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Why did wellness come so naturally in my 20’s, and get so hard in my 30’s?

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Written by Daz Burns

Wellness is a journey, there’s no doubt about that! This is my journey through wellness over the years, sometimes it’s good to reflect and embrace the changes we encounter!

 

The Younger Me

If I had said to “younger me” 15 years ago that I would be having to forcefully and consciously prioritise my wellness in my thirties – younger me would have laughed herself silly! 

The idea of getting out and moving being hard for me to do, would be ridiculous to have fathomed.

Because I know how important it is. 

I love it. 

I left school and trained in Sport and Recreation. 

It makes me feel good. 

It was a majority of my life.

 

In my 20’s it was easy. 

It was generally with other people. 

I could do it whenever I wanted.

And the blockers were minimal. 

 

I didn’t realise that moving my body was ‘easy’ in my 20’s.

Motivation, time, commitments and ‘busy’ were never blockers to showing up for myself.

I also didn’t realise that netball cared for so many elements of my wellness;

Body;

Mind;

Identity;

Community; 

Environment.

And I certainly didn’t realise that stopping netball one day would leave such a gap in my overall wellness. 

 

 

My Wellness Shift

So, rewind to eight years ago, first child on the scene – an absolute mindset shift had to occur. 

I was beating myself up for being inactive and not ‘bouncing back’ like so many others are able to do.

I had stopped netball due to a rough birth and long recovery, and a lot of holes were left open.

I just didn’t know they were there. 

And I certainly didn’t know they needed filling.

My motivation lagged.

My self confidence was low.

My ‘wellness’ game had massively changed.

Because I was a working Mum, a wife, a daughter, a friend and “sporty”.

Motivation, time, commitments and ‘busy’ took on new roles in my life. 

It had changed it in a way I was not ready or prepared for.

 

I had to dramatically shift my focus.

 

 

The Wellness Realisation

It took some time to come to the realisation that there was so much more to my wellness.

And then to be able to admit to myself and to others that I wasn’t doing very much of it well. 

And to understand the expectations I put on myself were ridiculous. 

But once I was honest with myself, I could understand why I felt so rubbish. 

The next part was, ‘where to from here?!’

 

As Carol touches on in our kōrero, all things in life change over time, but in particular, our mindset changes over time, the challenges we face change over time and our resilience changes over time. 

I believe the unnecessary and small things we used to allow to take up prime real estate in our minds in our 20’s drastically changes as we get wiser.

We get more life experience under our belt.

Our perspectives shift and open. 

 

The ‘where to from here’ is in constant development, because wellness is a constant ‘work on’ for all of us. 

As things change.

We change.

We adapt.

We learn.

We kick ourselves.

We go again!

The best thing to remember as change inevitably happens, is to give yourself as much kindness and understanding as possible as you navigate fresh challenges and learn new things about yourself. Being unkind to yourself only slows things down.  

I got stuck early on in the piece, comparing myself to other women, my journey, my seeming lack of success or ability to ‘bounce’ back. 

But with getting wiser and opening my perspective I realised I couldn’t compare myself to anyone, because you never know the full story of someone else’s life.

Carol and I are very much aligned on the image of women as “Superwoman”.

In that we strongly dislike the term.

The comparisons that are made.

The unnecessary pressure that is felt.

The confidence we lose in ourselves.

When the truth is, as Carol said it “don’t be fooled, she is crying in the car on the way to work, no one has it together all the time”. 

 

 

The Changes

A couple of strategies I have put in place as part of my ‘where to from here’ for my wellness, were extreme changes to my habits.

Again, if I had told “tweenage” me that I would love getting out of bed at 5am everyday, just to have a quiet hour to myself before the “storm” of the day begins, she would have had a sore jaw from laughing so hard because “we” really love and need our sleep.  

“We” also like working till late in the evening – so to tell her we also go to bed between 9pm-10pm these days to make sure we get eight hours sleep, would be hysterical.  

 

Summary

It is an ongoing journey, wellness is a verb, so keep learning, iterating, adapting, testing and finding what works for you. 

Daz xx

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