These past few months have been hard on us. This is why it’s always important to regularly check in on yourself and to practice some much-needed self-care when you do.
So, how do you begin the journey to self-care? Luckily, Longevity LIVE created Wellness Wednesdays. It’s a weekly Instagram interview at 19h00 SAST hosted by the founder of the World of Longevity, Gisèle Wertheim Aymés that will help you on your health and wellness journey. Joined by a different expert each week on @longevity_live. Gisèle and her guests will help you take baby steps with facts and points.
Miss Dhanusha: Self-Care Is A Must
Dhanusha Dhoorgalu is a 20-something-year-old Cape Townian health influencer who often believes she’s going on 80. A self-proclaimed self-care advocate, Miss Dhanusha has recently begun using her platform to help women learn how to practice self-care in their everyday lives.
“Just before COVID-19 pandemic hit, I decided to go into self-care because I realized that in my community – the brown community – women always, always put themselves last. The kids, the husbands, even pets as well as the household always come before them,” explains Miss Dhanusha, adding that while it’s a great thing to be selfless, constant giving will leave you depleted.
In fact, around six years ago, at the age of 22, Miss Dhanusa suffered from a nervous breakdown, and it was here that she realized the importance of self-care,
“I also realized that people don’t know the benefits of the different forms of self-care, like meditation, yoga, and journaling. I realized that people should know this and these coping mechanisms that I use can help so many other people.“
It all starts with your diet
One thing that Miss Dhanusha understands is the role that diet can play when it comes to self-care. In fact, she’s been a vegetarian since the age of 9!
“I was raised in a Hindu home and Hinduism is very much pro-vegetarian. While you don’t have to be vegetarian, the religion very much enforces that.” That said, Dhanusha adds that her mother did not want her to be a vegetarian due to the family history of anemia and as such, her mum had concerns that she wouldn’t get enough iron.
“I went against my moms’ wishes and researched ethics and animal cruelty and I ended up sticking to vegetarianism, and it helped with my spiritual journey.”
Dhanusha also added that while she’s not fully vegan (she still eats dairy and eggs), she is incredibly happy with the vegan-friendly options that have been made available in the past few years. In fact, she recently had the opportunity to support Nescafé’s new plant-based lattes,
“I love cappuccinos and lattes, but I am quite sensitive to dairy, so I never have it in my coffee at all. However, the minute I tased the Nescafé vegan range I was super excited about it because I could now have that full coffee experience that I grew up having.”
Diet: the secret to longevity?
Recently, Dhanusha had gut issues that were stress-related and she had to get food allergy tests done. The results went on to confirm that she shouldn’t actually be eating meat because she is allergic to all sorts of meats, proving that her being vegetarian was the perfect choice for her health.
“Before my stress-related problems last year I never really got sick, I always had great skin, and my overall health, in general, has been good. If you can do your research, the amount of plant-based eaters who live longer to about 100 is amazing.”
In fact, her grandfather lived to about 83, and he was a vegetarian for over 30 years. Now, while his diet consisted mostly of just curry and rice, his death was not health-related, but it was a natural death. As such, Dhanusha considers him a great example, and she even attests to it with her own life.
“If people start to go more plant-based, they will definitely feel the difference. My partner, about a year ago, stopped eating red meat. Recently, he was at an event, and he had a little piece of meat. Unfortunately, it made him so sick, and he realized that red meat isn’t good for his body. He listened to his body, and this is something that most people refuse to do“
Do your part for the planet
Eating a plant-based diet won’t only help to improve your health, but it’s also a great boost for the planet’s well-being,
“It definitely is more taxing on the planet to be eating meat,” says Dhanusha. To reduce your carbon footprint, Dhanusha advises that you avoid buying plastic bags and rather take your own shopping bags when going to the mall
“Recycle your box, metal, plastics, or reuse whatever you can. All in all, be very wary about what and where you are buying your products and food from… We need to become more conscious of fast fashion and how it affects the environment. You may not want to buy a new pair of jeans if it’s killing the planet”
Self-care during uncertain times
It can be hard to practice self-care when things are going wrong, but Miss Dhanusha has a few ways you can easily do so,
“I recommend starting with apps such as The Calm App and HeadSpace App as they provide great guided meditation tips.“
Miss Dhanusha Meditation Tips
1. Set the tone
2. Remove any electronics nearby, and set a candle.
3. Before starting, make sure you are comfortably seated, with your legs crossed. If you’re not comfortable, then sit on a pillow or even sit on your bed.
4. Deep breathing is great for meditation.
“I do the 4.7.8 technique which is holding for 4 seconds breathing for 7 and holding for 8 again. It’s better to follow a guided mediation video when doing that.”
“Breathing when doing meditation is what brings down your sensors and mind, which forces the nervous system to relax…Even when the thought comes, let the thought come, but continue with what you were doing.
“Having a platform such as social media where I can still help people is amazing. I help people set self-care routines, which I feel will help you much more because I can help customize and help prevent burnout.
People do not take their health seriously until they are old, and taking care of your age from a young age could help prevent it.”
WATCH THE INTERVIEW
The video interview with Miss Dhanusha contains the entire dialogue of this interview, and you can watch it below.
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