Wellness, especially in our digitally enabled world, can take many forms. When I find myself contemplating my own wellness and health, I often find myself trapped by the thought that I need to do more. I need to exercise more, eat more healthily, sleep more, get out in nature more, spend more time with loved ones, etc. Much of this was driven by the fear of missing out on things I wanted to do, in tandem with a guilty conscience about what I “should” be doing. It always felt like I was chasing time, and in many ways, it still does. Maybe this sounds familiar or resonates with you, reader. To add to this feeling, this past year, I moved a little further away from downtown than I am used to, and so many of my habits/processes have additionally picked up more time (mainly in the form of travel). This new addition of time requirements has had me running around more than I am used to, and through this activity, I was presented with a challenge: “How do I do all these things and still make time for myself?” 

For as long as I can remember, I have been one of those people who recharge their batteries by doing something creative alone. In the hustle and bustle of my adult life, I started to do this less and less over the years. As I examined my life and what was missing or what I needed to do more of, it dawned on me that reclaiming this creative alone time could be what was missing. As I began incorporating more intentionality into this practice, I noticed some resistance to the exercise. It felt like I was saying “NO” to other important areas of my life, a feeling that did not rest well with me. I observed that the feeling of “NO” relating to other areas of my life would stop me from intentionally carving out this “me time” that is equally needed and equally important to my overall wellness. I started to receive feedback about being crabby or short with my friends and peers, which was an eye-opening piece of data. My lack of attention to an area that is truly important to my wellness negatively affected other components of that same wellness. 

And so, a significant shift occurred. I began to change the feeling of “NO” to a feeling of “YES!”. The important element of the shift was the understanding that I was not denying myself other areas of my life by taking time for myself, but rather, I was enabling and enhancing those same elements by giving myself space to recharge. The mantra manifested is Saying Yes to Myself. 

My wellness tip this year is first to define what that choice or statement looks like for you, the reader. When we truly examine what we need to be well, each of us will find the thing within ourselves that we need to say “Yes” to more frequently. Sometimes, this can feel like you are saying “NO” to another piece of your life, and so I challenge you, reader, to rephrase that inner dialogue to a more enabling conversation. Rather than saying “NO” to something, what you are really doing is saying “YES” to yourself.