SELF-CARE: GUIDE TO WELLNESS

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive – Maya Angelou

We live in a complex society where on one hand we try to move so fast to reach our goals and accomplish our desires in a certain timeframe, and on the other hand, we are trying to slow down, to focus on our health and balance the work-family life. We are always facing this dilemma, being pushed in those two directions without measuring the repercussion it has on our mental health.

The wellness trend is not a new concept. For the last 50 years, we moved toward a balanced life, focusing on our physical health and our mental health. Trying to find a balance between everything we juggle.

I’m usually restless, I have to-do lists long like days, and every minute is scheduled. On top of that, I’m also a people pleaser. I can’t refuse anything to anyone, and that piles up. So much that a few years back, I completely lost myself. I had no idea who I was, what I liked, and what I wanted to become. What I knew was what my parents wanted, what my bosses wanted, and what my friends wanted… I felt obligated to please everyone, and it put so much pressure on me.

Two years ago, my friend gave me the book “The subtle art of not giving a F*ch” for my birthday, and it changed the way I was seeing my relationships with others. From there, I had to find a way to change the way I was seeing myself and recenter the focus on me and my needs.

Throughout this process I started to:

  1. Increase my levels of self-awareness and gratitude
  2. Reconnect with my values
  3. Make space for what really matters to me

I discovered that there is a difference between being nice to others and being taken advantage of by others to a point where you are willing to compromise your values and your needs to meet theirs instead.

As for the anxiety, not that it doesn’t sneak up on me from time to time, but it reduced a lot when I started being more mindful, when I paused my hectic life and engaged fully with the present moment, with the people surrounding me, with the emotions I feel.

Here are a few things I started doing to lower my stress levels and anxiety…

  • Say no when I don’t want to do something.
  • Say no when that something doesn’t match with my values.
  • Say no when that something doesn’t do me any good.
  • Reserve a day in the week where nothing is planned.
  • Meditate 5 to 10 min every day.
  • Write what I’m grateful about every night.
  • Keep my environment clean.
  • Reconnect with religion.
  • Self-reflect on my day, my actions, my future and see how to make the next day better.

We are so busy fulfilling expectations others put on us that we forget our dreams and desires in the process and it’s important to refocus on ourselves. Not only you will be happier in the long run, but you will also attract people who have the same values and desires that will understand you and accept you just the way you are.

Until next time,

Sofyah,