When Wellness Gets Too Much

The word wellness is meant to stand for mental and/or physical well-being, but has it lost it’s meaning? Is wellness still about taking care of yourself?

Wellness, self-care, well-being, these are all buzz words that are thrown around online and in the real world, they came to the foreground with people trying to improve their own health, mental and otherwise. But somewhere along the way it became big business, now when you search on Twitter or Instagram, the mixture of posts shows an unhealthy trend. Just today a search using the hashtag #wellness, revealed a worrying trend. The posts that came up were a stream of carefully prepared food in glamorous setups, idyllic homes and healthy toned people working out in the gym. Very little was something you could easily identify with. This led to the question of whether we’ve lost sight of what wellness should be.

I posed this question on twitter today, asking what wellness means to other people, and I’ll add the responses as they come in (if they come in 😉 ). However, yesterday I took the time to ask my friends what they see wellness as and how they feel about the wellness movement, the consensus wasn’t an overly positive one. We’ll rename them for the sake of anonymity, answers came from A, T, J and S. For A, it felt like the culture of wellness was a “push culture” blaming the victim for not trying hard enough to make themselves well, implicating that they were not making enough effort to do things recommended by pseudo-experts. Not to mention that the vast amount of it seems perpetuated by companies that want your money but don’t seem to actually care about your wellness. T believes it started with good intentions, but has become too commercialised, losing it’s meaning among all the Instagram celebrities that try to tell you what it means to work on your wellness. A third suggestion from J, argued that the only real negative that had come from the wellness movement was from those who used it to show off, a “look at me” attitude, that seeing someone fit and healthy in the gym stating they’re there to “get fit” didn’t encourage others so much as demotivate those who had a lot further to go. One response from a twitter user blamed meme culture, stating that it led to a demise in the original meaning, indeed memes are frequently inaccurate quotes and in more than a few cases, are somewhat disingenuous.  Lastly S had a few very interesting comments on the whole scene, that the idea of wellness wasn’t to blame, that those who were willing to perpetuate a falsehood in order to get likes/views on social media were, largely, the main reason the message was lost. Indeed wellness on social media is a shocking thing that doesn’t seem to actually focus much on the developing a feeling of wellness.

Indeed it was only recently that an article came out in the Sydney Herald, that examined how wellness was actually making us sick, as I read it, the general feel was that wellness was not about how to improve yourself as a person, by helping yourself and others, but merely about what you can do for yourself. There are a lot more points made in this article that are fascinating, I recommend giving it a read.

I digress, S pointed out that his own feeling of wellness had not been achieved by following social media posts, following a movement, or getting fit but in focusing on the things that he loves, taking the time to enjoy them. Indeed, in my own mission to learn more about wellness and well-being, I have fallen into the trap of memes, posts and camera angles. This question has reminded me that focusing on doing the things I love, does more for my health and well-being than staring at the posts of those who claim to encourage wellness.

So let’s start focusing on real wellness and self-care, if that means cheering yourself on for going to the gym, then well done, but for others, it is often a very different idea. Take the time to decide what it means for you, and what will help you with that. It might be doing things for yourself, or it might mean accepting help from others, perhaps it’s going out to see friends (or sit in your front room with them), or it might mean taking a nap to get your through the day. And remember, doing something for others can give you both a pretty awesome sense of well-being, my favourite birthday card ever was made by a friend (A) and I’ve kept it safe for several years. I hope knowing that brings her a warm fuzzy feeling, because reading it makes me smile.

Do you agree with this? What’s your feelings towards the wellness movement?

Disease, disaster and writers block

I promised a writing update and here it is. The 1st draft is halfway through, and I’m feeling optimistic, things are escalating nicely, I feel like it’s headed in the right direction, though I might have to scrap some of my ideas for later as it will definitely push my word count too high if I’m not careful. We will have to see.

Brief outline: Someone made something they thought they could control, they set it loose and now nature is showing them how it’s done. Spreading faster than they can quarantine it, this disease comes with some terrifying side effects. Can they escape the disease, or what comes after it? Follow this group of sisters as they fight to survive in a drastically changing world.

word count
Story word count

To see the prologue click through to here!

I’m also looking for story ideas for Stories from the Street, I will be sharing those on Wattpad, keep an eye out for me there.

The Endless – Prologue

Here it is, the prologue. Enjoy, but do not copy or take without permission from myself directly. I’m not hard to get hold of, send me a message. Let me know what you think, as I work on some of my projects you’ll be able to find there right here:

WattPad

prologue - outbreak story

The Endless – Prologue – an outbreak story by Michelle Quinton

The Universe, the planet and me.

The universe is a fascinating place, I don’t pretend to know much of anything about it, in terms of how much information is out there I think it’s impossible to truly know all of it. One of the reasons I started this blog was to put out there what I do know, discuss theories and maybe find out what you know. Please do share with me.

Today’s contemplation is about feeling a part of things, or feeling alone. Do you sometimes feel isolated? Unhappy? Perhaps you’re wondering what about me? Where do I fit in? I suspect you won’t be alone with those thoughts. I often feel the same way, so I’m looking for connections with the universe, a way to feel connected that doesn’t rely on a connection with other humans. I’m lucky enough to already have that, though it was difficult to get to that point where I felt like I had people to turn to.

Back to the universe, what ways can you help yourself feel more connected with the universe? I remember once someone showing me a video of how small and inconsequential we were in the grand scheme of things and when your problems feel blown out of proportion that can help. But it definitely didn’t make me feel connected. Listening to the universe helps, if you can listen you can sometimes spot pointers, things happening and the good that can come it, if though it may have been pretty crappy at the time (this is of course not true for all things, only you can determine if, in the long run, it helped you or changed you for the better). But again, some people feel as if they aren’t getting a response, or can’t see the signs. So I’ve put together a few little reminders, that we are one with the universe, you are and always will be an important part of it.

So where can you see it? The universe reflected in us and vice versa? How about we start with the eyes, shown here, eyes share an amazing likeness to the galaxies around us, I’ve even see some comment that they look like black holes. Very much a reflection of the universe, I’ve seen this image around, if you know who created it, I’d love to credit them – it’s everywhere so I haven’t been able to work out where it started.

eyes and galaxies

In a strange way it feels almost as if the galaxies are gazing at you, looking into you. Fascinating if a little unnerving for some. How about we go a little smaller? The next image shows the similarities between brain cell networks and the galaxies, again showing very similar structure, you can see that we developed to a pattern that the universe has used time and time again.

According to onecussion.com there are almost the same number of neurons in our brains as there are stars in our galaxy, perhaps on it’s own it may seem to be a coincidence. This is the image shared on onecussion’s article, I recommend it, it’s a fascinating subject.

developing brain and galaxies
Onecussion.com https://www.onecussion.com/developing-brain

Looking towards individual cells, you can see that same symmetry inside and out, individual brain cells (neurons) look very much like the universe themselves. Check out this post on “The Universe Grows Like a Giant Brain”, which looks closely at this, the image below is borrowed from their post, I recommend you read it as opposed to just looking at or borrowing the image. 

The Universe Grows Like a Giant Brain
The Universe Grows Like a Giant Brain https://www.crystalinks.com/brain.universe513.html

Can you see how we reflect the universe, each one of us is walking around with, what looks like, mini universes within a brains, millions of tiny neurons, firing off the messages and doing their best to keep us running, indeed, just as we sometimes appear to sabotage ourselves and our homes, the cells in our bodies attack and sabotage us, making us sick in the same way we make our home sick. You can even see it in the way we build and create, cities from above look very much like brain cells, connections and passages, sending information to and fro, check out this image from PetaPixel’s article on the similarities between human cities and human neurons. The universe has a design template programmed into all of us, and we recreate that when we build.

Photos Showing the Strange Similarities of Human Cities and Human Neurons
Photos Showing the Strange Similarities of Human Cities and Human Neurons https://petapixel.com/2013/01/15/photos-showing-the-strange-similarities-of-human-cities-and-human-neurons/

Seeing how we reflect the universe, at least for me, reminds me of just how much everything is connected. It helps me be open to the idea that things can change for the better and that sometimes the universe can leave little crumb trails for you to follow.

A little example of the universe and little pointers for me, at 19 I worked as a secretary, my works mates were great except one and I left because of her. I did regret leaving as I had opportunities there that I missed out on because that decision. As soon as I left I started job hunting, I had an interview in London, I was sold the wrong ticket, missed a train and next one was cancelled due to snow. I could have fought through it, but perhaps because I didn’t really want to go or maybe because I knew it was an agency not a direct employer, I decided to take the hint and go home. Not long after I saw a job advertised, it said croupier, I didn’t even know what one was (and google wasn’t an option – my phone didn’t do internet lol). I phoned to ask what a croupier was and spent a year working there, becoming more capable and confident in myself. I’ve never regretted working at that Casino (Grosvenor in Reading), and I’m glad I made the choices I did.

There are other instances, including the ones that led me here, having worked at a Sleep Hotel (as admin), worked as a weight loss coach (with life coaching as part of the training), studied psychology, life coaching and mental health. The universe keeps nudging me in the direction of mental health and wellness, so I’m taking that hint.

What can you look back on and see as a positive, that maybe felt like a negative at the time? What decisions have you made that you thought at the time you’d regret, but that you’re really glad you did now?

Can you see any other examples of human creations that reflect the universe (inside us or outside)? Share with me, sharing is good 🙂 (unless it’s your cold, don’t share that 😉 ).