“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
– Jim Rohn
My focus on health and wellness hasn’t always been straightforward. It rarely is for young people, especially busy, ambitious students who take their health for granted. This was me just a few short years ago. In the short-term, I was likely focusing on finishing that 10-page paper at 2 a.m., mindlessly downing a pot of coffee in the process. I was working hard towards a career in journalism. Despite the fact that I was slightly behind, I graduated on time by taking an overload of courses for nearly two years. But what I wish I’d known then was that the late nights, drinking too much coffee, and staying uber-stressed would affect my body far into the future. I was putting at risk everything I’d worked so hard to achieve.
Pushing yourself towards a goal is a good thing. I’ve always been very goal-oriented, and there’s nothing like the pride you feel when you achieve it. However, some people, like myself, tend to hover in an all-or-nothing mentality. We focus too intently on one thing while letting other important things drift apart. In my last semester of college, I lived in this mental space. I was intent on graduating with high grades and finding a job straight away. And my efforts paid off - I was hired right out of school into a fast-paced job, six hours from home. And although my mind was ready for the challenge, my body wasn’t. It was still recovering from the last four years of stress and busy living. I would have no way of knowing this until it was too late.
I wouldn’t say I “enjoy” stress, but I certainly function well in it. In fact, I work better under a deadline. In my new job, I continued living as I had been. I was constantly stressed, staying up late, and not thinking much about what this high-stress situation could be doing to my body. As a result, I eventually would struggle with feeling tired and having a lot of discomfort, and just my overall wellness for the next few years. At the time I struggled to see any positives. Now, I would say that through the process, I learned to treat my body the way it deserves to be treated. I gave my lifestyle a complete overhaul. I changed my diet, my sleeping habits, cut out all alcohol and placed my own health at the very top of my priorities.
My MONQ diffuser is one of the many tools I keep in my “box” of well-being. I also try to remember tons of water, enough sleep, a plant-based diet, and plenty of time outdoors. Stress has always been a pattern in my life since a young age, so I first gravitated towards the Zen blend. I always have Zen with me, no matter where I am, just in case I need the instant calming aroma. I also struggle with fluctuating moods, so I love that aromatherapy is a natural way to adjust your mood. Many of us have extremely busy and hectic schedules. I think it’s important to take some time out of the day and try to breathe and unwind.
I know I’m not alone in my post-college quest for better health. Many of my friends and peers have struggled with conditions, some more serious than others. But all of us, no matter how different, just want to feel well . As the years pass, I see more friends trading happy hour for hot yoga and brunch mimosas for fresh-squeezed juices. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with consuming alcohol or staying up late. But I think a good general rule is this: if something makes your body feel bad, or worse each time you do it, stop doing it. Instead, look for healthy habits to replace things with. Although you can’t control the way you feel completely, you can certainly form healthy habits to try and change things.
On days that I struggle with getting moving, I’ll still have some coffee- along with plenty of water and my MONQ Lively blend to wake me up. I also love the outdoor blends on days when I’m stuck in the city. Although I love Nashville, I grew up in the woods, and the Forest blend makes me feel like I’m back at my parents’ house.
*name changed to protect privacy