I ask myself this question a lot.
Because we want a direct answer, a clear direction.
The reality is very different.
We forget that everyone is so different - unique. What works for someone, may not work for us. Our bodies aren't the only things that are complex & different BUT we have different hobbies, passions & little pieces of joy.
I have learnt the hard way that waiting for people to give us the answers & not just that, expecting a MAGIC answer to solve all our woes really isn't:
C. Using time wisely.
We must rewire our minds to realise that we hold the key to our happiness, our own state of 'WELLNESS'.
Wellness can be misused in so many ways:
That you must eat this, that & the other.
You must be this size.
You should exercise daily.
You need to be on medication.
Although these points are valid and do a play a key role, they shouldn't be the sole focus.
Because, even though they help us we can lose our focus & get lost in them. Ignoring our heart, what it is crying out for, neglecting our passions (because they are seen as not being *productive*) & living a very controlled life.
I am learning that happiness, fun, freedom & joy should be what we are all aiming for. These elements are different to everyone.
We only get one shot a life, do we really want to waiting around for doctors to get back to us with answers?
Consuming negative media & causing a toxic cycle of guilt, comparison & negativity towards ourselves.
I think its important to stay proactive mentally & physically, eat healthy, take your meds and all the jazz but I also don't believe it should consume your life.
I am the worst at taking on blame when I am not 'productive' in my eyes. I am the worst. I have to fill every minute of everyday it seems. But it leads to BIG crashes and burn outs that make me truly unhappy because they fall me.
Everyone has periods of down time. Days off. Hours in the day they JUST WATCH TV and chill.
That is what I LEARNING.
Doing things the (I) enjoy. Feeding my soul without guilt.
When you begin to nail this mindset, which isn't easy I then believe you begin to see what REAL wellness is all about.
Your world is a little brighter, you are motivated & even excited. You aren't relying on anything, you are just listening to yourself. We know our bodies best, we know what brings us joy. We don't need a doctor, or an Instagram post to validation our feelings or sway us.
They can inspire, guide us and give us advice but unlimitedly we hold the key.
THIS IS OUR LIFE.
For so long I have followed chronic illness accountants that have given me guilt for not doing (A) treatment, (B) giving up being productive, (C) resting more.
AND SO ON.
I followed accountants that were solely 'health' talk.
AGAIN.. to me they had an negative effect because I am more than my illness.
You have to cut ties, for your own sanity..
If following plant-based foodies, bakeries, paint with diamonds, artists & self love accounts empower, motivate you & bring you joy DO NOT feel guilty about following & enjoying these accounts.
JUST don't follow accounts because you feel you 'have to!'
You don't 'have to' do anything that doesn't feed your soul.
Another big lesson I am learning is being a chronic people pleaser, isn't pleasing anyone honey.
I am SO guilty..
I have a few people I literally run myself into the ground to please.
The harsh truth, THEY ARE NEVER PLEASED.
THEY STILL PUT YOU DOWN, THEY STILL DISCCREDIT YOU...So, why are we doing it to ourselves?
We are sacrificing our own happiness for people who frankly think nothing of us.
SO THIS NEEDS TO STOP.
THEN validation. Another problematic area. I am a rule follower, routine queen & try to always follow guidance because I get that from the discipline that's imbedded me from my younger years.
Although this is an amazing trait it also causes us to question everything when we do something off our own backs. Out of the comfort zone of our routine.
My Mum will tell you.. I will sit on a decision for ages. I always ask her & if she thinks its a good idea it sways me. I feel calmer.
Then when the decision is made, I sit in an anxious state WAITING for validation.
It's not a fun or healthy place to be in.
What we fail to see is when we have this 'perfectionist' mindset that we secretly know is impossible, no matter how much we achieve, move forward, all the battles we win and successes we have the bar was never high enough.
THANK YOU, NEXT.
We discount our wins:
'Oh, it wasn't much.'
'Well, it took longer than expected.'
'I messed this up so it slowed me down.'
'I should have done better, I need to iprove.'
To give just a few examples.
When we start celebrating our wins FOR US, not for others or our inner critic we can then begin to build a happier state of mind.
You wouldn't pull others down, down play their wins, comment on their health journey so don't allow it to happen to yourself.
So, my little experiment with my food is a perfect example..
Is it the right thing medically to do?
Why cause more reactions?
Why be reckless?
Why possibly cause more damage?
THE HONEST ANSWER IS WE DON'T OWE ANYONE AN EXPLANATION REALLY.. BUT PEOPLE WILL QUESTION YOU & PROBABLY SAY:
'It isn't taking your health seriously...'
It could be seen in that way.
Or it could be seen that a girl as waited for 2 years for the doctors to help, played safe, has been careful & 'followed the rules of taking care of your health.'
BUT has it made me happy - NO! It is making me miserable. My symptoms are improving, maybe even getting worse. FRANKLY, time is precious, I don't want to live in regret over many years of unhappiness. I want to look back at the girl who may have failed, may have been disliked, may NOT have followed all the rules but TRIED. Took responsibility & had a little fun on the way.
THE MOTTO OF THE STORY.
YOU CONTROL YOUR OWN DESTINY.
YOU DESERVE LIFE & YOU ONLY GET ONE SHOT AT THIS GAME.
IT'S OK TO CREATE YOUR OWN RULES, WE DON'T ALL JUST FIT INTO ONE BOX.
DON'T BE A PEOPLE PLEASER, BE A 'YOU ' PLEASER. REMEMBER YOU CAN'T POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP.
Finally.. leave that guilt baggage at the station & jump on the train, ready for the ride & able to 'GET OFF & ON' at any station/destination with ease because you don't have to carry those deep weights of negativity around.
So, what does wellness mean to me?
It means being truly happy, truly accepting, at peace & at ease.
Living for you & your mind being a pleasant garden you enjoy watering everyday as you continue to bloom, inside, out.
I hope this post helps.
Let me know if you have been sucked into negatively over your wellness journey?
Or if you are struggling don't ever hesitate to message me.
Love always, Sophie xoxo