I would really love for you to take a moment to consider where you think you may be sitting in the states. I want to ask you, how are you feeling right now? Within your mind, body and soul. Are you happy? Are you stressed? Are you tired? Are you sore? Are you doing the things that light you up? How are you feeling, really?
In today’s world and society, where we are all constantly running off of caffeine, quick hits of dopamine from social media and to-do lists, I think more of us are struggling than we would like to admit, but in saying this, majority of people I work with, know and have spoken to about these states of wellbeing are actually sitting right in the middle and simply surviving, which of course isn’t sustainable.
So let’s talk about the four states individually and we’re going to start at the top with thriving.
Thriving is really where we all want to be and some people may actually believe they are sitting in this state, but they probably aren’t.
People who are in the thriving state of living are really aligned in all areas of their life. They feel like their life has meaning and purpose. They wake up with a spring in their step because they got a great night’s rest. They are excited about their day ahead. They nourish their body with lots of water and nutritious foods. They move their bodies regularly in a way that feels really amazing. They have time for themselves. They have routines and habits that support their lifestyle. They parent with patience. They enjoy company of great people. They don’t talk negatively about themselves or others. They feel relaxed and calm throughout their day-to-day life. They handle challenges with little stress. They show up and do amazing things for themselves and the world. They honestly feel great within all aspects of themselves.
The second state is surviving. As I mentioned earlier, I do think a lot of people fall into this state and may not even be aware of it. I have spent a lot of my parenting years in this state and honestly, often find myself slipping back into it but it’s something I’m aware of and continually take note of.
People who are in the surviving state are doing okay but there is definitely room for improvement. People in this state aren’t necessarily sick or unhappy but they also aren’t truly healthy or happy. They may know deep down that something has to change, whether it is to do with their mind, body or soul. They often have busy lives filled with all of the different to-do lists but no time for rest, relaxing or just doing things for themselves. They have some great days with nourishing their body with water and nutritious foods but they also have some days where it’s the complete opposite. They push through their day relatively okay but if something pops up or goes wrong, they fall down like a house of cards. They get everything done in life that needs to be done but are most likely not getting all of the things they want either. They are doing okay, but they really aren’t doing the best either.
The third state is struggling. People in this state are most likely pretty done with life. They’re lacking something or maybe even everything in terms of mind, body and soul. They wake up and are still tired. They don’t take note of what they eat, drink or consume and honestly, they don’t care. They are usually stressed, overstimulated and overwhelmed. They feel unsupported. Everything feels hard for them. They may even wonder if life is supposed to be like this or if things could ever get better for them.
The fourth state is in crisis. This is what people would consider rock-bottom. They feel lost, numb, out of control. They do not nourish their mind, body or soul in any way, shape or form. They struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. They have physical symptoms showing up such as random pains in the body or unexpected and unusual weight loss or gain. They withdraw themselves from people, opportunities and experiences. They are very easily, or maybe even always, stressed, overwhelmed, angry or annoyed. They may have dependence or addictions to people, substances, food, sex, work or other numbing activities. They may have intrusive thoughts. They may be suicidal or self-harming. They often have excessive negative self-talk. People who are in crisis often struggle to see anyway of life other than the way they are currently living. Before we go any further with the episode, if you are in this state, please, seek professional help today. Book in with a counsellor. See your GP to ask for support. Call lifeline. Please don’t wait any longer.
Whatever state you’re in right now, I don’t want you to feel ashamed, embarrassed or judge yourself in any way shape or form. There’s no right or wrong state, we’re just living life.
I’ve been in all of the states at one stage or another and like I said earlier, I still find myself slipping into the surviving state every now and again. As we get older, grow, experience new challenges and move through new stages of life, we are going to move up and down the states, but it’s really important for us to keep check of where we’re at so you can move your way back up again.
So what now? I’m going to share some general recommendation and tips that will be helpful for you no matter what state you’re in, and then I’ll share some final thoughts on each individual state.
Let’s get into the general recs and tips!
Look at the basics of your health – are you sleeping enough quality sleep? Are you drinking at least 2L of water per day? Are you eating regular and nutritious meals? Are you moving your body every day? Do you have any aches or pains that really need to be checked out by somebody? When was your last dental clean or skin check? Should you be getting regular blood tests but aren’t? We can not expect our minds to feel good if our bodies feel like shit. And I say that with love, of course. So start with the basics. Start with supporting your physical body first.
Get more fresh air and sunshine. Get fresh air and sunshine every single day, every single hour if you can. It is so important to our bodies, our mind and our soul.
Rest more. For the love of god, please rest more. And resting does not mean just napping. It’s slowing down. It’s sitting in silence. It’s meditating. It’s getting a massage. It’s sometimes watching tv instead of going to the gym. It’s therapy. Rest is so many beautiful things, but most importantly, it’s something that is going to bring you home to yourself. It’s going to ground you and support you in feeling like yourself.
Look at the different areas of your life and determine what may not feel sustainable. Maybe you are working longer hours than you’d like at work, or maybe you have a lot of commitments right now that feels manageable, but you know won’t be okay in 6 months. Take a look at your life and for the that things feel fine now, but they may not feel good in a few months, determine how you can move things around or mix things up so it isn’t so full on
Find a balance – it is SO easy to fall into old habits and less than ideal lifestyles when things have been going really well. I think a really common example of this is a ‘cheat day’. So you eat perfectly and work out perfectly every day and then Sunday rolls in and you’re allowed to eat whatever you want, skip the gym and just laze around. I’m all for lazing around but there needs to be a better balance in our lives if we want to stay or be in a thriving state. Instead of having one day where everything goes out the window, find a bit of freedom in each day. So where in your life do you need more balance? Maybe you need shorter workouts so you can go to bed earlier. Maybe you need to cut back your hours at work or go part-time at uni. There’s no right or wrong, it’s just again, about finding a healthy balance so that it lasts.
Check-in with the relationships, routines, and habits you have. Are they supporting you or are they depleting you? How do they feel to you? What needs to change? Who needs to leave your life? What new routines or habits do you want or need to implement? Sit down and really sit with this stuff.
Start to implement one thing for your mind and soul every single day. This could be different for everybody and again, sit with this, find something that feels so overwhelmingly good to you. It could be meditating or breathwork. Maybe you like to journal or paint. Maybe it’s to dance or surf. Whatever feels good to you that is going to help you drop into the present moment and tune out from the outside world, in a healthy way.
Get professional support in your journey. Book in with a counsellor or coach. See a healer. Get reiki. Book with a naturopath or dietician. Don’t allow yourself to fumble through this journey on your own. Not only are you allowed to get support, you’re going to get results faster when you have support. I have supported clients through each of the 4 states and my clients have had massive changes, breakthroughs and growth from it.
And the last tip is to continue listening to my podcast. Yes a self-less plug, but I say it with faith that the content I share on here, and across all of my platforms, will help you live a healthier, happier life. It really is that simple.
And for my final thoughts on each state individually…
For the people who are thriving, you really want to work on making sure you can find a beautiful balance in life so you can maintain your current state.
For the people who are surviving, you will want to check-in with your physical health and your body, your mind and also your soul to see what needs attention first and foremost. A lot of the time it is still the physical body which needs to be supported first, but it’s still great to check-in anyway!
For the people who are struggling and in crisis, you want to start at the basics of supporting your mental health and wellbeing, you don’t want to aim high, you really want to work from the ground up and support your body first and foremost and then work on your mind and soul parts of things.
If you are in crisis, as I mentioned earlier, please seek professional help from a counsellor, your gp, anybody who works within the mental health field. I can not stress that enough. Life does not have to feel like this and it can feel so much better. When you have professional help in place, you also want to work from the ground up and support your body first and foremost and then lean into supporting your mind and soul!
With love & support,
Shorina | Mindful Soul Collective
Counsellor & Wellbeing Coach