I often have conversations with people about wellness in general, and a surprising amount of times, the person I’m talking to tenses up slightly when we broach the topic. Wellness is an incredibly personal concept for people as a whole, perhaps due to its close link to self care, which a lot of us are understandably quick to neglect when the chips start to get a little down. There is often a reluctance to talk about wellness journey with ease and confidence, perhaps because it is something easy to neglect in the hustle and bustle of modern life, but also, because many of us have been raised to believe we need to extend ourselves outwards to others first, rather than being more ‘selfish’ (a very misused word) and taking care of ourselves first, in order to contribute to others later. Let’s dig a little deeper today, and look at why wellness is such a personal journey, and, knowing this, considering how we can encourage each other a little better, moving forward.
Let's Talk about Mental Health
Your wellness is inextricably linked to a topic that has become more and more visible in mainstream media over time. Mental health is fast becoming destigmatized thanks to people from all over the world coming forward and telling their stories, but it requires a great deal of vulnerability to open up about it in the first place. While your mental health is something to take personal responsibility for, and it is important to practice being vulnerable and opening up about it to others, you should do so at your own pace, and hopefully, with an open-minded individual, in a non-judgemental space. Don’t be shy to reach out for professional health! This may make all the difference in kickstarting your wellness journey. A lot of people see this as a first step in moving towards a better direction when it comes to your general health, and I agree with this.
The Importance and Emphasis Placed on Physical Health
When was the last time you spoke to someone and they told you “Oh, did you see, so and so has lost so much weight, they are doing so well”. Our physical health (and often, just our appearance) has a direct link to the impression people have of our overall wellness. Strangely enough, this is something that is so personal and naturally a rather touchy subject. Similarly to our mental health, physical health is something else we have to take responsibility for, and in a way that helps you set realistic goals, and redefine what physical health success is to us. It doesn’t just have to be the way you look! Society has an archaic view of physical health thanks to pop culture. Perhaps, it is walking 5km a week, being fit enough to take your child to the park twice a week, or just because you feel your best at a certain weight. You define what success looks like to you on your own terms.
You're Not Alone in the Wellness Journey
Wellness may be deeply personal, but one thing is certain: you never have to feel like you are alone on the journey. Here at Hello Happiest., for example, we place a great deal of emphasis on wellness as a combination of mental, physical and even spiritual health. Our retreats and events offer you the chance to break away, interact with like-minded people, and to take responsibility for your wellbeing without having the burden of having to initiate a plan on your own.
I started this article mentioning the difficult conversations I’ve had with people around wellness. On the other side of the spectrum, I can’t begin to tell you how many amazing conversations I’ve had with people after one of our retreats, where, for example, someone once pulled me aside, to tell me just how the experience gave them a nudge of momentum into a new direction, allowing for them to begin to heal and work through a lingering resentment, which they were now able to address a bit more clearly. How fantastic! I still think yoga had a monumental role to play in this, but that’s a topic for another day.
Become Part of the Wellness Community
Wellness is deeply personal, yes, but at the same time, you can become a part of a community that will welcome you with open arms, encourage your journey, and support you along the way. Our retreatlings often become lifelong friends, and I’ve even made some incredible friends along the way too. I’m looking forward to being a part of your wellness journey soon.