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My Health and Wellness Journey

Updated: Apr 25, 2021


The most devastating moment in my life happened on 25 December 2017, yes Christmas. I'd just pulled up to enjoy Christmas with my in-laws and received the dreaded call.

"He's gone", was all I remembered.


My Father had died and devastation had a new meaning. We had just celebrated my Daughter’s 21st last month.



Grief

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross talks about 5 Stages of Grief, I feel like I went through them all.

The first is Denial: When I sat in my Car on Christmas Day, there was a moment that I felt it just wasn't true. No not my Dad, but my Sister was on the other end of the phone and she'd never lie. That was the only moment.


Flying to New Zealand to attend his Funeral, I was miserable. I remember asking my Sister "Were we not good children, did we not notice he was sick and stressed".


"Misery is a Communicable Disease" Martha Graham


I made everyone’s life unbearable, I was Angry, the second phase. My Family were walking on eggshells and miserable because of my mood swings. I cried relentlessly and it would trigger emotional outbursts. By February I was in counselling, my Workplace had noticed a difference. Some days were better than others, but I now suffered from Anxiety. Basically, I had an intense anxiety or fear of everyday situations. My Counsellor cleared me to go back to my full-time role, but I decided to leave, I needed the break. I'd been working non-stop for the last 15 years, drinking 7 coffees a day and energy drinks to manage my workload and I didn't feel as confident as I once did. I left September 2018.


I flew home to visit my Mum a few days later. I started Bargaining with her, "I'll build a home in NZ if you live to be 100 years old". Not really productive but I’m optimistic.

December 2018, the Month from Hell. I was in full Depression mode and cried every day till Christmas. I was lost, I couldn't find work although I'd had several interviews and I blamed myself for leaving my job. I felt guilty and hated myself for being a failure. What would my Dad think?

I had lost interest in everything and would sleep for hours with little to no appetite. I realised I couldn't keep doing this to myself and started my health and wellness journey.


Reflection

By October 2019, I felt I was turning a corner. My Family had just celebrated my Niece's 21st Birthday and my Mum flew in with family from New Zealand. Although we remembered my Dad, I felt at peace that night and started feeling hopeful, Acceptance.

Christmas that year was spent with Family, but it was a sombre affair. By April 2020 I was starting to enjoy at home skincare routines, I hadn't taken care of myself in like forever and needed to find new products to help with my many issues. I started with home-made remedies and joined the World of Skincare Bloggers. I started to gain a feel for what I wanted to do, I was focussed on Health and Wellness. I even started practicing daily gratitude and researched the wellness journey meaning and benefits.

I started working towards owning my own business in September last year and started to walk regularly as part of my selfcare routine. I walked 60km for Mental Health Awareness in October to promote awareness of mental health.

I spent Christmas in Sydney last year, I didn't celebrate with family due to COVID-19 restrictions, I admit I was grateful. Isn't it funny how you can be grateful for things like COVID-19?


I started Yoga this year and continue to grow on my wellness journey. My time spent going through the grief process may seem long to some and very short to others, but everyone manages in their own way and time. It’s not all about denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. There's a final stage, Hope.


Here’s a few Tips on how to Manage Grief


1. The Grief process is unique for you and it takes as long as it takes.


2. Acknowledge you aren't in a good position to make Life decisions.


3. Set obtainable goals - like going for a walk every day, there's many physical benefits to walking but the mental benefits include opening you up to free flowing ideas and solutions and walking in nature helped immensely.


4. You may not be the same person you were before you began to grieve.


5. Find ways to cope and remain present.


What ways do you think help with coping and remaining present? When you think of them, I encourage you to practice them today. Grief can be unexpected and having coping mechanisms are great for your health and wellness.

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