The Wellness Spotlight series highlights military spouses and their real world health and wellness journeys in a Facebook live series. Below is an excerpt of Hannah’s feature.
WHAT WAS YOUR LOWEST MOMENT, WHEN YOUR HEALTH SUFFERED THE MOST?
My lowest moment would have to be during our last deployment. I’ve written about this before in my article for InDependent- Four Ways to Prioritize Wellness During Deployments. Basically, I was under extreme stress while living by myself and taking on a huge academic load finishing my degree at a local university. I was so desperate to get work done that I would often end up isolating myself from community, eating meals at strange times, and losing a considerable amount of sleep. This culminated in a panic attack during the end of one of my semesters. At the same time, I was struggling daily with hormonal imbalance, digestive issues, and fatigue. I was too overwhelmed to make sense of any of it.
WHAT WAS YOUR HIGHEST MOMENT, WHEN YOU FELT YOUR HEALTHIEST?
Healing is a journey, and I’m still on mine. It can take time to recover from years of stress (whether that stress comes in the form of poor diet, difficult life events, sleep deprivation, etc). That being said, I have never felt so informed and in-touch with what is going on with my health, both physically and mentally. I’m focusing my efforts on nourishing my body with food/supplements and with lifestyle, and I’ve already seen exciting results as systems start to balance. I know I can’t live in a stress-free bubble (what kind of life would that be, anyway?), I am much more aware of the effects of un-managed stress, and how to prevent it from running me over. I even hired my own health coach, because I think the value of a like-minded accountability partner cannot be understated. My own health struggles have given me a passion and empathy for others who are struggling to put together their health puzzle – who need action steps and clarity to cut through the overwhelm.
WHAT ARE SOME PERSONAL HABITS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR SUCCESS?
Creating health means more than just avoiding certain foods, or even incorporating nutrient-dense foods. It also means making the rest of your life “nutritious” by prioritizing quality sleep whenever possible, getting healthy movement in your day, and doing things that give you joy and relieve stress. But guess what? I really struggle with those elements! I tend to be a Type A personality, AND I’m an entrepreneur, so I could easily spend the entire day and late into the night working on my to-do list. However, I know my physical and mental health would suffer as a result. I know that I can eat all the vegetables I want, but if I have unchecked stress and chronic sleep deprivation, the veggies won’t win in the end.
Recently, I’ve been challenging myself to reserve time before bed for relaxation, winding down, and creativity. Since I go to bed around 10 PM, I aim to shut off screen time and dim the lights around 8 PM. This serves two purposes for me. First, it keeps my eyes away from blue light before bed. Blue light from screens disrupts melatonin, so our brains are tricked into thinking that it’s the middle of the day even if it’s 10 PM. Staying away from blue light before bed can really improve whatever sleep you’re able to get!
Second, keeping this time before bed “sacred” completely flies in the face of my need for constant productivity, and I think that’s a really good thing. Suddenly, instead of squinting into my bright computer screen as I research or work on a project before bed (which strains my eyes and keeps my brain alert and possibly anxious), I may be reaching for chamomile tea and reading a book for fun, working on a puzzle, talking to my husband, or FINALLY finishing that wedding album that I started three years ago. This is soul nourishment for me, and it helps my brain quiet down.
f.lux App– “I’ll share one of my favorite ways to limit blue light exposure if I DO need to work late: f.lux! This app is free to download on your computer. It slowly dims & yellows your monitor as the sun goes down! You can also play with the “Night Shift” setting on your iPhone, which has the same effect. Neither of these options are as effective as simply putting the screens away, but it’s definitely better than nothing!”
Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden, ND- “I absolutely love the subject of women’s hormonal health, and I think EVERY woman, no matter what her age or place in life, should feel educated and empowered to find the root cause of hormonal imbalance. As a health coach, I’ve been inspired by Lara’s clear but knowledgeable way of explaining complex issues.”
(Purchases using the link above will help InDependent cover administrative costs for our programs at no extra cost to you!)
ABOUT HANNAH CAMPBELL
Hannah is a holistic health coach at Whole Food, Whole You with a degree in Nutrition & Health. As a health coach (and foodie), her passion is helping people create sustainable health for themselves. She acts as a resource and guide for people as they work through their unique health puzzle, or as they improve their overall health. She married into the Army a few years ago and recently their crazy adventure has taken them to Rhode Island, where her husband is pursuing a Masters at Brown University. Though still a challenge, this period of time has been somewhat of a relief after a stressful season, and they are soaking up their family time by the ocean!