For a while now I’ve been mulling over about how personal I want to be on my instagram and this blog, and whilst I’m not going to go sharing every inch of my life or start turning my captions into pages of my journal and bore you all with my woes & worries & stresses & anxieties (I know, thank god), alongside the many other realizations i've had recently, I've come to realize that the way ‘health’ and ‘wellness’ is defined and perceived, both in real-life and on social media, needs to change. And despite all of the confliction inside of me and my overly indecisive nature you’ll be glad to know I have managed fiiiinaaaallly to come to (at least) one conclusion: I want to help make that change, and hopefully through that, help people.
For all of you that know me or have met me in person, you’ll know there’s nothing I hate more than appearing like a negative or unhappy person - much in contrast, I actually tend to be known as the one who is even over-optimistic at times. Although I am generally-speaking a genuinely happy and optimistic person, I’ve come to notice how my perfectionism doesn’t only stop within myself, but continues into the way that I’m perceived by others; in all different kind of aspects. It’s so easy on social media to paint a picture, to appear how you want to appear; whether it be the kind of person you strive to be, or even just the kind of person you are most of the time. (See exhibit A; this photo - happy and healthy anyone??) No one wants to share the ‘bad’ bits or the struggles in their lives, and that’s normal.
But what a lot of people don’t realize is how detrimental painting this picture can be to other people, and how influential people can be.
I’ve been slowly seeing how, ironically, aiming to be a completely ‘healthy’ person or being such a perfectionist in every aspect of life can so easily taken overboard and become ‘unhealthy.’ (also beginning to really hate those labels and what they’ve come to represent as well, but that’s a whole other rant in itself.) In today’s health/fitness/wellness craze it’s so easy for this to go un-noticed - we live in a society where being ‘healthy’ is something that’s so socially accepted and encouraged, and these seemingly positive habits are congratulated and thought of as ‘#goals’ and as the ideal. In reality, there is so much confusion and so many harmful messages out there about what being ‘healthy’ actually means, so much so that very very unhealthy ideals end up being promoted, and so many people, without realizing, are swept up in those messages until things go so far over the line, and medically speaking, actual real health is at risk.
I don’t want to be that person contributing to the bad examples out there that once influenced, and still do, influence me. The ideals and goals that were an easy way of escape from my messy-stressy-anxious-unhappy life; a way of convincing myself that by becoming the perfect image of health on the outside and within my body I would feel better in my brain and have control over the anxiety within me and the chaos around me. I don’t want anyone to go through what, in different ways and to different extents and periods of time, i’ve been going through for probably the past 4 ish years of my life. Naaaaat fun, believe me.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a happier, healthier person and there is nothing wrong with having goals or ambitions regarding that. But like with everything, it is all about balance, and some of the messages being promoted at the moment are distorting the true meaning of what good health is.
This post is me saying that I’m not the perfect, healthy, always happy person that social media might sometimes paint, or that you might think you see in real life. I’m human, and if I’m completely honest, my life or my body or my ‘health’ in the way it is at the moment is not one that anyone should be aspiring or aiming towards. But I’m hoping to change that, and I’m can’t even begin to explain how thankful that I’ve had a wake up call. I am by no means whatsoever suddenly an expert on how to be the perfectly balanced happy healthy human - this is much the start of my journey as it might be yours. There needs to be a new kind of message put out there, one that other people too are slowly realizing around the world (shout out to @madelineolivia, @laurathomasphd, @daniellaisaacs, @plantbased_pixie for some amazing inspo) and I want to be a part of that.
Things need to change, and if by sharing little bits of my story here and there, tips, advice, my journey as I try to find my own balance in life again, or even just hopefully by putting a better, more REAL message out there helps one person, I’ll be so grateful and happy.
Welcome to my (almost) quarter-life crisis, hope you stick along for the ride to watch as I hopefully turn things around, and change my life for the better. <3