I am one of those people. I will admit it.
I am one of those trend followers that is constantly looking for new and improved methods of achieving a healthy lifestyle; of achieving that "wellness" that nowadays has come to be a pinnacle of success in life.
Through social media and friends I always come across a novelty to try; something that always promises to be more fruitful than the latter. It can be anything from diets and intermittent fasting, to more eccentric and disgusting trends like oil pulling or celery juice cleanses. There always seems to be a new way to reach that healthy living. To be honest, most of them sound like magic to me.
In spite of what you may believe, dear reader, I am not an idiot.
I know the majority of information found online is not truthful and I think I have a pretty good grasp on what can be beneficial for me and what will most definitely not be. That is how I became to pursue four main changes to my lifestyle: clean eating (whatever we mean by "clean"), exercising more, taking care of my skin (externally), and taking care of my mind.
Because of this obsession with reading and implementing some of these trends, I have started plenty of Januaries with resolutions such as no more carbs, no more sugar, exercise every day before breakfast, meditate every day before bed, stop using plastic, cook every meal from scratch; the list is endless. Every year, I try to become this person that lives within my expectations. This person, moulded by social media, internet in general, and ideals of beauty is a new me that I aspire to be. Oh and isn't she amazing. She is so calm, so collected; health-conscious and self-disciplined; happy and full of life... She is unreal. But her shadow can be haunting.
Every year, frustrations flood me when I am unable to achieve these impossible goals I set for myself. Negative emotions cloud my mind and I believe I'm not good enough. I have to try harder.
However, for a while now this has been normalised. We are all being constantly told that we need to be healthier. Be happier. Be better. Permanent self-improvement. It is not just me feeling it.
What better example than the covid-19 pandemic. We have more time in our hands than ever, so we are bombarded with this idea that we need to take advantage of that time accordingly. Be productive. While in fact, we are living in the most uncertain time of the decade. Our consumer-oriented society and capitalistic mindset, have created this hybrid monster; one combined by the idea of progression and improvement (which by itself seems to be positive) and the mantra "it's never enough".
It has taken me several years to realise, that these expectations I am holding onto, are yet another way in which I am damaging my body and my mind. It is (in my particular case) nothing but the illusion of wellness, just a pointless pursuit. The rat race has adapted to our new era.
Letting go of the ideal of perfection and accepting myself has been a journey. Letting go is never easy. Still, I am glad every day I fight to stay on the other side of that wall.
This year, my resolution is a fairer representation of wellness than it has ever been. I want to be able to love myself despite everything. I want to start from the foundations of being happy as I am, before progressing into self-improvement. If I believe I am enough now, today; even if I do eat an occasional doughnut; even if I eat a dozen... then, I am on the correct path.
This year, I will stay true to myself. I will start the new year, and keep the old me.