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  • Writer's pictureShelly Hoekstra

Self-Care for Wellness & Radical Remission

Living a balanced life takes practice, and conscious awareness. Where are you placing your energy? Are these the priorities in your life? How would you describe your self-care? Take an honest look at any imbalances in your life, decide what changes need to take place for your wellness, and then take positive action to create the life you truly desire.

The most important life aspects that deserve your introspection include a support system, diet and nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management skills, time spent on recreation and leisure, and a healthy personal practice. Live life more fully.

Support System

Identify the main support systems in your life, friends or family members, a group or community you belong to, or spiritual/religious support. Be sure this is a healthy, and dependable resource. Use this resource when needed, and that includes time just to have fun, or simply just to be. If this is an area of weakness for you, seek out like-minded individuals in your community.

Diet and Nutrition

Become conscientious of your eating habits. Are you eating inflammatory foods verse anti-inflammatory foods? A diet high in sugar, carbs, and fatty foods or a healthy, well-balanced, plant-based diet with minimal protein?

If you are in a routine of poor eating habits, identify the root cause. If it is trauma, address the trauma. If it is due to extreme stress, learn some new coping mechanisms and stress management techniques. If it is lack of knowledge, educate yourself.

Our cells need live foods; fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. Our gut needs fermented foods. We require a large variety of vitamins and minerals for optimal health. How colorful is your grocery cart with fruits and vegetables when you shop? How close are you getting to 5-7 servings of them daily?

Eat organic, non-GMO foods. Stay away from mass farmed products in the States. Corn and wheat have been altered so drastically that they are no longer healthy for our bodies. Eat wild caught fish and limit your intake of pork and beef.

If your nutritional habits are in need of adjustment, start by making small changes. Something as simple as drinking more water can have great impact. Make changes that are reasonable, manageable, and can be maintained. Think long-term and slowly make improvements. Most diets do not have longevity. The one that still holds up to meeting our nutritional needs is the Mediterranean diet.


Regular exercise is essential for our body's proper health. Having difficulty sustaining a routine? A brisk walk can be enough or try something new. An alteration to an activity you already enjoy may also be a simple solution. I became an avid hiker once I got past my limiting beliefs held from youth about not hiking alone. For my husband, a nice road bicycle changed his perspective and pleasure in riding. Find a life-long fitness activity that you truly love.

Exercise not only benefits our physical bodies, but it also affects our state of mind, relieving stress, and elevating mood. Research has even shown that exercise can be as effective in treating depression compared to antidepressant medications, (Murri et al., 2019).


Seven to nine hours of sleep a night is the recommendation. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to increased risk for health problems, and long-term may lead to serious illness. Some examples include:

  • Difficulties with mental and emotional functioning

  • Muscle soreness, fatigue, and headaches

  • High blood pressure

  • Cardiac problems, including heart failure and stroke

  • Increased appetite, obesity, diabetes

  • Depression

  • Decreased immune system function

  • Seizures

  • Higher risk of mortality

A healthy sleep routine can be greatly beneficial. Going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time. Dimming the lights and turning off electronics an hour before you go to bed. Use the bed for sleeping not as a place to lounge. Do not wait until you are tired to go to bed. On average, it takes about twenty minutes for people to fall asleep.

Stress Management, Recreation/Leisure, and a Personal Practice

Stress management skills often include, or become, a favorite form of recreation, or personal practice. Nevertheless, all of these areas of self-care are important to our overall health and well-being.

When managing some of life's toughest challenges, a toolkit holding a variety of coping skills is essential. Here are some suggestions:

  • Meditation

  • Mindfulness

  • Breathwork

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation

  • Massage

  • Aromatherapy

  • Exercise (hiking, biking, rowing, rock climbing)

  • Yoga

  • Qigong or Tai Chi

  • Positive affirmation

  • Visualizations

  • Dance

  • Art

  • Prayer

  • Journaling

  • Hypnosis/self-hypnosis

  • Listening to relaxing or uplifting music, or sound healing

  • Time in nature (Earthing, Forest Bathing, swimming in natural water bodies)

Be sure to make space in your life for recreation and leisure. Play as hard as you work and remember to spend time in quiet contemplation as well.

Lastly, find a personal practice that makes you feel connected, a practice where you lose a sense of time, and that puts you in the flow of life. Then do this practice daily. It will help to bring balance to all areas of your life.

Self-Care for Radical Remission

By bringing balance to our lives, we can heal, and prevent illness altogether. Kelly Turner, PhD, through her research, illustrates how self-care has the power to realign us to our natural state of being. She traveled the world, interviewing individuals who had achieved spontaneous remission from cancer, after allopathic medicine had been unsuccessful. In her book, Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, she found nine key factors prevailed.

9 Key Factors

  1. Taking control of your health

  2. Following your intuition

  3. Radically changing your diet

  4. Using herbs and supplements

  5. Releasing suppressed emotions

  6. Increasing positive emotions

  7. Embracing social support

  8. Deepening your spiritual connection

  9. Having strong reasons for living

Our bodies are designed to self-regulate, regenerate, and heal. We just need to get out of our own way. Take your well-being into your own hands. Live an empowered life!



Murri, M., Ekkekakis, P., Magagnoli, M., Zampogna,D., Cattedra,S., Capobianco,L., Serafini, G., Calcagno,P., Zanetidou,S., Amore, M., (2019). Physical Exercise in Major Depression: Reducing the Mortality Gap While Improving Clinical Outcomes. National Library of Medicine.


Phone: (413) 569-8048


© 2021 Shelly Hoekstra, Life Coach & Alternative Healing

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