Lately, I’ve been pondering the multiple layers of health. From what we eat to how we think and who we spend time with, it is an interconnected web of lifestyle habits that make us feel well. In today’s post, I’m exploring one strand of that web: how being vulnerable and acknowledging our struggles helps us endure. At the end of this article, you’ll find a short evening routine that will help you put this idea into practice.
Since moving to America in 2011, I’ve been uncharacteristically forward about making friends. As an introvert, a bookworm, and someone who likes to be in her pajamas at 6 pm, this has been quite the turn around for me.
Here’s how it usually plays out:
- I meet a woman at a gathering, a fitness studio or through a mutual connection
- I ask her out for a tea or a walk*
- We suss each other out and see if we want to talk about the possibility of friendship
*I choose activities that are pretty noncommittal for the first “date.” Lunch or dinner add a certain amount of pressure…it’s a long time to make chit-chat with a stranger and there’s the chance that you’ll end up smiling with lettuce in your teeth.
Some of these dates have turned into life-long friendships, while others can be simply chalked up to “experience,” which is fine by me. As someone who would rather go deep with one person than have 100 shallow connections, I’m perfectly happy with a handful of close friends.
But what I’ve learnt, in becoming a serial friend-dater, is that many people have a hard time going deep, getting real, and being open and vulnerable with someone else. I’ve noticed this in real life as well as online, where presenting an idealized version of yourself to the world is more important than being authentic.
In the past year alone I’ve gone on several coffee dates with women in my industry who, after introducing themselves, proceed to spend five full minutes taking photos of their turmeric latte from several different angles to post on social media. Later that day these photos would pop into my Instagram feed with the caption: “SO much fun getting to know the lovely Jennifer Dene today.” But really, how well could they know me after 45 minutes of surface-level conversation?
This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy networking or meeting new people…in fact, I love it. But I do feel that too many women spend too much time crafting the perfect version of themselves for public opinion, without giving enough attention to their private struggles.
Nowhere is it more important to be honest and open than on the topic of our physical, emotional and mental health. Acknowledging what we have, while still knowing what we want to improve or when we need to ask for help, is a crucial part of wellbeing. Getting raw and real about who you are — even just with yourself — is the first step to overcoming struggles and making real progress in becoming the woman you want to be.
The following healthy evening routine will help you do just that.
A Healthy Evening Routine
Every evening, write out the following:
- One thing that I am grateful for from today is…
- Two things that I struggled with today are…
- Three possible solutions that will help me overcome those struggles in the future will be…
- The person/people I ask for help, support or companionship, should I need it are…
This exercise is simple and profound, so I hope you’ll give it a go.
And then let me know what you think of today’s topic by leaving a comment below.