I write this month’s letter to you, dear readers, from the balcony of the condo I rent during the winter in a little town on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.
Tough life, huh?
The truth is, life can be tough. And we often make it tougher by not taking care of ourselves, either because we never learned how or we’re too wrapped up in society’s “shoulds” to gain the necessary clarity on what works for us as individuals to replenish, refocus, and refill.
I hate winter, and for years this meant an annual depressive period each March that came like clockwork after winter’s dark, dreary months.
Then one year, I took the snowbird route and spent four days in Puerto Rico with friends. This was during my acting days, when I feared that any departure from New York might mean a missed opportunity that could send my career skyward.
Well, this week was the Oscars, and I’m quite certain I wasn’t missed. And I am grateful for that! For me, changing careers was a move in the direction of well-being, as was figuring out how to get in front of the sun for at least a week every winter.
Once I made that decision, opportunities materialized. A best friend moved to Los Angeles, and generously shares her guest room whenever I need a dose of sunshine. A Canadian stranger answered my desperate plea for a cut-rate condo in the Caribbean, and now I have a little town where I can work from warmer weather with few distractions (and plenty of guacamole).
Just like in my previous career, my guilt at the privilege of owning my own time often threatens to override the idea of a vacation. I try to be kind and remind myself that it’s the big benefit that outweighs the stress of self-employment. My fear persistently argues against taking breaks or being anywhere other than the (state-side) office, so I trick myself into committing by inviting friends to join my trips, which seems to work… and always makes the time away less about escape and more about creating memories.
My wellness journey has been long and fraught, with many unexpected twists and turns. And it’s far from over. Throughout my adult life, my growth in and understanding of my four main areas of wellness — physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual — have led me to mud race finish lines, therapists’ couches, meditation tuffets, Andalusian highways, cathedral towers, church basements, and more layers of discovery than I ever thought possible.
The most magical part? Whenever I get stuck or need answers, people appear on my path ready to share what they’ve learned on their own journey.
This month’s Pregame features our best advice on wellness, from delicious breakfast recipes to staying fit while traveling the world. Special thanks to artist Marielis Seyler, whose darkly beautiful work is featured as key imagery for many of our articles this month.
Whether you’re reading from a beach chair or a train car, take a few moments to contemplate what wellness means to you.
How about you? How do you define wellness? What practices have led you to a more fit, healthy, dynamic life?