Today’s post is going to be a full, deep dive into approaches to mental wellness and well-being, particularly some that are sustainable and un-sustainable, and how this relates to the longevity of our health and well-being. Something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is the sustainability and longevity of my actions, especially in relation to the things I’m doing currently, and the things I want to be doing. I think this is deeply related to burnout. Certain actions we may do are not sustainable, and even if it feels good at the moment, the reality is we may be more prone to burnout from specific tasks if we are not sustainably creating them to be designed for a longer period of time. We are going to reflect on some of these un-sustainable approaches to mental wellness, and discuss how to get back on track.
Perhaps what I’ve mentioned so far sounds a bit ambiguous – so let’s take travelling for an example. I love travelling. Always have. However, it is something that can be very challenging and very tiring, especially if you are doing it for a long time and always feeling on-the-go. This spring travel season with back-to-back trips has really pushed me to pause and think about how sustainable my own approach to travelling is, particularly in relation to my own well-being.
The truth of the matter is that I felt – and still feel – very tired. My trips were very busy and as lucky and grateful as I am to be able to travel, at times, it felt like I wasn’t able to fully enjoy it because I was exhausted from the ‘travel’ part of it all. Perhaps this can come from a conflation of equating travelling with a vacation, which is not always the case, but I like to think I can always find moments of enjoyment and serenity on my travels. I found that much more challenging this time around, and it really caused me to pause and think.
Maybe I am travelling at too rapid of a rate to truly appreciate each moment. Maybe I am so busy that I am getting burnt-out faster than normal. Maybe operating this way in regards to travel isn’t the most sustainable and may not lend itself to longevity. It’s unfortunate, and for someone who loves to travel like me it’s also a bit scary, but it’s something I am coming to realize.
However, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad thing. I believe there are ways that I can shift the way I am doing things currently to make it more sustainable over the long-term, so I am not feeling rapidly burnt-out after a couple of weeks on the road. Perhaps I need shorter trips with more breaks in-between. Perhaps I need a schedule that is less busy for the trips I am already on, so I can truly appreciate each moment. Perhaps I need to create more intention behind why I am travelling in the first place, to really infuse more purpose into my actions.
In this case, travel is just an example – but I think this principle can be applied to many different areas of life. I am asking myself questions about these things in all aspects of my life, to determine if it is something that I feel I can keep doing over the long-term. For me, it is important that I put my health and well-being first, and I do feel that I have been sacrificing that for other areas of my life. For the next while, I’ll be working on getting that back in a way that feels sustainable – something that I can keep doing for a long time in the many years to come.
Something I am also working on at the moment is tuning in to what I need and shifting my focus to be on that, rather than people-pleasing and doing things for others. I am doing my best to really listen to those primary needs, that are the most directly related to health and well-being: diet, exercise, sleep, and more. Both my physical and mental health aren’t doing great at the moment, due to the un-sustainable practices I’ve been doing lately. Getting back to focusing on my health and well-being is my top priority moving forward.
I fully believe that our health and well-being is the most important and should come above everything else! If you are there right now, I am SO proud of you. If you aren’t, I see you and I am there with you – and we can re-prioritize our mental health together. You can find more of my past posts written about mental health and well-being here. If you’re on my email list, you will have also received the link to pre-order my debut poetry collection, Blooming! This collection does have a focus on mental health and I am looking forward to sharing it with you all, so very soon. ♥️