Often we hear about how wonderful it is to do great things for your body. Whether this means hitting the spa, throwing some extra chia seeds in your smoothie or going for a morning walk, anything that helps you feel good from the inside is usually a winner. One story we rarely hear about is what happens when your stressed or depressed state hits so hard that it actually begins to take a physical toll on your body. 

I had no idea that being stressed out could actually cause me physical sickness until winter of last year. I had just gone through a breakup and, although I knew it was for the better, I was devastated. Putting your all into something and yielding no results in the end is completely trash. During this time I'd also decided to completely cut off a few things including school work, friendships and food. None of this was intentional, I just really felt the need to separate myself from just about everything to avoid being seen by anyone. Eventually, my body started to completely rebel against me. My skin was peeling, my hair was falling out, I had no more tears left. I was in complete shock at how sick I looked, especially since there was no actual diagnosis of an illness. 

It's weird for me to think back on this time and realize that the one thing that helped me jumpstart my mental and physical health journey was the sheer effects of stress on my body. I know that I was completely torn up mentally, but looking at myself and seeing a monster every day was enough for me to at least get my act together a little bit. 

The actual journey to becoming healthy was a long one, but it all started with the realization that my body could feel the toll. It took affirmations, faith, food, daily walks and more to develop my self-love enough to become the person I am today. 

For anyone out there who finds themselves reaching abnormal amounts of stress, whether in school, relationships, extracurriculars, jobs or anything else, please take my story as a warning. Before things get too deep, listen to the small signals your body is sending before they become bigger. A realization that something is off can lead to less stress and more self-love. Take the time you need, no matter the circumstance, to become the best version of yourself despite life's trials.