How I Got My Energy Back – the Story of Elisabeth
In this blog, Aarja's co-founder and Brand Manager Elisabeth tells her personal story and explains how she got her energy back and found a balance for her wellbeing.
I can easily remember how frustrated and hopeless I felt when I was in my 20s, as my health was not working well. This was the period in my life where I should be on top, at least I thought so! After 3 heart surgeries almost in a row, I felt this fatigue coming that I had never felt before. Only taking a shower or going to the store felt like insurmountable obstacles. I gathered enough energy to cope with work, but after work, I could not do anything. My spare time was spent on the couch, and I felt ashamed because no one understood that there was anything wrong with me, I only looked lazy to the outside world.
For me, it almost felt like laying in an open coffin, because in my mind I wanted to move and do things, but my body would not listen. Back then, I didn't know what to do, and all I felt was that my health was just getting worse. I remember the time when I thought that I could not do this anymore and I constantly asked myself, that is this really how my health will be for the rest of my life? I had no answer. Finding the right solution for the situation is not easy when you don't understand how your body works or what is the cause of illness. If I would have known all the things I know today, my 20s would have been completely different, I am sure of it.
Of all things, I found my fiance during this dark period of my life, and he introduced me to running. He was an athletic and active person and he had a lot of patience with me. We started out running slowly, but after just a few times I already felt like I got more energy back into my life! I still remember how great and surprising that felt. Was that all I needed?
I was able to start doing more things after work and had the energy to do small things, like cleaning up a closet. It was so rewarding. The more I put into my running, the more I got out of it. I have to say I was not very fond of it from before, and I still not am super thrilled. But with all the amazing health benefits, I motivate myself to get myself out of the door. The best medicine for me today is still running outside in nature. It lifts my mood, it gives me an energy-kick, I feel strong and it clears my mind. I have learned that all movements matter – no matter how little.
It turned out that my fiance had also some serious health issues. Health is self-evident until you lose it. We started on a health journey together and wanted to learn more about the ways to improve health also in alternative ways. We travelled to meet different experts and health gurus around the world who were specialized in nutritional treatments. What surprised us was how many people we met had that in common with us. That the answer to good health is not in prescribed manufactured medicine, but how you live your life. Meaning that it is better to prevent what causes disease, then to get it and then treat the symptoms with medicine. We discovered a whole new world of alternative health and ways to take care of yourself. We gathered a lot of information from different sources and also during the journey we made changes to our lifestyle - what we eat, how we take care of ourselves, and simply we put our own wellbeing as a priority. And some years after we both healed.
What is important for us today?
We want to be sure we get all the vitamins and minerals through our diet or from supplements because a poor diet causes a lack of important nutrients that our bodies need every day. A poor diet causes illness and suppresses our energy. This took me years to understand what right and sufficient nutrition means. I had always thought supplements are unnecessary because I believed that if you eat a varied diet, that should be enough. But the food we buy today is not as nutritional as one might think, and you need to compile your diet really carefully if you want to get all the nutrients through your diet.
Especially up here in the North where we have no sun for 2 months, it could not be more important to take extra vitamin D. My winters turned out so much better than before, thanks to my running routine and supplementation. Knock on wood, but I rarely suffer from any seasonal illnesses anymore, compared to before. I truly believe in the power of strengthening the immune system naturally. I believe it is all about the right nutrition, exercise, and rest. Then when all things are balanced you have the energy to enjoy your life to the fullest!
Here are Elisabeth's best tips she uses in her everyday life to boost and maintain the energy especially during the darkest period:
1. Excercise – it gives you energy and endorphins, which will boost your mood!
2. Get fresh air – it is easy to stay in when it gets dark but fresh air makes your brain work better but it can give you more energy and help you to focus.
3. Stay hydrated – drink enough water! Dehydration causes fatigue because it impacts the flow of oxygen to the brain and causes your heart to work harder to pump oxygen to all your organs – and that's making you more tired and less alert. By staying hydrated you stay energized.
6. Sleep – now during the polar night we need more sleep. So take care of good sleep, it is one of the best investments for yourself!
7. Eat healthy – varied diet with lots of vegetables and berries and good sources of fats, proteins and carbs definitely support your energy levels.
8. Be mindful about your thoughts – feed your mind with positive thoughts and try to release stress. Your mind affects your energy more than we realize!
9. For this period we use a daylight lamp to bring some "sun light". Lack of light affects mood and energy, so this helps a bit to this darkness.
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