Space for Inspiration : A Blogger's View on Wellness

Hello lovely readers!
I am Charlotta from Space For Inspiration and I am delighted to be here at Simone's gorgeous ‘Ironing Basket’ to share my personal quest for ‘WELLNESS’.


Once upon a time I would have defined ‘wellness’ with having the energy and ability to ‘do it all’. To live life in the fast lane, whilst looking fab, feeling great, and holding down a blossoming career.
And I did. All of that....until one day my body said ‘STOP!’

I was on the brink of burn-out and it was ugly. I was only 20 something (!)..
and I was as invincible as certain that I was supposed to live this way.
Wasn’t I..?!?

Inexplicably and to my horror my weight plummeted alarmingly. It was like anorexia in reverse - I wanted to eat but my body couldn’t retain the food. My hair started falling out and my skin lost its glow. I was so dizzy and weak I had to sit on the floor in the shower to avoid falling over. Then came the memory blackouts....and the crying. I was a shadow of my former self and I was terrified!

Of course I was in denial.
Like most Swedes I had been raised to dust myself off each time I fell, and simply carry on.
Surely health and wellness were a 'state of mind' - the result of determination..!?
Or were they..?

I had to stop, stare reality in its tired face and start piecing my life back together in a way that taught me to never take myself for granted again.



So life changed.. for the better. And over the years I learned to live by a set strategies that ensured BALANCE, and long term (!) health and happiness.

I realised that 'health' was only one aspect of 'wellbeing' and that really it had to encompass an equilibrium of body, mind, and spirit! In equal measures.

I also learned that STRESS IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL – financial stress, social stress, professional stress, emotional stress, physical stress, parental stress.
Any kind of stress really can zap the best of us and it does!
The antidote is of course to TAKE CONTROL and to learn to PLAN ahead.

I was surprised to learn how much more spontaneous I could be by planning ahead, and how much more free I felt by taking control.
Sounds contradicting?
Not to me and as soon as I applied this to my life, stress started to fade.



Based on my experiences, I now try to be kinder to myself, and more importantly I don’t take myself or my well-being for granted anymore.
To ensure I stay on track, here are some of the things I do:

Slow Down
I make a point of slowing down and doing only one thing at a time. ‘One-thing-at-a-time’ has become my daily mantra (even my kids say it!) And it works!
I breathe, I focus, and I get a lot more done whilst actually being present and enjoying the process!
I also make an conscious effort to acknowledge and tackle stress as and when it appears. Delaying or  ignoring stressful issues drains me of energy and knocks me off my core. I need to solve them early (one at a time of course..) otherwise they seem to grow in size and complexity.



Sleep More
It is well known that most people don’t get enough sleep, and that used to be me too. Actually it still is sometimes, not regularly and certainly not over long periods of time. Most of the time I make sure I go to bed early (before 10) three times a week, semi-early (before 11) two times a week, and then ‘whenever I want’ those last two days of the week (be that a Monday or Friday).

I learned through the times I was ill that EVERYTHING and ANYTHING FEELS MORE MANAGEABLE AFTER A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP!





Appreciate your body
It may have taken me until I had children to fully appreciate & understand my body. The mind-blowing journey of pregnancy proved to me what an amazing creation each physical being is and what magic they can perform.
I have come to understand that a 'fit' body doesn't mean it is 'healthy' (I was a living example of this), and that the body is a direct mirror of our mind and spirit. Health and beauty truly do come from within!




Eat Well
Because I now respect and appreciate my physical self I eat well and really NOURISH my body.
Most people today ‘over-at but under-nourish’ themselves which often results in weight problems, lethargy, emotional imbalanc, as well as physical illness. I am no longer stick thin - in fact I have a few kilos too many, but having been so sick before, I prefer it this way because I know I am healthy and well.
I (and by default also my family) eat a diet of 80% organic foods, and I ensure I (we) eat a lot of that food in its original state to maximize the nutritional value.
3-4 times a year I do a total ‘body cleanse’ ('detox'). I eliminate key toxins and congestants (meat, dairy, caffeine, sugar, salt, yeast, wheat etc) for 4-8 weeks in order to give my body & spirit a chance to detox, heal and recover. It makes me feel fantastic and my energy levels soar!




Maximize Happiness
I also came to realize that happiness didn’t just appear out of thin air. I learned I had to work at it and make necessary changes and sacrifices. I learned to not only follow my intellect, but also to listen to my heart and spiritual self. Not as easy as it sounds people (!) but really why carry on with something or someone if it doesn't make you happy through and through!?





Give
This is key to me. I don't feel well or in balance if I don't give back.
Doing good deeds, nice things for people & the world, and being a good role-model or person makes me feel good about me. I feel proud of my achievements and happy within, knowing I am living my life with compassion and kindness. And that is very important in my quest for wellness.




Strive forward spiritually
Everyone needs spiritual balance and evolution to feel good. It doesn't mean we have to follow a religious path or even adhere to New Age philosophies.
To me spirituality means being in tune with my inner self, feeling connected to an infinite and all-loving greater energy (source), and to never stagnate in my quest to understand and explore.
To sense and have faith in a higher purpose or cause makes me feel safe and guided on my life journey. All of these are key ingredients for wellness.




Nurture True Friendships
Connecting with people (including oneself) in an open and real way is very important to me. In fact I feel uncomfortable & sad when a friendship lacks authenticity and trust. This has led me to re-evaluate and eliminate those friendships that don't enrich my life.
In my mind, good friends accept, enhance and appreciate us for who we are, whilst also encouraging us to develop and reach higher levels - all of which make us feel loved, nurtured, and inspired.




Be grateful
Last but not least, I count my blessings and am always incredibly grateful for what I have (including the not so happy times). Because there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for and LIFE IS A GIFT!

So there it is darlings – snippets of my personal guide to wellness.
I’d love to know yours!
Charlotta
x-o-x

6 comments:

  1. So beautifully written and put together.
    I found this uplifting and inspiring to read, thank you!!

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  2. Charlotta...you are fabulous. As I sit here and read this in my parent's house, where tomorrow my mum will have an operation that will hopefully ease the pain she's been in for the last year, and as I watch my father's dementia slowly get worse, I realise that your lessons are timeless. And wise. Thank you for taking the time to write this so wonderfully well x

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  3. Truly inspiring and how I aspire to live my life on a daily basis! Just beautiful! Thank you for sharing this! xxoo :)

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  4. Sweet Simone. Thank you so much for allowing me a corner of your beautiful blog.

    Girls above - thank you for your kind comments.

    Lots of love and hugs from Sweden!

    xx Charlotta

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  5. Simone thank you for featuring Charlotta!

    This post is JUST what I needed right now. Very poignant and so important to remember in healing and thriving!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    Love and Hugs
    Karena

    Art by Karena

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  6. Charlotta, wow, thank you for so openly and generously sharing your experiences and lessons... I agree with you wholeheartedly - in what feels like a different lifetime ago, I used to be immensely stressed in a very demanding job, a very fiery person and I had a lot of demons I battled with. All that has changed now, as Florence (& the Machine) says, I shook demon off my back and I can dance! :-)

    Meera xx

    ReplyDelete

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