I’ve been thinking a lot about wellness lately. Is it just me or does it feel like everyone is on a new wellness journey? I feel this pull to make big shifts in my life that maybe I don’t necessarily want to do but feel like I should do to keep up. Can anyone relate? Anyways, it got me thinking about my own personal wellness and how I take care of myself, my energy and my body. Here are some random thoughts…
I’m coming off of a fun and indulgent weekend with friends and often find myself feeling behind after taking a break. I’m so hard on myself for letting go of my typical duties/routine and always feel like as soon as I am home I have to pick up where I left off x10. When I let myself “go” I tend to get into a negative self talk routine of feeling like every area of my life is failing. It can be a downward spiral of self deprecation.
I’ve really been focused on changing that narrative. I talk about this book a lot (our couples therapist recommended it to me) and so much of it is about positive self talk and what it can do for you. I think I often get caught up in this delusion of perfection. I allow myself to go down a rabbit hole of comparison and thinking that someone else’s choices mean mine aren’t good enough. I come back to this book and the emphasis she puts on positive self talk, affirmations, more compassion for yourself and kindness. I notice that when I take the time to tell myself “you are healthy! you look great! your energy is positive and light! nothing is weighing you down! you are allowed to have this moment!” then my entire energy changes. I did this a few times in my mind on our trip, whether I was skiing or had just finished a really heavy lunch or woke up feeling that extra glass of wine from the night before. Changing the narrative of “ugh, Liz, whyyyy!” into “that was fun, you deserved that night, you look and feel great, your body is healthy and alive!” It sort of feels silly at first but after awhile it feels so nice to have that relationship with yourself. I think this concept has more power than we think.
This concept leads me to think about my own personal wellness as a whole. The global health and wellness industry is valued at almost 5 billion dollars. It is really easy to go down a rabbit hole of workouts, healthy eating accounts, people telling you what not to eat, how terrible certain habits are for your body, the importance of meditating, journaling, sleep, less screens, more water, no caffeine – you get the picture. For example, when I see a friend completely cutting out alcohol and talking about how amazing they feel I question if I should do the same? I am guilty of seeing something and reevaluating my entire life (ha) but lately I find myself taking the time to think about my own individual wellness.
I think a big thing for me is creating habits that are sustainable. If I set too high of expectations for myself, I’m going to fail. Wellness for me has to be enjoyable and fun. Before Covid (as I’m sure a lot of you remember!), I was working out hard and a lot (you can sort of read about that here with before and after here). It was a lifestyle for me and looking back it was a little all consuming. If I missed a day I would get really down on myself. I feel like now I’m at this happy medium of just wanting to feel good. I want to have a glass of wine while I cook, go out late with friends, enjoy a dirty martini at a nice restaurant and a beer on a boat. Finding healthy habits that bring you joy IS wellness. Even if society makes you feel otherwise.
Sometimes I feel like we have so much on our plates. So many things to think about and notice and track. We’ve lost a lot of being. One of the things my friend Jackie would ask me when we would meet back in Chicago was – is your being, well? We stress out over tracking every little thing that we get anxious, stressed, competitive, caught in comparison and we lose so much of our wellbeing.
Anyways, all this to say that I realize a big part of wellness for me is checking in with myself. Not getting caught up in comparing someone’s “healthy habits” to my own. Taking care. Positive self talk. Giving myself a break. Not making it be one or the other. It’s a journey and I’m in it for the long haul.