Have you ever woken up one day and realized your health is not where you want it to be? You struggle with racing thoughts which cause sleep disturbances leading to low energy during the day. This could make it challenging to stay focused at work or cause low motivation to exercise, which leads to more internal stress.
Or perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed at your job, this could cause your relationships to suffer, and in result it could be hard to make healthy food choices because you’re just focusing on getting through the day. It’s all connected and can turn into a vicious cycle.
One important piece of the puzzle is prioritizing your wellness, and not just doing a face mask on Sunday nights or getting a massage every month. It’s about continually prioritizing yourself, repeatedly, day after day, year after year.
Here’s Ava’s Story – A Real Amaze Member
In her 20’s Ava dreamed of opening her own coffee shop in the busy downtown area of her hometown. She went to school to get her degree in business and decided to take a job at a prominent sales company right out of college. Even though she wasn’t opening her dream coffee shop, she talked herself into the corporate job to learn the art of sales. A few years later, Ava met her husband, who worked at the same company, and had twin boys.
Although Ava’s job wasn’t exactly what she wanted, it paid the bills, and between work and family, she didn’t really have time to daydream, anyway. But as the years went on, Ava could feel her dream of owning a coffee shop slipping away. She became increasingly sad and unfocused, and found herself eating whatever was around, especially if it offered even a moment of comfort or pleasure. Without putting much thought into the impact of her diet, Ava began to gain weight, and along with that she wasn’t making time for exercising or being outside. This continued the cycle, and her mental health began to deteriorate.
This is a tough time for Ava! Can you relate?
The cycle is insidious, meaning it sneaks up on you, and often the first sign of trouble is a change in your mood and relationships, or a physical symptom, like pain or disease.
Ava worked hard, both at work and at raising her family, and after 10 years, she felt extremely burned out and in desperate need of a break. Her effort at work was noticed, and when she earned a reward trip to Hawaii, she thought to herself, “Finally all this hard work is going to pay off.” She was excited to go enjoy some time off with her family, but when she arrived in Hawaii, Ava found that she was still miserable. She was self-conscious at the beach about the weight she had gained and struggled to be present with her family. One night on the trip, her thoughts began racing about all the work she would have to catch up on. Her anxiety got so bad that she just wished the trip was over.
Ever had a fun time ruined by worry and anxiety? You are not alone – it is common to get stuck into this vicious cycle of negative thoughts that can cause us to spiral further.
On the way home, their flight was delayed, and Ava and her family arrived home, exhausted, at
3:00 am. With a full work week looming in 4 hours, Ava went straight to bed, but found she couldn’t sleep because her head was full of anxiety and worry. She lay there, filled with dread about going back to the same unfulfilling job. The next day, Ava woke up agitated, snapping at her husband and kids. Her internal frustration had finally boiled over and began to affect her family and relationships.
Ava continued to feel stressed and anxious as the days went on. Eventually, this stress and anxiety started to manifest itself as digestive and hormonal problems. This led to many doctors’ visits and resultant financial strain from the medical bills, causing Ava’s anxiety to spiral further. She felt like she couldn’t show up the way she wanted to for her sons or husband. Her mood darkened and she felt like she was just going through the motions of life. This cycle continued for years – she was unhappy, anxious, physically sick, and experiencing strain in every one of her relationships.
Ava got caught in a downward spiral. She felt stressed and unfulfilled at work, leading to poor sleep and food choices, causing her to feel uncomfortable in her body, leading to further stress and sleep disturbance, until her physical wellbeing and relationships, both at work and home, began to suffer.
Ava’s story is an example of how it’s all connected – missing sleep, food choices, motivation to exercise, unmanaged stress, unhealthy habits. It all adds up over time and affects your overall well being.
What we aim to talk about in these upcoming articles is how to change the narrative. A way to normalize taking care of ourselves and preventive wellness.
Regardless of who you are, life will throw some tough challenges at you – it’s an unavoidable part of the human experience. The only thing you can control is how you react and take care of yourself when these challenges come up.
We’ll be including mental health and wellness education, tips, and other related topics that anyone can incorporate into their life. We want preventative wellness to be at the forefront of this conversation about health, because it all is truly connected.
Disclaimer: As mentioned above, preventive wellness is just one piece of the puzzle. We understand there are larger issues that are out of an individual’s control. We are not suggesting you are responsible for those pieces. The goal of these articles is to empower you to focus on what is within your control.
At Amaze Health, our team provides support, guidance, and education to our members, empowering them to take charge of their healthcare. If you’re struggling with mental health, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our licensed and trained mental health counselors.