Wellness is a relative term. It is not achieved by striving the hardest, or restricting the most. We reach for wellness at the cost of truly achieving it. One definition is limiting and creates notions of failure. When in reality, there are a great many ways to practice wellness.
Yes, there are certain habits and choices that are better than others. There are some we may practice for a while, and then one day find to be not as useful or good for ourselves as they once were.
Wellness is striking a balance. It is finding the rhythm in our habits and our choices that suits us individually. Wellness is being able to have moments where we feel satiated, rested, and content everyday.
Personally, I love lemon water with cayenne pepper in the morning, and a glass of red wine at night– sometimes several. I also enjoy butter and carbs, and kale salads for breakfast. Some weeks are all about yoga, some I use all the toys at the gym, and some I just walk, a lot. I have smoked cigarettes, and my last one probably won’t be my last. (But, for now, it is.)
I practice body awareness. Listening to my inner voice, the voice of my gut (literally and figuratively). I have countless conversations with my self about my needs in the moment. And it can be fun to sometimes chose the thing that doesn’t give me instant satisfaction, because then it becomes a game of patience and trust with myself.
When I started, I faltered a lot. I wasn’t very good at listening and I kept hurting myself indirectly. I would overindulge and feel crappy about it the next day, so then I would cancel plans or skirt obligations, definitely wouldn’t drink enough water, and in 24 hours I would find myself emotionally depleted looking for an immediate fixer. So, I started leaving myself little notes. Physical notes propped by my bedside or by my toothbrush, or where I hid the chocolate. I just had to see the reminder and it would spark the conversation with myself. Slowly, I got better at listening to what I really needed, or didn’t need.
I still overindulge, but less often. I still get hangovers. But I am constantly trying to improve my self dialogue, and if I am going to indulge, maybe only on one thing instead of ALL THE THINGS.
If I continue to increase casually deeper breaths, flexibility of body and mind, and restful sleep, I think I’m doing okay.
It helps to surround yourself with others who are working on their wellness. So, I offer my support to you. Move forward with patience for yourself, and for others. Strike your own balance, don’t try to embody someone else’s definition. I will keep posting what I learn, but only to find solidarity in the process with you.