Do You & Take Care
How many times have you heard someone tell you, exercise and diet are part of a healthy lifestyle? I have! "Yep, I heard you the first time Kimberly from pilates."
How many of us follow that mantra? I do... kinda.
While I don't always eat my million servings of kale each day with a shot of wheatgrass, I do my best to keep up with Kimberly because she is kinda onto something guys.
One thing we could all learn form our pilates gal is, make time for your health. Making your health a priority is super important... on top of cleaning your bathroom, doing your laundry, making dinner, and of course getting to sleep before 9pm. YES! All very manageable things to complete in one day of course! But honestly, if we're successfully working our way through life with epilepsy, and mounds of laundry, we can certainly achieve the task of leading healthier lives! Right?
Now before I go listing tons of articles about the importance of health and exercise in the life of someone with epilepsy, let me get real with you... because chances are good that you've already read plenty of "Epilepsy Health" articles a time or two. So, I'll save you some guilt, tired eyes, and frustration from scrolling & scrolling & scrolling. Although I'm no doctor, here are my top five tips to leading a healthy life with epilepsy!
1. If you're tired, let yourself sleep for God's sake!
You know that feeling before you go to sleep where you tell yourself, "I've been on a roll working out in the morning, I'm going to keep it up and wake up at 6am tomorrow!" Aaaaaand then suddenly its 6am and you've got drool on your pillow case, don't hear the alarm go off (it seems like it's a part of your dream), you're pretty sure you had a seizure in your sleep, you finally hit snooze 4 times, and immediately say, "yeaa no. Not today." Next thing you know, you fall back asleep for 45 minutes?
Well... those are the days you give yourself forgiveness. Let your body heal for those extra 45 minutes. Let yourself sleep until 7:00 while you're at it! Seizures are draining and damaging to your body. Sleep is essential, I don't care what kind of regimen you're on.
2. Drink plenty of water!
..Dehydration can be the cause of seizures. If you think you've had enough, get back in there and drink double! That's an order! I'm starting to sound like Kimberly...
If you want to have a piece of chocolate or a cheat meal... don't deprive yourself of it (unless you're Keto- then don't mess with cheat meals #KetoFam). Listen you your body! Putting that pressure on yourself and stressing could cause anxiety and trigger a seizure. Nobody is perfect! (except Kimmy babe maybe) Be chill, easy... let yourself be free!
4. Trust yourself.
If you feel it, you're probably right. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, you know you. The next step is, leaving a stressful environment.
Listen to what your heart is telling you. If your sensors wind up giving you a false alarm, no sweat. Better safe than sorry.
There are times where I'm sitting in the car, the office, on a beach and I can feel a wave of anxiety wash over me (like the waves at the beach I'm supposed to be enjoying) as if a seizure is about to begin. Suddenly, out of nowhere I start feeling anxious, a bit of deja vu makes its way through, my cheek starts twitching, and I can smell something funny. "It's happening!" but then it's suddenly not happening!!! It cuts off and doesn't complete. "WHAT??? Am I imagining something or was I just about to have seizure?" Nope. False alarm!
How about the times when you're in a room where you've had a seizure before and all you can think about is that last seizure. Your brain starts worrying and you feel like you need to get out of there. So, you excuse yourself calmly (freaking out on the inside, naturally) and find the nearest door to the great outdoors!
Leaving situations like that can take away stress. P.S., You're entitled to leaving! You need to take care of yourself & that perfect little brain! Trust yourself.
5. Move it!
Doing something to get your body moving a couple times a week is awesome! It doesn't have to be 7 days of cross fit or 4 hours of pilates but, waking up in the morning and stretching for 10 minutes could be a great option for you! You could even following that up with a set of push ups, crunches, or squats! Getting a sweat in can be therapeutic for your mind and it can also cleanse your system of the toxins that meds put into your body. Going for a walk in the morning and/or after dinner can also be beneficial, in my very non-doctor opinion. Walking in the morning is great because it helps to wake you up and get your mind in the right place. I often find when I exercise in the morning I feel less anxious during the day. Anxiety is one issue I struggle with on this epilepsy journey of mine. I also enjoy walking at night, after dinner, because it helps to ease my mind before bed. Being tired after the walk, plus a long day of work, helps me fall straight asleep instead of sitting awake at night struggling with insomnia or anxiety.
Lastly, a bonus tip:
Talk to somebody :)
If your seizures are like mine, you've got about 5 seconds to alert someone on what is about to happen before it happens. So, what you can do is... find someone you trust, or if you're somewhere public like the gym living your best Kimberly life, find the nearest most trustworthy meat head and let them know what is about to happen. Someone being there for you to witness the event or call an ambulance could save your life. You are capable of many things great, you're a goddamn epilepsy warrior, but handling a seizure on your own can be a bit of a challenge.
So there it is folks, my top five tips to leading a healthy life with epilepsy! As you may have noticed it doesn't include a recipe for miracle carrot juice and it doesn't recommend that you restrain yourself from all things fun. It's just a good ole list on how to be happy and improve the quality of your beautiful life with epilepsy!
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor and am not responsible for the wonderful things that may happen if you try any of the tips given in this article :)
DISCLAIMER 2: I have nothing against people named Kimberly who enjoy doing pilates. Kimberly is a lovely name and pilates have many benefits.