From Overwhelm to Empowerment
Ask the right questions, find the right support system, make more mindful choices, and most importantly, be a part of the process.
No need to search for the next miracle cure or savior to make you healthier – that savior is you.
When you take responsibility for your own actions, you gain the power to make choices, adapt, and reevaluate your situation. There are no inherently wrong choices; the key is realizing that you are the one in control. Seek help and support when needed, but remember that they are just that – support, not the answer. The answers lie within you, and some of those answers may require hard work, patience, effort, and surrender.
Often, we pin hopes on the next trendy diet or wellness gadget, only to find that it doesn't provide the miraculous solution we sought. We jump from one trend to the next, spiraling into a cycle of consumption rather than genuine self-improvement which leads to an increase in “wellness overwhelm”. So many claims out there - do this, don’t do that - you can’t help but feel like you’re constantly being pulled in different directions.
Everyone has the “solution” to your problem. If you do this one thing, buy this one device/product/service, you will be healed. Even more overwhelming are the lists of things that you should be spending money on to heal; buy more supplements, vitamins, take these fitness classes, see this chiropractor, that PT, this nutritionist, follow that diet, buy this face mask, this device to help you stretch, this one for better abs, this meditation pillow, that yoga mat … the list goes on.
No wonder those newer to wellness feel overwhelmed! We (those of us in wellness) have dished out so much information in the last 10-12 years, with out taking into account the time needed for people to process and digest.
We add to the feelings of urgency, rush, impatience, by pushing our wellness. I’m guilty of this myself. My enthusiasm and desire to help people overpowered my ability to meet people where they were. To truly see that while my intentions were only to help and support, I often left people feeling the exact opposite way - NOT my intention at all, but nonetheless, it was happening. The last thing I wanted to do was create more stress, more pressure, and most often, more confusion. And I’m sure many of you in wellness have felt/feel the same way.
Sometimes we just get too excited! And it’s not a bad thing, but it is something to consider.
While I am grateful that the world of wellness has grown exponentially, I’m also aware that it’s our (those of us with more experience) responsibility to share the truths that we have discovered with care. Mindfully.
Rather than just telling people what to do and why, we must also try to show them the way. Even if it takes more time and patience. Even if you have to slow down or take a step back. They need to know how to decide what’s working for them and what’s not. Even more, what does it mean for said service/product/experience to have “worked” or “not worked”. Even deeper still, how to apply and assimilate this practice into their lives in a sustainable way and for how long. Clients need guidance in navigating the uses of wellness, not only lists of things to do and purchase.
With out this mindful approach, those seeking support and solutions often get met with wellness burnout and fatigue, the opposite of what they were looking for.
Then, there is the most important question… does any of this stuff even work?
This is where we can all agree – the wellness industry sometimes sells a lot of nonsense. It can make you feel like you need all the services, experiences, and products out there, draining your wallet in the process. Even worse, many lack the proper training and credentials, and hands on experience to back up said expertise. Some have a hard time “staying in their lane”, if you know what I mean.
There is a degree of dishonesty, wether intentional or unintentional, that happens in the world of wellness, just like any other industry, and my hope is to help you see through cracks so you can navigate your path more confidently. It can be very disappointing and frustrating and it can easily make you want to denounce the wellness world. Diminish it down to “woo woo” and “snake oil”.
But here's where I diverge. I'm not here to take on the wellness industry; I'm here to teach wellness. I’m not here to bash wellness, only to open your eyes to the role that you play. To empower you. To build your confidence in making choices for yourself, not to reinforce any blame. Because the truth is, wellness saved my life. I believe in wellness whole heartedly. I believe in the power of taking care of oneself, I’ve seen the results in my life and the lives of those around me time and time again. But I’ve also seen the struggle, the moments of frustration, sadness, and defeat.
I share my story, including the ups and downs, and serve as a resource for guidance instead. To avoid leaving people feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. Rather, I LOVE to encourage because again, I am a believer of wellness and a believer in people.
Having tried a lot of “the things”, I can say that some of those “things” have genuinely helped me thrive beyond my diagnosis of MS at 24, and those things didn’t include drinking celery juice every day, btw. 😉
My wellness journey began before the age of Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, before phrases like "gluten-free" and "anti-inflammatory" became commonplace. I had to explain to people what inflammation was and why I was mindful of it in my diet. It was a challenge that I have now come to appreciate. I was forced to be a part of the process, to seek my own path, answers, and solutions. As a result, things came to me as I was ready. One thing led to another versus me having “all the things” at my fingertips and then having to choose where to start.
We now have an abundance of valuable wellness information at our fingertips. The wellness conversation is thriving, offering us numerous options which is a good thing. But like all things, too much of a good thing is still too much. Where my issue was finding the alternative solutions, the issue today is knowing how to use them.
Options can be overwhelming, to say the least and I often find that people are blaming the “thing” rather than finding fault in the process that they chose to assimilate said “thing”. Sure, maybe that “thing” you tried didn’t work, but it also could’ve have been the fault of the process and the techniques used to teach you. Maybe it’s not that you “aren’t good at math”, it’s just you haven’t come across the right teacher or teaching experience. Same rule applies to wellness practices.
It’s hard to take responsibility, but it’s our most powerful tool. Only we can change the trajectory of our lives. So even tho it can be frustrating navigating wellness and there are many finding fault in the world of wellness, I don’t think this is where your solution to achieving wellness lies. Debunking wellness. Yes, it’s great to point out flaws, but then what? You past practices landed you in a place you don’t want to be, only makes sense to change your practices, right? So rather than pointing out flaws and what didn’t/doesn’t work, focus on what does/did work. Even if it’s seemingly small. A bunch of small things make a big thing.
Blaming the wellness industry (or any industry for that matter) alone won’t land you in the place you need to be. It may be a starting point, a sign that you are unsatisfied, but not the solution. Not the place you want to remain. Instead, take a look in the mirror. It takes two to tango. Instead of pointing fingers, ask yourself how you can take more ownership of your wellness. What you could have done differently? Do you genuinely need that product or service? Is it the right time? Can you learn more about it before making a decision? Sometimes, the answer is simply, "No, I don't need this right now." But I encourage you to think holistically before writing anything off.
Even if you've received a diagnosis, you don't need every wellness solution available. Take a moment to assess your situation.
There's no rush to wellness, and you can't simply "wellness" your way out of a chronic disease. It's not a checklist item, and no one can do it for you.
In essence, blaming the wellness industry for overconsumption and false advertising isn’t helping anyone. I see many people addressing the flaws of the industry in a flashy and sassy way, and I firmly disagree with this approach. Moreover, most of these people still practice wellness when you actually read their books, articles, and posts, but to catch attention, they often use extreme language that can be very damaging, especially when people don’t read the full post.
The focus shifts away from the client/person and towards industry, products, and people. Outward/external focus is one of the biggest roadblocks to truly understanding and digesting wellness. Unless you're passionate about taking on the industry, the solution is straightforward: keep the focus on you and your path. It’s OK to look outward at times, but the primary focus needs to be on you and your needs, not changing/fretting about external things or people that aren’t you. It’s easy to get stuck in the zone of the critic and the skeptic, be careful. The critic and the skeptic are great, but only in balanced doses. When out of balance and in control they can keep you frozen in one place, unable to trust anyone or anything, including yourself.
And if you’ve fallen into what feels like a “trap” in wellness, I suggest taking a pause and re-evaluating some things. Let go of frustration and take a breath. Take inventory on what you’ve been doing, buying, eating, listening to, reading etc., and reflect. Are you using the things you have purchased as directed? Did you give it enough time? Did you enjoy it? Feel the benefits? Did it help you solve a problem? Do you have questions? Do you know the “why” behind what your are doing? Did you make any adjustments to suit your unique needs?
In order to escape the “trap” and feel empowered to stop buying what you don't need, you must educate yourself, hold compassion and grace for yourself, be patient, ask questions, seek guidance and support, and most importantly, be a part of the process. Be thoughtful. Take your time. Ask the right questions. And know that it is partly a process of trial and error and it will take time. There is nothing wrong with trying things, don’t beat yourself up if you’ve over-consumed wellness. I know I have in the past. And that’s OK. It was part of my process and part of my learning experience. It helped me learned the very valuable tool of discernment, and that’s a very powerful thing.
Balance is crucial. Don’t be afraid to try new things and if you’re having fun diving deep into wellness, by all means, dive! Just remember to come up for air. While it's okay to try new things, when consumption creates tension, the solution is to do less. Not to consume more. Not to get angry at yourself or others. Not to find the flaws in everything. Just pause. Reflect. Assess. And move forward again.
Lastly, evaluate the wellness figures you seek guidance from. Are they genuinely helping you learn self-care or are they merely pushing products, services, ideas, and image based solutions? What is their personal experience? Background? Education? Dig a little deeper into the folks you’re placing your trust into. This doesn’t mean you need to find perfect people, it means you need to find honest, transparent, humble people that you can trust and that you feel comfortable with. There is no such thing as a perfect human. That’s what makes us all so beautiful and interesting. We are perfectly imperfect.
Read more on the topic on my previous post “Embracing Wellness with Intention: The Pitfalls of Overconsumption and the Power of Personalization”
I offer 1:1 health and wellness coaching sessions. Email me at email@example.com for more info or to schedule a 15 minute call. 📞 😊
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