Sometimes in life we’ve got situations repeating themselves. We might do all we can to avoid them, but not always there is a way to do so. Broken hearts are one of those unwanted situations, but the aftermath and its results might just be even harder to deal with.
I’d like to remember you that the following issues are not the product of just a break up, but, even more, of the unwanted lifestyle and worn-out soul that has been created and caused long before the breakup. Beside that I hope you also recall me telling you that all the knowledge and wisdom of the content of my blogs are inspired by the God in me – I don’t take credits for it, neither do I keep the helpful information to myself.
Oh, and please don’t forget: none of the following is based on expertise, merely on experience.
On the age of eight we, my mum, little brother and me, returned from our holidays on the beautiful Curaçao – the Caribbean island I can proudly call home of my roots. From its warm, laid back and tropical nature we returned to the cold and green city life in Holland. Though I had been on the island and away from the Netherlands before, I this time got back to some new complications. I got diagnosed allergic to pollen and dust – two unavoidable things in a Northern country – and it translated itself in skin problems. Eczema, to be exact. I got treated for it and received medication, anti-itch tablets, creams, oils, bathing salt and even a standing tanning screen to simulate the sun and tropical environment. After ten years I recovered and got healed from something I’ve been told I would never really be free from. Though my environment and the allergies clearly had their impact, I always, somewhere in the back of my head, saw it as a trauma reaction to the separation of my parents.
Throughout the years I’ve experience different little heartaches, but somehow the most recent one really affected me and cause the trauma to unfortunately appear again. I do have to say that my skin seemed weak before because of poor skincare habits, but I won’t lie: ‘losing’ my best friend, lover, someone so dear to me, made me relive some pain I thought to be free from.
Beside the recurring physical issues I got to deal with sleeping problems from the moment I allowed the season of recovery to start. To recover, whether it is physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally, you need to sleep well and enough, so I had multiple concerns to tackle. And I decided to do this the natural way, following my gut-instinct and keeping in mind that it is worth the patience (instead of chemical, overnight solutions).
Let. Me. Sleep.
Falling asleep always has taken me some time – it can take me up to half an hour before I really doze off. On top of that I am a night owl and get really creative, active and alive at night. I’ve always been like that, but over the last year and a half I didn’t really get to live like it. I had to wake up for work at, for me, inhuman hours and therefore also forced myself to sleep way too early. The very moment I decided to listen to myself, my whole system decided to shoot to the extremes and bed-time actually became a nightmare. I’d be awake, tossing, turning and itchy for over an hour before I’d fall asleep, to then wake up at 2.00, 4.00 and 6.00 and have, again, an hour of tossing, turning, itching and frustrating each time I woke up. I’d wake up worn out and fragile.
One night I cried out, too tired to even try anymore. I felt led to search the internet and in no-time I found a disorder that matched my situation (Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder). Though I don’t necessary believe to have the disorder, it did open up my eyes on the fact that I should start listening more to my body, allowing it to be awake when it wants and sleep when it’s really ready to do so. After this I started sleeping at 2.00, then two hours later, and soon after I was still awake and getting just a bit sleepy at 6am. It was unusual, it was anti-social, but it was needed – I got the required sleep and rest and it had a positive influence on the rest of my process and progress. Two weeks ago I managed to switch back my sleep rhythm to a more sociable hour, since I was wide awake after a very short morning sleep and able to stay awake till early night hours. And I’m now very grateful to say I sleep well again!
Besides acting according to my needs I learned some valuable knowledge and habits which helped me to have a more peaceful night.
- Use your bed only to sleep on
- Keep your room on a cool temperature
- Don’t watch exciting, open-ending series right before going to bed
- Leave, or even turn off, your phone, tablet and laptop when preparing to go/going to bed
- Meditate instead
- If you’re a light sleeper and sounds can keep you awake, keep some earplugs under your pillow, ready to use
- Try banana-tea instead of sleeping pills – it doesn’t only make you fall asleep, but it also relaxes your muscles, so you’ll sleep well and deep
One thing to understand and have clear is that every person has a different type of hair and skin and should be treated in their unique and personal way. In general people with dark(er) skin and coarse hair should keep themselves moisturized – especially when it comes to people with skin problems, such as eczema. After my skin was completely healed I slowly started using less nourishing products and while traveling I couldn’t always purchase the right ones – plus I was a bit lazy, since my skin has been strong and healthy for such a long time. Going through a season of having to deal with old issues makes me realize that [one] I should never take my beautiful and strong skin for granted, so [two] I should always treat it with care, natural products and a lot of love.
The following two products have made a major difference. My skin still has a bit to go before it’s back to its baby-soft and shiny nature, but these products have become part of my lifestyle.
raw African Black Soap
This born and raised in Holland Caribbean woman sometimes forgets that her roots actually lay in Africa. Again, during a night of frustration, I cried out and, again, I got led to surf the internet. After a short search I found out about this raw black soap and decided to try it. And the Ghanaian cleansing product has taken many troubles away! It daily cleans my skin from all the unnecessary oils and dead skin, even took some rashes away overnight, it makes dark spots disappear and got my skin feeling soft, smooth and healthy again.
raw Shea Butter
I’ve been told about the power of Shea butter, but, as my skin was going through a lot, I decided to take the changes one by one. Once I discovered that my usual moisturizer didn’t give me the right nourishment anymore, I decided to give the raw shea butter a chance. It made such a difference, that I didn’t even think of returning to or looking for other products. The butter itself is quite rough on the skin and difficult to apply if not mixed with an oil. After looking for some help on LittleGreenDot.com I started mixing it with virgin olive oil and it’s been making even greater progress! Drying up the wounds and rashes, bringing back my original colour and making my skin even healthier and softer makes my shea and olive oil butter loveable and desired.
I didn’t only treated my skin by what I do or don’t apply on it, but have created new habits to make the recovery go faster and to make a lifelong change:
- Take short and luke-warm to cold showers. If/whenever possible try washing up with a wet cloth instead of a full shower – it speeds up the healing process.
- Avoid synthetic clothes, rather wear cotton items
- Don’t over-moisturize – give your skin time to breathe in order to recover
- Be aware of what you eat and how it affects your total body
- Know the powers of food such as turmeric, ginger, garlic and pure honey
- Let the sun and supplements help your energetic and immune system where needed
Since that my body’s status has been a reaction on my mental, emotional and spiritual health I decided to keep a online journal for a while, to see how one element did or did not influence the other. In this journal I kept record on how much I slept, if I slept well, how my emotional state of the day was and why. I kept record on whether I consumed a lot of sugar/dairy, if I drank enough water, how I took care of my skin that day and what the results have been and if any changes are needed. Doing this has been very helpful to evaluate, change and eliminate, in order to recover, grow and establish. I’m now well on my way, and, though I still have a bit to go before I can call myself completely recovered, I celebrate and give thanks for every victory – cause I know I came a long way.
Next: How I fell in love with my rebound..
Can you handle one more?
love and peace,