Let’s discuss wellness. Because it matters, and so do you.
Wellness was a concept I avoided for a long time. I didn’t really understand it. I knew taking care of myself was a positive thing, but I didn’t prioritize it and I certainly didn’t know what wellness really entailed. It wasn’t until I starting having debilitating anxiety that I began to actively explore the idea of wellness. I discovered that wellness is way more than taking yourself out to to get the occasional pedicure, although pedicures and facials and massages are lovely and you certainly are worthy of indulging yourself in one whenever you feel like it. Wellness is about addressing your needs in all areas of life: physical, mental, spiritual, and relational. Finding what works for you is highly personal, and no one should tell you what you need to do in any of those areas. I am offering myself simply as a guide, to get you started on your own wellness journey, brush up on your skills, or get recharged when you are feeling the effects of life. Below are some thoughts I have on each area, along with links to posts I have written. Feel free to browse, click on a link that feels right, and send me an email if you’d like to discuss any area further. And if you have no idea where to start, try this post on my top four wellness tips.
I like clean eating. I like healthy foods. I also have a pretty serious love triangle going on between me, all potato chips, and cookies. In fact, I often drink my very healthy green smoothies while eating a bag of Cheddar and Sour Cream potato chips. I'm calling it balance. So while you will find links here to my posts on healthy eating, please take them only as suggestions, and not as evidence that I consistently follow anything resembling appropriate dietary recommendations. That being said, I do find that when I manage to eat healthy, non-processed food most of the time I feel so much better. I have also recently dropped caffeinated coffee and sugar from my diet, and greatly reduced gluten. And sleep is pretty much my favorite thing in the world.. So I figure maybe if I post my experiences, and you share yours with me, we can help each other at least drink the smoothie first before diving into the chips. And then go take a nap.
As for exercise, I think it should be fun. I believe in doing whatever you enjoy doing. When it’s actually fun, you don’t need to rely as much on discipline. For me, that means yoga and hiking. For you, that might mean running or kick-boxing. Whatever floats your boat is great. Having said that, exercise is also a perfect opportunity to practice showing up for yourself. You will always have days when you don’t want to exercise, no matter how much you enjoy it. There’s nothing wrong with taking a day off here and there, but if you consistently skip it more than you do it, then you won’t reap the full benefits. I always sleep better when I exercise regularly. About a week into skipping yoga, my shoulders muscles always get tense. I feel better mentally, too. Exercise clears the clutter from my brain.
Mental health is one of my favorite topics to discuss. I write about it quite a lot for the Be A Finder Project. I am including some of the more popular posts here. If this is an area that you need to work on, my first recommendation is that you take it slow. Go very easy on yourself. We all have numerous stories we’ve told ourselves over the years. Those stories are the basis of how we view ourselves, each other, and the world. They run mostly in the background, and untangling those stories can be very hard and a little scary. For example, taking a mental health day still makes me nervous. I spend the first part of the day secretly waiting for someone to show up and tell me they know I’m faking. It takes courage for me to allow myself to rest, even though I know I need it. It’s easier to just carry on with doing all the things. But that takes a toll on my health that’s not really worth it.
Take your time, wander through these posts, and take from them whatever you need today. Allow the words to sink into you. And then go practice. That’s all any of us are really doing, anyway. We’re all just practicing.
Our relationships are a huge part of our wellness. Healthy ones can bring you joy and a sense of community. Unhealthy relationships can make you miserable. This includes your relationship with yourself. I have spent many an hour in therapy working on improving my relationships, and the most troubling one of all was my relationship with myself. I am also obsessed with personality types, I am an empath, a highly sensitive introvert, and I am continuously working on being kind to myself. My friendships and my family mean the world to me, and I am committed to learning how to be my best in those relationships. Here are some thoughts from my journey:
Religion has always been a big part of my life. Over the past few years, I’ve also begun to explore spirituality. For me, spirituality is the feeling behind religion. It’s that knowing that there is something bigger than us, that connects us all to each other. You can connect to that feeling anywhere, in any way. I find it through spending time in nature, meditating, and following my intuition. You might feel it in an entirely different way, and that’s great. What matters is that you find a way to quiet your heart and mind, and tap into that source of love and compassion that unites us all.