I'm back!! Did you miss me? I certainly missed you and, after a tumultuous month, I'm excited to be back in my writer's chair brewing up some wellness words of wisdom for you.
But before we get back into our regularly-scheduled wellness content, I need to be honest...
I'm not okay
Even after a month away trying to sort myself out, I'm still not okay. I won't get into the nitty gritty of my life quite yet, but let's just say there's been a lot of changes going on and my head is still reeling. I thought once I was "all better," I'd be able to come back and shine more light in the wellness world. Also, let's be real, the Imposter Syndrome has been trying to keep me away as I haven't been feeling very well and am always preaching about wellness.
However, after a while, I realized I was doing you an injustice (sorry friend!). No matter how hard we try, we're never going to be okay 100% of the time and it's in the times that we're down that we feel the most alone.
Therefore, I'm writing this as a love letter to everyone who isn't doing okay because no matter what's going on, you're not alone and it's so easy to feel that way when all you see online is positivity and wellness.
So, in my month hiatus, I've been on a rollercoaster ride with my wellness. I've had moments of clarity and peace while experiencing extreme anxiety and hitting some low lows. Fortunately, as a twenty-something, I've learned a thing or two from my unwell days (looking at you teenage years! 👀) and have worked to incorporate some of these lessons into my chaotic life. Here are some of those lessons in hopes that they help you through your unwell days:
Go Into Survival Mode
Now I know what you might be thinking, "why survival mode?!" We usually think of survival mode as a bad thing- like taking a step backwards, but sometimes it's vital to come back to survival mode to make sure you can keep going in the long run.
For me, this looked like pulling back on everything that wasn't a necessity for me. I knew for my wellness and to keep up with my responsibilities, I needed to work out in the morning, do my job to the best of my abilities, and nourish my body with rest as much as possible. I was burning out hard core (if you've struggled with burnout too, read this!) with the additional mental strain going on and I could constantly feel the effects.
As a high achiever, I struggled with this new life I was leading, which leads me to my next lesson...
Love Yourself Through Your Pain
When you're unwell, your mindset has the opportunity to make or break you. Trust me- I've been on both sides of the spectrum over the past few weeks. As I mentioned before, there had been times I felt like I was making progress on my journey towards true wellness and there had been times that I wasn't so optimistic about where I was.
Through this experience, I've been reminded of a couple of vital concepts to remember on this journey to loving myself that I know we all need reminding of from time to time:
There's no one right way to do life. There's not this overarching version of success that, if you work hard enough, you'll achieve and feel successful. The only way you're going to achieve true self-actualization is defining success for yourself, working towards that, and not letting what anyone else thinks (or what you think others are thinking) get in your way (which I'm SUPER guilty of 😅).
There are going to be ups and downs on your self-love journey. You're not going to wake up one day and naturally think you're the best thing since sliced bread and treat yourself with compassion 100% of the time and THAT'S OKAY! Keep loving yourself on the good days and showing yourself compassion on the bad days.
"If you don't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love someone else?" ~Mama Ru. You HAVE to learn how to love and care for yourself before you can truly love and care for someone else the way you want to show up for them.
Lean on Your Support System
I know it's hard to remember, especially when you're feeling alone and like no one understands, but your support system is truly there to help you and you are NOT a burden for taking some of the help they have to offer. If this is something you struggle to remember (like me 👋🏻), flip the tables in your mind. If your best friend or a family member came to you and asked for what you currently need (whether it's someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on, a coffee date, etc.), what would you do? You'd say yes of course! So if your friends and family are deserving of your support, remember that you're deserving of their support too.
Your support system, especially in our not okay moments, may need to expand based on what's going on. For example, given the way I've been feeling, I decided to start going to therapy using Betterhelp. As a notorious people pleaser, it's been extremely helpful to talk to someone outside of my life that can help me look inward and find what true wellness means to me in all aspects of my life. If you're curious about therapy or feel like you could benefit from talking to a neutral party to help you navigate this crazy sea we call life, I highly encourage you to give it a try! Click here for a one-week free trial for Betterhelp.
Last but not least, I have a lesson for when you start to feel up to it again...
Do Your Favorite Self-Care Activities
It may take some time before you're ready for this step and that's 1000% okay, but when you're ready, treating yourself to your favorite self-care activities is such a fantastic mood booster and great way to help you come back into yourself.
If you're feeling a little lost or struggle to come up with self-care ideas once you've finally decided to take the time for self-care, I highly recommend keeping a running list of self-care activities you enjoy. These activities can look as simple as lighting a candle while you take the shower you were already going to take or as complex as a day filled with your favorite things (like my birthday this year).
Here are some of the things I put on my list...
Soaking up the sun
Yoga & Meditation
So there you have it- my four key things to do when you're not okay. Do these work all the time? Absolutely not. I wish I could find something that worked every time for every person, but unfortunately nothing like that exists. So I share these tips with you not because I know they'll work, but to give you things to try that hopefully work or spark ideas that work for you and, most importantly, to help you remember that you're not alone and it does get better. If you're not feeling okay too, I'm sending you SO much love and would love to support you in any way I can (I'm only a DM away!) 💛