If you asked me a year ago about wellness, I probably would have talked about being healthy – healthy eating and exercise. In the past year, I have learned so much more about ‘wellness’ and what it means for me as an author. I fell that wellness encompasses five key areas:
Emotional wellness is one of the hardest areas for me to address as well as learn about. I have never been one to express my own emotions well – if at all! However, I am empathetic and so will go out of my way to ensure the emotional well-being of those around me. Often that leads me to be operating from ‘an empty cup.’ I often felt burnt out and exhausted. I felt drained and weak. After I started working with my coach, she made me work on myself. She made me journal and listen to motivational videos. I listened to Tony Robbins again, and I felt a shift begin to occur. While it’s all well and good to help others, I can’t do it without taking care of my own emotions. I have to deal with my past sexual, emotional and psychological abuse. After I started to work on this (it’s a work in progress) I felt a change immediately. Honestly, I felt happier, lighter, and I could cope better as people reached out to share their stories with me.
I want to touch on this while I have brought it up. Writing is a huge part of my life – I’m an author, so it’s my business. But what I do involves asking people to share their deepest moments – often these moments are neither happy nor light. I had to come up with a way to manage these intense moments and come out better because of it. Self-care became an integral part of my business platform. I introduced it to my clients and helped them develop their plan while writing their story. Overall, emotional and writing wellness are both tied together to me and being ‘well’ in one ensures I am ‘well’ in the other.
Self-care became an integral part of my business platform. I introduced it to my clients and helped them develop their plan while writing their story. -Mandy Halgreen Click To Tweet
I’m not an exercise person as such. But I want to take care of myself as a Type 1 Diabetic. I started taking an interest in Zumba and yoga. I now exercise at least once a day and have used it as part of my self-care routine, so it doesn’t feel like a chore! It would never get done otherwise. I enjoy cooking and use it to eat well. I’m sure you know about the five-a-day thinking, but for me, that’s not what I do. Eating well means enjoying a broad variety of foods as well as using portions. One thing I really had to control when I first became Diabetic – or was diagnosed I should say – was the constant commentary on the foods I ate. It annoyed me and on occasion made me feel like there was nothing I could eat! I realized this was unhealthy thinking and changed my approach to food.
Mentally, I had a lot of damage and abuse to cope with after being abused. Sometimes, I do slip back into that ‘victim mindset’ that held me back in fear for over three years! It is scary to address a ‘mental’ issue as there is often stigma attached but I want people to open up and share their message with confidence and passion. You see, sharing your journey helps others see that there is a way for them! I used to view myself as weak, powerless and unimportant – what my abuser wanted me to think of myself. That isn’t true! I’m more than a label from someone else. It’s what I believe about myself! I feel emotional wellness ties in here too.
I feel all of my wellness journey can be boiled down to healing. One year ago, I never left my home if I could help it! I had no confidence in myself. I sought outside validation for everything. 6 months ago after I started my healing journey all things shifted and I made a point to become a more connected and well-rounded woman. Now, I hardly recognize the woman I was. I have made massive changes, and while they weren’t comfortable, the result was worth it! Wellness isn’t how you look or feel; it’s how you interact with the world.
Come discuss this post and other topics around writing and wellness with me (and Rachel + Kyle) in their awesome private, educational, and therapeutic FB Group. I look forward to connecting!