4 Pillars for Mental Wellness:
😴 Sleeping right
🥑 Eating right
🧘 Caring for your physical body
👯 Connecting with the right people
In 2018 I was determined to improve my physical health. I wanted to slim down and understand my relationship with food. In my family we ate when we were sad, we ate when we were celebrating, and we ate – well let’s just say there is always food around. When I started my clean eating journey, I started by gathering all the information before I started to execute my plan, I really needed this to be long term and not just a quick fix. I choose Whole 30 because I found that my greatest need was to feel less pain and inflammation and by accident, I bought this cute white bikini a size too small and couldn’t return it, so I needed to fit in to it that summer. Not only was I working on my food habits and building a better relationship with food, but I also learned that to make this goal sustainable I needed to mix in better sleep, physical activity, and healthy connections with others.
"Not only was I working on my food habits and building a better relationship with food, but I also learned that to make this goal sustainable I needed to mix in better sleep, physical activity, and healthy connections with others."
I was approaching 40 and I wanted it to be the beginning of a new chapter. I had always struggled with my mental health but was in a good place with my job, family, and life in general. I was happy and felt ready to take on the physical health goals that I struggled with most of my life. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about to have the largest mental health struggle I had ever had in my life. In a matter of 6 months, I couldn’t maintain any of my goals and could barely say good morning to co-workers without breaking into tears. My quality of life was diminishing drastically. I was emotionally eating or not eating at all and drinking too much wine to numb my stress. I was sleeping 4 hours at the most and I had cut my social circle down to 1 or 2 trusted friends. Physical activity went from daily activity to walking to my car at night after a 16-hour day. Just when I thought my world couldn’t get worse, I was told they were eliminating my position and I was no longer needed. They let me go – I joke about it now but it truly saved my life because I would have never left, and I could have never maintained that level of anxiety. I was able to bounce back over the next year with the support of my family and those 2 friends that knew I needed the connection. I walked into my 40th year with optimism and joy.
I struggle all the time to regain those learnings and the healthy relationship with food I know I have. During the pandemic I was able to harness the strength I gained from my tough time and for most of those 2 years I felt healthy and happy and stable with both mental and physical health. While the world was experiencing struggles of its own, I found some peace within myself. I also learned about what purpose meant to me and resurrected my personal blog, “live your life girl”. The blog gave me a voice and I soon discovered it was helping others connect when connection was so hard during lockdowns. I had the 4 pillars mastered and it felt very good, especially when the world seemed to be burning down around us.
"While the world was experiencing struggles of its own, I found some peace within myself."
Let’s fast forward a little to present day, I always love that in a movie. I have been coming off a year of personal growth and we know those can be the most challenging to our mental health. I still felt like something was missing. I was being more active, eating healthier, I was even getting sound sleep most nights. It was clear my social connections were strained. My closest friends were ‘living their lives girl’ in the best and worst ways that kept us from connecting regularly. At the end of summer, I decided to attend a sound bath in hopes to connect with my deeper spiritual strength. I didn’t know signing up to help mental health awareness would lead into an opportunity and a new view on how I can live my life girl. Becoming a part of Be The Light Campaign (BTLC) over the last month has immediately helped me get back to maintaining those 4 pillars of mental wellness. It is no coincidence that I asked to help with the content for November as it highlights those 4 things that keep us on our path and help us live longer fuller lives girl.
"I have been coming off a year of personal growth and we know those can be the most challenging to our mental health."
As my new pal Kristina and I prepared the social media content a few weeks ago I started realizing my 2018 health goals have come full circle. I thought of the girl I was in 2018, yes that white bikini still hangs in my closet, and how we repeat challenges over and over until we master them. Good sleep, clean eating, moving every day, and making meaningful connections are like spinning plates for me. As soon as I think they are all aligned, and I smile a cheeky “look at me” smile one of them gets a little off balance and crashes to floor. Being a part of BTLC reminds me that now when I feel my spinning plates all might fall, I have a new community that is providing me with a “more knowledgeable, empowered & compassionate support system” that make me stronger. Be The Light Campaign is truly pushing Mental Health progress forward. I will leave you with an image of me spinning 4 beautiful plates in a fabulous white bikini, just living my life girl…ruffling all the feathers as I share our stories of mental health struggles and triumphs. Now it’s your turn to find your white bikini and start spinning those plates!
Here are a few of my favorite 4 Pillars posts from this month:
Meal Prep Madness: https://www.instagram.com/p/CzkFgSbO_Ya/?img_index=1
Deep Sleep Tips: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cz4ncP6ORwd/?img_index=6
Simple Mental Shifts: https://www.instagram.com/p/Czr4iwMuZmP/
To read more insights from Jill, visit her blog live your life girl.