I feel so grateful to be part of age that is starting to have a real conversation about mental health. There are so many facets of our mental health, but overall, it's been something that has been shied away from and improperly labeled for way too long. We certainly have a ways to go in truly de-stigmatizing the topic, but it is such an important area to discuss and one that requires a lot of honesty and vulnerability.
Whereas most people, myself included, used to think of being healthy or wellness as merely only fitness and nutrition, we are now realizing that what impacts our health and wellbeing is as complex as we are. It's entirely possible for someone to have an impeccable diet and consistently strong fitness regiment, but still be unwell.
How? Well, this could be due to a number of reasons that all play a role in our wellness. Whether financial wellness, sexual health, stress, mental health, or more, we are taking a much closer look at how to find better balance in multiple areas.
So with that, it's time for me to get honest and vulnerable. I have jokingly said before that I had never felt less well than when I started a wellness business. But it wasn't so much of a joke as a way to brush off a really scary realization. Somehow, in pursuing something I loved, I had never felt more overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, helpless, and out of control, which is a feeling that terrifies me.
I had to figure out (and FAST), how to restore a healthier peace of mind ASAP, otherwise I knew that the business, and everything we had worked so hard for would not be sustainable because I WAS NOT SUSTAINABLE at this pace. Here are some of the tips that helped me immensely, but the biggest thing is also continually reminding myself that it's a process! There is not magic, amazing mindset finish line and I oddly find comfort in that because it relieves so much pressure that I put on myself. I hope this helps you as much as it has myself!
1. Come on, inner peace. I don't have all day! It's definitely not the first time you've heard it, and we can guarantee it won't be the last. Meditation is hugely powerful in shifting your perspective and changing your energy. So why doesn't everyone do it? Honestly I'm not sure, but I do know many people get turned off of meditation due to false expectations and unrealistic pressures set only by themselves. For starters, meditation does not mean shutting off your brain, so if you're getting annoyed at yourself for thinking about other things during meditation, that's normal! It will never stop. There are also all different kinds of meditation. Just like exercise, maybe you're not into running, but pilates is your jam. Experiment with different meditations to find what feels right for you. Our favorite meditation guides that have really helped train our mindset include: 10% Happier, Headspace, and Melissa Wood Health.
2. Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. Not only do happy people not kill their husbands (thanks, Elle Woods!), but they also have increased energy levels, reduced levels of stress, and report getting a better night's sleep. Endorphins literally interact with receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain...cool! Better yet, studies have shown that any form of exercise, whether dancing, HIIT, housework, or yoga, can help depression. Some of our favorite workouts to clear our mind include pilates, dance cardio, walking the dog, and a hike outside.
3. It's all about ME. It's not selfish to prioritize yourself. Are you saying yes to something that you don't REALLY want to do just to make others happy? Hi people pleaser, nice to meet you! Get comfortable saying "no" more to things that don't serve you, and take that time for yourself.
4. Scrolling under the influence. Social media should come with a warning sign: "CAUTION: Use Instagram wisely. People's feeds may appear better than they are in real life." Comparing your reality to someone else's unattainable and unrealistic highlight reel is a mental health danger zone. Empower yourself to unfollow accounts that put you in a negative mindset. If you're thinking "I wish I had that," or "why can't I look like that," or "it's so unfair," then it's time to say thank you, next! Conscious content consumption does wonders to create a more balanced mental state.
5. Did I mention it's FO' FREE? There are so many ways to relax without breaking the bank. Go on a walk, call a friend, take a nap, or turn on a mindless TV show (Real Housewives...hello!). Sometimes the best way to truly relax is by keeping your wallet out of sight. You certainly don't need to add financial stress to the equation when you're trying to relieve stress!
6. Congrats! You finished a ton of work, so you can work some more! Give yourself permission to shut down, especially when it comes to work. We live in a day and age where we are constantly accessible, and more often than not there is an endless amount of work to get done in a day. Because you can literally always check your email on your phone and respond to colleagues at all hours, we recommend setting a mutually agreed upon time at which you will be "available." Say you start the day at 9AM and end at 6PM. Outside of 9AM and 6PM it should be expected that you may not respond or your response may be delayed because, oh yeah, you have a life. And cheers to you for living it!
To download this guide click the link here: file:///Users/sarahosman/Downloads/Mental%20Health/HelloWellness%20Mental%20Health%20Guide.pdf
Photo credit: @hopefuloutsiders on Instagram