In this weeks blog we're chatting about health and wellness. As a certified ACE Health Coach, NASM personal trainer, nutrition coach, wife, mother of 2 and entrepreneur, I felt that we needed to discuss this in detail. Most of us- I mean women entering midlife (yes, that's you too millennials) are so busy on the hamster wheel of life that we forgot about ourselves.
If you're like me, (and if you're here, you probably are🤘🏼) you spent your 30s having babies, nurturing a home, children, and your career. Some of us endured devastating losses, experienced transcendent life events and grew in responsibility in our careers.
However, amidst all this growth and change we forgot about the most important person.
I remember a moment after I had my first daughter, Kid. I walked in my boss and mentor's office and told her I couldn't be a professional and a mom at the same time. I was in the midst of a panic attack, was late to the office, yet again, and to top it off, I forgot my breast milk pump at home. I was frustrated, scared and overwhelmed, I didn't know how to split myself into all these tiny pieces.
Her advice this day resounds with me still
"We wear many hats as women, practice when to exchange them."
And this stuck.
It's been 13 years since that moment, and thanks to that advice, I was able to wear those many hats throughout a flourishing career in healthcare administration and another child.
Not really being able to emotionally alternate between these roles smoothly is what led me to my metamorphosis in both body, and mind.
I get personal on these blogs, sharing my journey helps me connect with your journey, and helps reinforce that you are NOT alone, and as someone who has been through tough times, and comes out stronger on the other side, I KNOW you can do this too.
My journey started with my emotional/mental wellness. My negative thinking and dire view of life needed more than just the occasional therapy session. I needed to get on meds to help me process my anxiety and depression. I started exercising, running to be exact in 2015, and was using it as a mental health tool. Whenever I ran those long miles, the rush of endorphins helped me manage my anxiety. Until it didn't.
I remember being on mile 6, of a long run, blasting Moana's soundtrack in my wireless earbuds, and I had a panic attack. My body decided to break down in the middle of one of my favorite hobbies.
To be honest, THE catalyst to realizing I was having difficulty managing my life and emotions. This realization lead me to start therapy and my medications again. It led me to reassess my life. I knew I HAD to take a step back and analyze if I loved my life at this point.
Of course, this happened the year before I turned 40, in 2019.
Blame perimenopause, blame the hormones, blame people. Of course, I started pinpointing people, and situations, I hated how looked at felt, I complained about all of it, but nothing really changed. Not until I looked inwardly did I realize I was not well.
"Nothing Changes, if Nothing Changes"
Not physically, emotionally, spiritually, occupationally, financially, or intellectually. My environment sucked, and my circle of friends was diminishing with every passing year.
I had to learn to healthily cope with the death of my mother, and the death of my marriage. Luckily my marriage was on the mend when the pandemic hit. My husband was an essential worker and honestly spent more time out of the house than in. My children were homeschooled for two years, due to their heart conditions, and I continued to gain more responsibility, and growth in my healthcare career. In 2020, I also decided to become a certified personal trainer through National Academy of Sports Medicine, which is one of the hardest, and most respected certifications in the fitness space. I studied, worked and home-schooled daily. I was completely overwhelmed. My intrusive thoughts started taking over my life, and I had panic attacks daily. On the recommendation of my therapist, I took time off from work, covered under the FMLA law in the US. I also saw a psychiatrist for the first time ever, who officially diagnosed me with OCD obsessive-compulsive disorder). During my time off from work ,I realized that my life was not balanced. I was not balanced. I didn't know how to rest, read a book in it's entirety or finish a series on TV. I also hadn't connected with friends in a meaningful way in a long while.
Things needed to change.
Here's where my coaching lesson comes in, those 8 dimensions of wellness that I mentioned earlier play a role in you starting this health and wellness journey. We're talking physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, occupational, intellectual, environmental, social wellness this series. Digging in deep on what you need to feel complete once again.
Whew. I know, that's a lot of stuff we have to balance. The key is that you're not doing it all at once. Some dimensions overlap and complement each other. We're not creating another "to-do" list here.
Finding balance in your wellness is important so we can bring our best selves to those around us – especially our families.
Are YOU there for your family physically, mentally and spiritually?
Do YOU feel inspired, challenged and excited to go to work?
Are you engaging with your friends and connecting with new ones?
When was the last time you read a book? Yes spicy novels count here!
Do you feel connected to something OTHER than yourself?
If you said no to any of these, then you're reading the rest of my series, following my Instagram and Facebook and grabbing my 5 Words to Finding Your Why.