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The Six Pillars Of Lifestyle Medicine with Dr. Shanika Esparaz

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By Sofia Health Staff on July, 01 2024
The Six Pillars Of Lifestyle Medicine with Dr. Shanika Esparaz

In this episode of Sofia Unfiltered, Riley talks to Dr. Shanika Esparaz, Board-certified Ophthalmologist Lifestyle Medicine specialist Certified Health & Wellbeing Coach

Understanding Signs of Burnout

Dr. Zarya Rubin, a Harvard-educated physician and functional medicine practitioner based in Portland, Oregon, shares her journey from childhood medical traumas to becoming a leading advocate for holistic health and women's empowerment. Her experience as a neurologist in a high-stress environment led her to confront unresolved traumas that were triggered throughout her medical career. Initially misinterpreted as panic attacks, these experiences propelled her towards functional medicine, where she integrates neurology, health coaching, and holistic practices to address chronic illness and burnout in high-achieving women.

Dr. Zarya emphasizes the importance of recognizing and healing from trauma, highlighting that early childhood experiences can profoundly impact adult health and coping mechanisms. Through her boutique practice, she serves as a beacon of resilience and transformation, advocating for a comprehensive approach that considers diet, sleep, stress management, and toxin exposure to uncover and address the root causes of health issues.


The Six Pillars Of Lifestyle Medicine

After experiencing burnout, she turned to lifestyle medicine, emphasizing the pillars of nutrition, movement, sleep, and stress management. Simple changes like incorporating whole foods, adding more fruits and vegetables, taking short walks, and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule can significantly enhance overall well-being. 

  • Nutrition: Emphasizing whole, plant-based foods and minimizing processed foods.
  • Physical Activity: Promoting regular exercise and movement tailored to individual needs.
  • Sleep: Prioritizing restful sleep to support overall health and well-being.
  • Stress Management: Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation exercises.
  • Avoidance of Risky Substances: Limiting or avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs.
  • Positive Social Connections: Cultivating supportive relationships and community engagement.

Dr. Shani advocates for realistic, sustainable habits, stressing that health investments are crucial for long-term fulfillment and resilience. This approach not only benefits physical health but also supports emotional well-being, enabling individuals to lead more balanced and satisfying lives.

Sofia Health connects you to traditional, integrative, nutritional, holistic, and spiritual healing professionals to help you personalize your healing journey.

Integrating Mindfulness with Lifestyle Medicine

Focusing on the six pillars of lifestyle medicine, she emphasizes the benefits of simple, sustainable habits like journaling and practicing gratitude. These practices help shift mindset, allowing individuals to recognize and appreciate small moments of joy, which can significantly improve mental health and overall well-being. Dr. Shani also stresses the importance of positive self-talk and being present, especially for busy women who often juggle multiple roles. By adopting these mindfulness strategies, individuals can enhance their emotional resilience and positively influence those around them.


Simple Steps for a Balanced Life

Dr. Shanika Esprez emphasizes the importance of implementing lifestyle medicine's six pillars, as these practices can significantly enhance overall well-being and resilience. Simple actions like journaling, practicing gratitude, and setting boundaries help manage stress and foster a positive mindset. Dr. Shani highlights the benefits of coaching, which provides accountability and support for sustainable habit formation. She also discusses how these changes positively impacted her husband, showcasing the broader benefits of adopting a holistic approach to health within a family.


Wellness Strategies for Burnout Prevention and Management

Burnout can manifest through physical symptoms like fatigue and GI issues, as well as emotional symptoms such as depersonalization and loss of pleasure in work. Dr. Shani emphasizes leveraging wellness strategies such as optimizing nutrition, incorporating regular movement, prioritizing restful sleep, practicing mindfulness, fostering positive social connections, and avoiding toxic habits. These holistic approaches are essential for effectively managing and preventing burnout.


More from Sofia Health

Check out the full episode of the Sofia Unfiltered podcast, "Signs of Burnout and What to Do about It with Dr. Shanika Esparaz", available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Whether you prefer a subscription over live classes or want to shop for individual services, classes, or products, we have you covered. We're here to help you meet your wellness goals for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. You can also take advantage of the services offered by one of the providers at the Sofia Marketplace.

Better yet, make a daily dose of wellness part of your routine. Sofia Prime offers both live classes and an extensive on-demand video library. Choose from high-quality offerings in wellness, nutrition, fitness, and meditation. 

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Disclaimer: The Sofia Unfiltered Podcast by Sofia Health is for general informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing, or other professional healthcare services, including the giving of medical advice. No doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast or materials linked from this podcast is at the user’s own risk. The content of this podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have. For any health concerns, users should seek the assistance of their healthcare professionals.

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