When I started jotting down points to write about at the beginning of this month, the theme that sprung up was the difficulty of self-care and the maintenance of one's health and well-being. I've recently faced a myriad issues that have affected my overall health. As I began overcoming and dealing with the challenges one by one, I resolved to write something inspired by my experiences. This month is officially the first and last with a pre-set theme. It feels as if by choosing something to commit to working on and thinking about, the universe thought it would only be right to test me.
So, there are lots of things that make up one's personal health - so much more than the physical which is what often comes to mind when the topic of either health or self-care is mentioned. Almost begrudgingly, I'm talking about EVERYTHING. Even compiling a list for my own note-taking and self-awareness seemed surprisingly arduous.
Perhaps the simplest part of this process of reflection was divvying up health & well-being into four commonly-known spheres: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual A.K.A body, mind, heart and soul. I remember being filled with excitement when I wrote down those categories and began listing their components. That quickly changed as I was reminded that any one component of one category could and would affect any or all of the other categories. I stopped adding or thinking on this blog post for a while after that as it suddenly became an insurmountable task to detangle the human condition within the timeframe I had given myself with any success. Although I post extremely irregularly on this blog, my desire for my shared writing has remained pretty much the same - I want to be able to put the human experience and condition into relatable terms in a way that the reader never thought possible (a bit of a grand ask of oneself, I know - hence the irregularity of my posts because WOW, the pressure). I'm trying my best to move away from that toxic pursuit of perfectionism, so that I'll actually do what I love to do (uhm, writing and creating art, if you were not aware) with some sort of consistency.
In fact, the decision to start a monthly blog post series came from a desire to write more which is definitely deeply connected to my health in the following ways:
Physical - stress levels are lowered; body is both energized and relaxed
Mental - writing skills become sharpened; practice and apply previously learned/stored knowledge; writing that requires research (most, if not all) allows the learning of new information; increased reading speed; improved mental efficiency
Emotional - guaranteed happiness after getting into the flow of writing; channel for release of negative emotions and thoughts; sense of pride in one's work
Spiritual - often acts as a grounding practice (even when that is not the primary purpose for writing); opportunity for expressions of gratitude; connection with the many facets of self
I've been trying to frame the things in my life in this way to help determine whether or not they serve me. It's been a great way to tell where there is imbalance and toxicity brewing in certain areas of my life. The hardest thing about health, at least for me, is being proactive about maintaining it... followed closely by determining how to prioritize what you ought to be proactive about.
I am pretty much perpetually oscillating between a state of awe and despair when it comes to the management of my own health. Terrifyingly, as I get older (eww) there seems more and more to consider. I've officially outgrown the invincibility phase of my life where I thought my physical health was superior to that of my fellow human. I think I've also done a lot of personal work to the point where I actually care a lot more about myself and I am aware of the things that are no longer serving me and that may have a negative affect on me. It unfortunately doesn't make it easy to resolve one's issues, but I suppose the first step to solving any problem is recognizing that there is one.
Once I committed to writing more on the topic of health, the universe thought it'd do me a solid and give me so much more to write about than just my perception of personal health and well-being (or maybe my intuition is far more heightened than I realize). We've just recently had a total lunar eclipse and are due for another one in June. There's a lot of intense energy hanging around thanks to that. For most people, that would probably mean that there are things bubbling up to their conscious mind that they've previously repressed or showing patterns or cycles of toxic behavior that need to be released or ended. Even for those who have been actively working on themselves and are aware of eclipse energy, this can be a tough time for us emotionally/mentally/spiritually/physically.
Then as an added bonus from personal experience, Taiwan has been going through the most this month. We've spent the majority of the pandemic relatively unscathed and unaffected by the virus due to the tireless effort of the Taiwan CDC and accompanying health sectors. Before May, I can't remember the last time we had a local case and now we're at over 5,000 just before the month's end. The surge in cases has put the entire country on Level 3 alert which has meant the closure of schools and after school and day care programs (but the continuation of work and online teaching). On top of fear for the virus, we're also facing a drought and accompanying water shortages, energy shortages and the ominous cloud of political tensions. Not only do we have to show up for ourselves, we need to show up for each other now, too.
Going forward, I'd like to post here at least once a month. The universe is utterly bemusing and has ways of inserting ideas into our heads exactly when they need to be. I have thoroughly enjoyed shaping and writing this monthly despite the craziness I/we find ourselves in (as individuals and as a global community). I'm rather nervous for the month ahead, a lot of uncertainty and intense energy seems to be looming. Hopefully, you'll be back here at the end of June to see if I've managed to make it through it all.