I know… you are surprised too.
A couple years ago I went to my primary care doctor for a routine physical. It had been a couple of years since I had been to the doctor so I thought establishing a relationship with someone and getting a baseline on my blood work was a good idea. I was experiencing some headaches at the time but was training for a half marathon so I did not have any major concerns.
To my alarm, when I got there the nurse commented that my blood pressure was very high. She even proceeded to ask me how long I had been suffering from high blood pressure. I was shocked.
Now before you keep reading, don’t judge me. I probably did not handle this situation in the best way possible.
I TOLD the nurse she didn’t take my blood pressure correctly. I actually laughed and told her she better do it again because there was NO way I have high blood pressure. She looked at me full of attitude (rightfully so) and told me the doctor would be in to see me soon.
Long story short, I went home with a brochure and a journal to write down my blood pressure in 2 times a day. Confession time, my blood pressure was HIGH. Like 170/130ish high. Being a medical provider, I knew that wasn’t good. I also knew that was I very stretched thin at the time. I wasn’t sleeping a lot, my stress levels were through the roof. I was exercising regularly and eating healthy but there wasn’t much self-care going on.
I left the office and immediately told my husband I needed to make some drastic changes to take care of myself.
Here are just a few things that I did:
- I focused on getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night. I do not sleep with electronics (alarm clock or phone) on my nightstand. Those are across the room and away from me so I am not distracted.
- I cut out the caffeine. I was consuming a lot of caffeine to get through my day. I focused on reducing my stress and improving my sleep so I wouldn’t need to rely on caffeine.
- I changed the way I was exercising. I did continue to train for my half marathon but I incorporated yoga in for stretching, tried to listen to my body and when I needed to slow down or take a rest day.
- Cleaned up my diet. I already had a pretty clean diet but I did add in more green smoothies. I have a green smoothie that I LOVE. It’s very anti-inflammatory and I drank it every day. Now I have a vitamix so I can just through all these ingredients in and go. So I would add 1 green apple, 1 peeled lemon, 1 small cucumber, 1 stalk of celergy, 3 sprigs of parsley and 3 sprigs of cilantro, handful of spinach, a slice of ginger and a slice of tumeric. I used ginger and tumeric root but you can use a good quality ground up spice. Blend those with water and enjoy. It’s kind of like a green lemonade!
- I quit drinking alcohol. I don’t drink a lot anyway but I totally quit altogether.
- Reduce your stress. This is different for everyone. I personally changed my work hours so my morning was not as rushed and I could spend more time in the morning getting ready for my day or just getting more stuff done around the house.
- Collect your thoughts. This could be lumped in with reducing your stress but I started meditating and journaling. I really focused on getting all my thoughts out there and then figuring out what I could control. I tried to let go the things that I did not have any control over and focus and take time for the things I could make an impact with. Sometimes just writing things down made me realize how silly some of my stresses were!
- Essential oils.. yes, I even used essential oils to help with my high blood pressure. Disclaimer: I was ALL in for reducing my blood pressure. I was monitoring it everyday and in contact with my primary care provider to make sure I was being safe. I made a roller ball of marjoram, ylang ylang, helichryseum and fractionated coconut oil and put it over my heart 3 times a day. If I would start to get stressed or feel pressure/tightness in my chest I would apply it again or just smell it.
- Supplements. I personally use Standard Process supplements for my family and me. They have tons of supplements but I found Min-Chex and Adrenal, Desiccated supplements worked really well for me.
- I look time for myself. I consciously created time each week, I started with 1 hour a week, for myself. What I did with that time was up to me. It could be lunch with a friend, a massage, a walk… anything I wanted. I just set aside the time each week and followed what my heart desired.
Not all blood pressure issues can be solved naturally. There is a reason why we developed medication for blood pressure issues. Thankfully I was able to reduce my blood pressure naturally. This was a couple of years ago and I no longer have any issues with my blood pressure. Periodically, when I am feeling particularly stressed I will check it and I am happy to report I am not seeing those high numbers anymore.
I hope this gives you direction. I hope this helps.