We live in a world where a bottle of soda cost less than a bottle of water. Burger and fries “meals” made of bottom of the barrel animal byproducts held together by fillers and lye-washed potatoes fried in fake fats cost less than a fresh green salad. Toxicant-containing synthetic skincare products which contain toxicants that have been proven to harm the human body and the environment are available at every neighborhood drugstore for just a few dollars and aren’t questioned since celebrities tell people it’s great. In contrast, skilled artisan makers who painstakingly source organic and fair-trade ingredients and craft their products mindfully and expertly have to constantly justify their prices and struggle to turn a profit.
We live in a world where skin issues that usually plague pregnant and post-menopausal women are now seen on teenagers and skin issues that plague teenagers are now seen on post-menopausal women.
We live in a world with so many diets–Paleo, South Beach, Atkins, Macrobiotic, Vegan, Ketogenic, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Pescatarian, Mediterrasian, Low FODMAP, Blood Type Diet, Metabolic Typing Diet, 3 Season Diet, and the list goes on–and so many “experts” telling us what to eat, that we’ve become completely disconnected from what our own bodies actually need, so we have no clue what to actually eat.
We live in a world where many believe that in order to have beautiful skin, we have to injure it first with acids, lasers, and abrasion.
How did we get here?
That’s a loaded question with no single answer, but in short–we’ve become addicted to convenience and instant gratification. We’ve come to value quantity over quality. The band-aid, quick fix, on-the-go, supersized lifestyle where more is more and faster is better has taken over. And society has become fatter, sicker, prematurely aged, and plagued with chronic skin and health issues because of it.
We’ve become so used to symptoms such as fatigue, bloating, breakouts, rashes, digestive distress, emotional imbalance, and hormone imbalances, that we’ve come to accept them as our new normal. They occur so frequently that we either ignore them completely, or take a pill to cover them up.
These symptoms are how the body repeatedly tries to tell us that something is wrong. It is trying to tell us that dysfunction is about to or already has occurred within a cell, tissue, muscle, or system–and if we don’t stop, pay attention, and make a change, it will get worse. Often, this is when we start to see eruptions on the skin in the form of acne, melasma, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, or another visible skin issue that gives us no choice but to stop and pay attention.
What can you do about it?
It is essential to take time to reconnect with your body on a regular basis. Here are some of our favorite ways to do that:
- Slow down. Pause in whatever current moment you’re living right now, realizing that once it’s gone, it’s gone. Not everything comes with a sense of urgency, deadline, or expiration date. Often, the busier you feel, the more you need those daily pauses. Set reminders on your phone or calendar to remind you to slow down and pause for a moment several times a day.
- Keep journals. One of the best ways to connect with your true self AND track what’s going on with your mind and body is to keep a journal. If you’re not sure what you’re supposed to eat, start with a simple food journal, where you note what you ate, and how it made you feel. Do the same with your skin–keep a private photo or written journal of how your skin looks after using skincare products, receiving treatments, and also after eating certain foods. Any symptoms such as the ones mentioned above are typically indicators that your body does not like something you’ve just given it.
- Get out in nature. Smell the flowers. Listen to the birds. Our bodies are part of nature, and spending more time in nature helps us reconnect with ourselves individually as well as our greater collective selves as inhabitants of the same planet.
- Trust our skin and health to real plants and real food. Eat real food–that means food that is fresh from the Earth, doesn’t require explanation or a food label, doesn’t come in a box or a can. Form relationships with your local farmers and herbalists (yes, even cities have them!), and buy from them often. A skincare product or meal that’s been handmade with real, fresh, whole ingredients will always be higher quality than something made by a robot in a factory that sits on a shelf for years before you even get it. You literally are what you eat.
- Stop making excuses. People always find time and money for things they truly value–if you don’t value your health, then what’s the point of valuing anything else? Look at how you’re spending your time and your money, and find ways to make room for healthy food and healthy personal care products.
If you need some place to start, just pick one of these things–if that’s the only change you can make, you will be amazed at how simple all the other stuff becomes.
What’s your favorite way to slow down and reconnect with your body?
Please tell us in the comments below!