Redefining Wellness

Welcome back!  If you read my massive post about creating my wellness routine (which I hope you have) you’ll know that this concept of wellness has been really important to me recently.  My idea of health, and taking care of myself were so different just a few months ago and I’ve learned so much through taking apart these concepts and rebuilding them.  This is how I shifted this concept in my mind and made some huge changes in my life.

In past years, my wellness routine was eating whatever I wanted, doing a few light workouts once in a while, and having some time alone to recharge. This was okay, I was doing alright in all areas of my life but it was stagnant. I never saw any improvement in my body or mind but I always had a little fascination with nutrition and fitness. It was just something I never really applied to my own life. Once I got to college, I needed to change everything to get on the right track.

Self care has been a pretty popular thing the past few years but I think it is more of a personal journey than doing face masks or taking a bath.  I used to view self care as something you did when you were reaching your limit: stressed out, overwhelmed, and not having a good time.

But what self care really is, or should be, is taking enough time to give yourself what you need to avoid these periods of overwhelm. (But if you do find yourself there, I have two posts that might be able to help you out) and high stress).  It’s taking time out of every single week, no matter how busy, to give yourself what you need to be your best self. It goes beyond treating yourself at Lush or eating ice cream; it’s knowing how much sleep you need to feel good the next day, the activities that make you happy and refreshed, and the foods that make you feel the best. Self care involves really getting to know yourself.

Wellness to me is knowing yourself enough to know what you need to make you feel like your best self.  It’s taking the extra time and the extra steps to make sure you’re doing what’s best for your mind and body.

It was only really in 2019 that I began doing more HIIT workouts at home, starting to really think about the food I was eating, and decided it was time to really start taking care of myself.  My mom dragged me to the yoga studio down the street from our house and I had no idea it would become an absolutely vital part of my wellness routine. Something about that 1 hour to step out of my day had me feeling a little more in control, a little more energetic, and a lot happier.  I also started noticing that I felt a lot better when I was avoiding sugars like ice cream and ate a lot more fresh foods.

Finding a multivitamin that I like has also felt like a big improvement in how I feel every day. If I forget to take them for 3 or 4 days in a row I can feel it in my stomach and I notice I’m more sluggish than usual.  If you’re curious it’s the Trader Joe’s Women’s Multi and it’s $10 for 60 vitamins and I can never stop talking about it. It has probiotics, a women’s blend of fruit and vegetable extracts, and key vitamins I look for like vitamin D.

Once my mind shifted from the mindset that self care was a way to “fix” overwhelm and stress to self care and wellness is a lifestyle meant to keep me feeling my best, I noticed big changes in how I spent my time and how much I prioritized doing what I need.  It was that change from doing something to “treat” or “fix” feeling bad to prevent feeling bad. Of course it still happens sometimes but I’ve become better able to cope with stress and manage my responsibilities a lot better. Wellness is highly personal and comes with a lot of self discovery as you find what you need.

I really encourage you to start being more observant in your daily life and noticing what makes you feel good but even more what makes you feel not so good.  I have found the things I want to remove from my life helpful in creating time and space in your schedule and mind for the things you want more of. As my favorite yoga instructor says “take a deep breath in, with every exhale, exhale what you don’t need so much of and inhale what you could use a little more of”.  Breathe in calmness, breathe out anxiety. Inhale positivity, exhale negativity.

And that is what I will leave you with today. It’s something I repeat to myself often throughout the day and have found so helpful. Inhale calmness, exhale anxiety.