🌿Sister Sage 🌿is a weekly roundup of advice from our Ambassador & Athlete teams into what they learned in the past decade (because no one wants to go through that shit again.) In Week 4, we're exploring our health (and not just the physical side of it).
What we loved about reading all of the submissions is their focus on mental health. We all know about the stigma surrounding mental health, and to see all of them be so vulnerable may point to a long-overdue societal shift. In week four, we're exploring our health (and not just the physical side of it).
None of what you read below is intended to replace formal medical advice, rather it’s insight into how our team cares for themselves.
Natalie Corbett @dr_climb_medicine_woman: Mental health is as important as physical health. That may seem intuitive to some but many ignore their own or see any mental health issues as a weakness. I am of the belief that everyone should see a therapist regardless of if they feel like they need it or not. Having an impartial ear to listen to me has done wonders for both my mental well-being and physical, as one can affect the other. Don't settle with the first one you visit either of you don't like them; if you're not comfortable opening up to them you're not going to get anything out of it and keep searching for the right one. Seeing a therapist has literally saved my life. When I was suffering from severe depression early on in my transition it was having a therapist helped me move on from that state to who I am today.
Andrea Slusarski @drawingfromnature: Creating is such an important tool in learning and growth. Journalling, Singing, Cooking, Drawing—whatever makes YOU feel Creative is so important to your mental health. Save space for those activities.
Natasha Way @thenattyway: There are so many 'cures' out there that either address non-existent problems or have no data and no research to back them up. Make sure you are checking your sources and consulting doctors before making any major changes in your life regarding your health. This is especially true in the world of women's health. Be wary of any products designed to fix your vagina in any way. There are so many products on the market without any data to back them up that claim to clean or tighten your lady parts when usually there was nothing wrong in the first place!
Lexie Gritlefeld @weekend.roamer: Don’t blow your knee out. Get your strength training in!
Jodi Redfield @jodiwankenobe: It’s easy to want to 'get in shape' by 'doing your sport' but after spending a few years as a personal trainer I know not to forget the importance of balancing muscle groups, building a strong core and stretching out those overworked quads. Drink lots of water and fuel your long touring days with real food, not just bars and sugar.
Robyn Goldsmith @scenesfromthetrail: Be your own health advocate. Don't let doctors or health professionals diminish your experiences. If you have been suffering from chronic pain or another condition (endometriosis, anyone?), go into your doctor's office equipped with notes, bring a friend or advocate if you need one, and insist on solutions.
Heidi Hoang @hoang.heidi: Your body has its limits, make sure to understand and respect them.
Shelby Burns @shelbssays: Most of us have crazy active lifestyles. It is important to slow it down. Give yourself eight hours of sleep, a quick 10-minute meditation to break up your workday, or do an hour a day phone detox. We are constantly overstimulating our minds. Take care of yourself, and find ways to add in downtime to your schedule.
Meaghan Greene @meaghanmichele: In my own health journey, I have found that the connection between my physical and mental health is crucial. The rhythm of the two dancing in unison is what makes me feel most connected to who I am. If you are struggling, try being mindful of how they work together, break cycles of bad patterns, and find ways to connect them through conscious movement and breath.
Ryan Michelle Scavo @ryoutside: For the mamas out there: Stay active during your pregnancy and you'll be physically and mentally better, post-baby. If you were active before baby-making, you know your body and your capabilities. Don't slow down (too much) just because you might get strange looks ripping the resort at 7+ months pregnant. If you know your limitations and are smart about your activity, you'll be healthier for it in the long run. Your body and baby will thank you later.
Evin Harris @ev.schmev: Recently I learned I need therapy. I also need "snowboarding therapy,” but that is not always enough. Everyone can benefit from therapy, but unfortunately, it is not always the most accessible. Not all therapists accept insurance and not everyone has insurance. The mental health care system in the US has a long way to go. To those who are curious and do not have insurance that will cover therapy, you can get discounted sessions through students studying to be registered therapists. My best tactic yet is taking my life day by day. I know that sounds cliche but when one day is out of this world great and the next is just unbearable, that's almost the only way to go. Along with help from my mindfulness therapist, I have longer stretches of good days.