So many of the wellness warriors we know weren’t always that way to begin with. From last month’s guest editor Kris Carr to some of our all-time favorite bloggers, most of our role models were catapulted into their wellness journey by a health problem they had no choice but to address.
Life coach and wellness guru Nitika Chopra is one of those people. Nitika is on a mission to inspire radical self-love, and is the host of the talk show Naturally Beautiful on Z Living, which focuses on a holistic approach to beauty from the inside out. However, this all came from battling a pretty serious illness: at the age of ten, Nitika was diagnosed with a case of psoriasis that was at times so debilitating that she was unable to even walk.
Two years later – at an age where most of us were just starting to discover makeup and develop crushes – Nitika made the decision to shift her entire mindset in a drastically more positive direction. Specifically, a more self-loving, body positive direction. Here are the 3 huge life lessons Nitika took away from her experience – silver lining we can all learn from.
Do you remember those days when you were a kid dancing around your yard in a bathing suit, or playing soccer after school with your closest friends, or even looking forward to a fun sleepover on a Friday night?
I do too. I remember loving all of those moments and feeling so lucky to be me.
But at age 10, that all changed. You see, I was diagnosed with a really common skin condition called psoriasis. What started out to be a small spot on my upper left arm turned into my whole body being covered with dry, white scaly patches within just one year.
I lived in constant pain, had to immediately quit soccer, became terrified of sleeping over at a friend’s house for fear that I would flake too much on their sheets and I wouldn’t be caught dead in a bathing suit.
Living with psoriasis was a moment-to-moment struggle because the first thing people noticed about me was my skin. When people met me when my condition was at its worst, all people saw was that I was covered in thick white scales. As much as my skin constantly reminded me of how different and separate I was, it also taught me some incredible lessons that I will be forever grateful for.
Whether you’re dealing with a skin condition, an insecurity about your weight, or any other challenge that’s coming up in your life right now, these lessons will certainly apply to your life as well.
No matter what you’re going through in your life, always know that you’re here for a purpose that’s way bigger than you could have ever imagined. So when your body starts breaking down and giving you messages, keep that in mind. Know that it’s not happening to you, but happening for you.
3 Lessons I’ve Learned From My Health Crisis
Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
For most of my life, people would immediately feel sorry for me and focus on my skin condition. They never asked me personal questions like, “What’s your favorite color?” Or, “What music do you like?” I was simply seen as the “sick girl,” not the real Nitika. Now whenever I look at people, no matter if they have acne or are struggling with their weight, I look deeper and treat them like they are a divine being, because we all are. I learned to always look past appearances and really be present to the depth of who someone is.
Your Body is Your Biggest Teacher
As I walked through the experience of having psoriasis, it became impossible for me to ignore that my inner struggles would inevitably show up on my body. I noticed when I would get angry or frustrated, I would itch more. When I was stressed out, it was harder for me to sleep. Because I was in a constant state of discomfort and my body was screaming these messages at me, it was much harder for me to ignore. I had to really tune into everything my body was trying to tell me, create strict boundaries in my life, change my diet and alter my sleep patterns. For a long time I thought I was the only one this happened to. But after awhile I realized this happened to everyone else too. When my mom had a headache, it meant she was stressed. When my brother got a stomach ache, it meant he was feeling anxious. I learned that listening to our bodies is absolutely crucial. So the next time your body starts talking to you about an imbalance, don’t ignore it. Take the time to dig deeper and understand what’s really going on.
Self-Care is the Access Point to Self-Love
In all the years I was dealing with my skin on a daily basis, I thought of skin care as a means to an end. I was doing the bare minimum because it felt like a task to just get through. Then, one day I was having a really strong flare up and I felt inspired to say affirmations to that area of my body as I was applying a really luxurious body butter. The results were amazing; I could visibility see my skin calm down because I was giving it love and care. I was so excited about these results that I started to make it a daily practice. Don’t wait until your health is falling apart to start taking great care of your body. Start a self-care practice now, and bring intention to those everyday moments.
It is amazing how our lives are shaped my specific events. My husband suffers from Psoriasis. I remember when he and I dated I was never really bothered by the scaling. I use to clean his ears, scratch his scalp and administer his ointments.