“Mental wellness is something that we all struggle with – so many things in our lives pull us in different directions and consume our energy. At the end of the day, if you aren’t taking care of you, nothing else really matters. For me, a reminder to refocus my energy internally rather than sending it out into the world is one of the most powerful tools I have learnt.”
Last night, I had the honour of being the “Lift Your Spirits” speaker at the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Women and Wellness event. When I was invited to speak, I thought carefully as to what story I would share. I have experienced mild depression in the past, and I have friends who have battled mental illness in many forms. Yet, rather than focus on what separates us, I wanted to focus on what connects us.
For me, wellness includes being centred, balanced and connected, both with yourself and with your community. This is something that we all battle – the ability to feel whole when so many aspects of our lives compete for our attention.
I spoke about my Life Pie in a previous post (Women Giving Back), and I used it as a central theme in my speech last night. Over the years, I have come to the realization that the Wellness slice of pie is THE most important part, because without it all of the other slices burn out. As I was getting ready for my presentation yesterday, I realized that my wellness was suffering due to work and social commitments. I found a park that held meaning for me, and I sat in the sunshine for 45 minutes. I took long, deep breaths and I reconnected with a part of myself that had been missing for a few days. I felt so much better after that, and it changed my entire perspective as to what is really important.
I closed my speech last night by saying, “It doesn’t take much to remind ourselves to feel grateful for the life that we lead, but for me it does require an intention – a reminder to pause, reflect and appreciate the ripple effect we can each have on the world around us.”
I’m glad I was able to recognize this ahead of time and walk into a room full of amazing women feeling connected to myself.
For more information, see the article in the North Shore News 🙂