WELLNESS: LIFE UPDATE + FINDING BALANCE
Heya! How’re you? I can’t believe we’re already in December! A part of me feels like the entire year just flew by, another part feels like 2021 has had 18 months and so much has happened this year I just can’t wrap my head around it all!
I’ve had incredible, mind-boggling highs, like recovering from the mess that was 2019 and part of 2021; moving into our dream home, which I first spotted back in 2018 (praise Jesus for seeing us through – it was a journey!); getting a promotion at the main job; relaunching this blog; working with some amazing brands as a content creator; building stronger friendships; and finally embracing an active lifestyle and relearning how to love my body.
Then there’s been the lows. I think one of the biggest ones was having to step away from interior styling projects because they were messing up my mental and emotional health, and recently being reminded of why I made that decision in the first place when I attempted to quietly get back into it (this one is still fresh, and I’m still low-key mad about it). Then there’s some other stuff I won’t really get into that has been weighing heavily on me the past few weeks. But I know it’ll get better.
This last bit has made me rethink wellness and what it means to me. I used to think of it as self-care that addresses the physical – you know, the 27-product skincare routines, gym, eating right, shopping (which I shared my feelings about here).
Now I’m on a journey to go deeper, seeking mental and emotional wellness that requires a level of introspection, honesty and vulnerability that I haven’t really explored before. I’m very good at blocking emotions, choosing to be cold so I don’t feel things if I think they’ll hurt me. But I’m slowly getting out of that cycle. I’m more willing to have difficult conversations with myself and the people they concern. I’ve gotten much, much better at opening up to people I trust, sharing things that the old me would never, ever have spoken about.
I’m seeking balance. Something more sustainable: a lifelong commitment that goes beyond the high of a moment to care of the self, the community and environment. I’m trying to be kinder to myself. Learning to listen to my body and my mind and doing what’s right for me in that moment (ditching people at the last minute and being unreliable is not self-care by the way – it’s selfish). I’m learning to take breaks and not feel bad about resting, teaching my mind that resting is not lazy or a waste of time that could be used to make money. I’m learning to be intentional about my consumption as well, and I’m constantly looking for ways to make little changes that are good for the planet.
Learning and sharing are a big part of this, which is why I’m answering a few questions from my last Ask Me Anything on Instagram. Here goes!
- How do you define self-care?
Taking care of the self beyond the physical, to the mental, emotional and the environment around me. I’m looking at it holistically now.
- Share a few best practices on digital wellness?
Spending time away from your devices; social media breaks; being intentional about what media you consume and seeking out uplifting content. I am not afraid to hit people with the unfollow or block these days, and it’s been applied to me too – and that’s cool. We don’t all have to agree on everything, and it doesn’t need to get ugly when we disagree.
- How do you deal with mom guilt?
This has been gradual. I’ve had to learn that my whole identity doesn’t revolve around being a mom. I allow myself to do the things that I want to do for me, so that I can show up as my best, most present, most wholesome self for her. I know that if I don’t do that for myself, I’ll end up resenting my daughter, for taking certain things away from me. We don’t want that.
- How do you deal with anxiety and tough seasons?
Still learning how to do this. But talking to people I trust, taking breaks from being online and trying to sit in silence really helps.
- What’s taking up most of your headspace?
Being there for my family AND myself, kicking ass at work and making the money that will afford us a comfortable life for a long, long time. I think about my finances a lot.
- How do you wind down from a long day to ensure you get adequate rest?
This is actually quite difficult for me, as I suffer from revenge bedtime procrastination. I’m often the first to wake up and last to sleep in this house and will choose to watch TV (usually trash TV or silly rom-coms) instead of going to bed. Then when I do, I struggle to switch off and get adequate sleep, which is why I’m always tired. I need to find a proper wind down routine that works for me.
- What’s your ideal when it comes to self-care and wellness?
A hot shower, good music, candles, moisturised skin, good relationships, quiet time – simple things really.
- Any tips on work-life balance?
I believe more in integration. So instead of seeing work being this thing that has to be completely separate from the rest of my life, it’s about seeing how work fits into my life so that I don’t feel like I have to choose one over the other. My work allows me to afford my life, and having a balanced life helps me do well at work, so they’re very interconnected.
- Do you experience days, weeks when you’re depressed, just off?
I do have such episodes. It’s not clinical depression or anything that requires any form of medical treatment, but I have these periods where everything just feels off, I can’t figure out what exactly the issue is, and I get mad at myself for not being able to figure it out then I feel even worse – it’s a vicious cycle. I’m actually just coming out of such a period, and what seems to work for me is leaning on friends, taking breaks and spending time by myself. Even if it’s just 30 minutes a day.
- Why doesn’t self-care seem to come naturally to many of us?
Because women have been socialised to believe that our role in this life is to be martyrs. That we should constantly be giving to everyone other than ourselves and never expecting anything back. We need to unlearn that.
- How do you control overthinking? What relaxes your mind?
I just go with the flow these days. I let the thoughts come and run in my mind until they get tired and let me sleep. Sleep relaxes my mind. It seems to be the only thing that works right now. I need more of it.
Did this post speak to you? Then tell me: what do you struggle with when it comes to wellness, and how are you trying to find balance in your life? I’ve partnered with Balance, one of my favourite brands right now, to get more of us to think about these things, have meaningful conversations about them, and find a way to design more conscious, intentional lives for ourselves. This goes beyond just buying products; it’s about embracing a wholesome lifestyle that feels good from the inside out, which if you ask me, is the ultimate flex.
Post your answer in the comment section and Balance and I will select one winner, who will receive a hamper with carefully selected items to make you smile. Let’s go! Winner will be announced on Wednesday, 8th November at 6.30pm (EAT). The giveaway is only open to Nairobi residents.
UPDATE: Giveaway closed – congratulations Gloria Kimani!
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Pepper Tree Hemp Collection candle, body butter, scrub and oil / Balance
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