along with talking about coeliac disease and my gluten free reviews posts, i want to discuss some of my health/body issues a little more here. they’re things that affect my everyday life, and this is quite a personal, at times diary like blog so i want to share snippets of these things from time to time – if for no other reason than they might help someone feel less alone.
today i’m going to be talking about heartburn, and more specifically in my case, acid reflux. oh, that damned thing!
i reckon most people at some points in their life have had a little heartburn here and there after overindulging. but chronic heartburn and/or reflux is a whole different, painful, uncomfortable beast.
i remember the first time i had it. it was in 2005. which …was a VERY bad time in my life anyway (stress is a heartburn/reflux trigger by the way). i was laying in bed with this bizarre feeling in my chest and throat. couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, and after a few days of having it pretty much constantly, i got it checked out and found out it was acid reflux (and a bit of general heartburn). annoyingly i got no advice from the doctor so i pretty much got on with my life. the one thing i figured out pretty immediately was that i needed to sleep on a few pillows to keep my oesophagus above my stomach. still helps now!
the other thing is that i’m very sensitive to a lot of foods. it’s taken me a LONG time to figure out what my specific triggers are, but the worst offenders are tomatoes, apples, mint, raw onion and citrus fruits. some of these give me pretty intense heartburn, but others affect my skin and overall digestive health too. but more on that in another post!
rennie have put together a pretty useful (interactive!) infographic which details ways that people around the world treat heartburn and reflux – essentially different ways to help you relax as stress can be a strong trigger. i thought it’d be fun to try a few of these to see if they’d help me out. there are plenty of things you can do without spending any money (or very little) so these are my preference currently. though a nice massage or spa break wouldn’t go amiss!
spending time outside
in the UK, spending time outside is a very common way to de-stress. this may be going for a nice walk in the countryside, having a day by the beach or even just sitting on a bench in your local park. fresh air is a great invigorator and can really help set your mind at ease. i try to go for a walk every day, even if it’s just 10 minutes down the road and back. definitely one of my favourite and best ways to let go of stress is to spend some time outside. even if that means just walking to a local cafe and buying a cuppa.
partially because i’m an introvert, but quiet time is VERY important to me to help me relax and generally decompress from busy days. even if i don’t have any trigger foods, if i’d had a day full of seeing lots of people i do tend to get a little heartburn from the stress of this. quiet time doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing though. to me it’s just some time alone to get on with work or even chores(!), but it can obviously include a bit of relaxation and pampering. which leads on to…
getting busy doing nothing
providing you’re in the right state of mind (it can be hard to relax if you’re a motivated person that likes to keep busy), doing ‘nothing’ can be fantastic for stress. taking a nap, zoning out in front of a film, relaxing in your garden or at the beach…it can help you in a multitude of ways. doing nothing can be a good distraction from your worries, but it can also give you time to revitalise yourself or seek some inner peace. when you have a better outlook on things, i think it does generally lead to being able to deal with stress better.
what are your ‘go to’s’ when it comes to letting go of stress? do you prefer to be active? or are you a bit of a homebody? does a day at a spa make you feel like a new person? how about a trip to explore a new city?
this post is a paid collaboration with Rennie, but as always, all words, opinions and photos are my own.
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