it (what do you put into your mind/what thoughts do you choose to follow)
- Create a holistic practice that supports you ‘winding down’ and relaxing (this can be different for everyone)
- Trust your body’s cravings- the information is out there to help and support your body’s innate guidance. Pay attention to how you feel and use that as your source of information.
- There is nothing serious going on here—by taking the seriousness away from our experiences, we are able to enjoy them and feel more in ‘flow’ with what we want and how we want to feel.
Chloe is a fairy spirit with the potency and wisdom of a witch and spiritual teacher. She has always felt the people and world around her at an extremely high frequency, spending her life interacting with others (since she was a young, old soul), guiding them through the obstacles of life. Her greatest joy is in leading other souls around the world into the truth of who they are; on a greater mission to expand and shift the consciousness of our planet. Her passion is in the connection to the divine and experiencing the joy of what it means to be alive, and helping others to discover this deep universal secret.
Since Chloe was young, she felt a strong calling to help and Love the people around her. A gifted psychic and naturally empathic, this energy overwhelmed her as she lived through experiencing pain and trauma in the world around her and her parents. She blocked herself from overwhelm- creating severe eating disorders, depression and body suffering throughout her childhood. It was this pain that became the catalyst to starting her work as a holistic nutritionist and healer. Working with people and guiding them into their own healing brought Chloe back to that same connection that she knew as a child.
Chloe now works as an international psychic and spiritual teacher – guiding groups and individuals on the journey to the truth of who they are.