Q: Tell me a bit about yourself and what you do.
I am a Health Coach which involves a few different things for me. I offer virtual Health Coaching sessions but I have also created my own website with affirmations, pre-loved goodies for sale, free resources and a blog. The possibilities are endless when you decide to work for yourself and do something that is in alignment with your true self.
Q: Your journey started with your own health struggles. Can you explain a bit more about why you craved a healthier life?
To be honest I didn’t crave a healthy life at all. I didn’t think about it for such a long time until things started to get taken away from me. I was struggling to get to work every day because I couldn’t wake up in the mornings, I was depressed and I started to get a lot of viruses. I ended up unemployed with a host of health issues and regularly seeing my GP wasn’t getting me anywhere. That is when I decided that if I wanted to do ANYTHING whether it be work again or have good relationships I needed to take my health into my own hands.
Q: You also talk about using external means (like partying) to relieve some of your internal struggles. How were you able to end the external gratification so that you could finally achieve inner peace?
I think that external gratifications only works for so long. Eventually, you need more and more of whatever your vice is to numb yourself. After a while, the long, alcohol filled nights felt so forced and just left me feeling sick and depressed the next day. I had to quit alcohol cold turkey to start feeling my emotions again, which wasn’t the easiest thing to work through but it was one of the most worthwhile things I have ever done.
Q: You’re also quite open about your anxiety. Why do you feel it’s important to be so open, and why do you think so many people are hesitant to share their own struggles?
Well, I didn’t even know what anxiety was until I started having panic attacks. I thought that I had eaten something bad that day and that is why I was feeling off. It wasn’t until I started doing research that I realized that anxiety is a normal function our body has to protect us, it just goes off too often in this stressful day and age. If I can help even one anxiety sufferer understand that and understand anxiety a little more, then it is worth sharing my own struggles. A lot of anxiety is to do with other people’s perceptions of us, so I find that when people experience anxiety they don’t want to share their experiences because they are afraid of what other people might think. That is why I believe it is helpful to seek professional help because a Coach, Psychologist or Counselor isn’t going to pass judgment.
Q: What has been the most beneficial tool/practice in helping you manage your own anxiety issues?
How much time have you got? Ha-ha! I did and still do so many things to help anxiety, but the biggest help was seeking out professional help. I have seen a Psychologist regularly for the last few years and that has been the greatest benefit I have ever experienced. Natural supplements like St. Johns Worts helps a lot too as well as practicing self-care on a regular basis.
Q: Given that anxiety is so future-focused, I wanted to touch upon a statement that you’ve made about future-based living. In one of your blogs (found here), you wrote: “life can be lived beautifully when the future is taken away”. What does that saying mean to you, and how can we learn to live that way?
I am so glad that you picked up on that. When I am at my most anxious I am constantly worrying about something in the future. Whether it be exams, or an upcoming social event or my partner going away. I think that is why I love movies and the ocean so much because they put me in the present moment. If you can find even one thing that helps bring you back to the present moment, I guarantee that your anxiety will ease even if it is only a little.
Q: You are also an advocate for minimalism. How has incorporating the practice improved your life?
I didn’t realize how much time and energy I was spending on buying things, figuring out where to put them in my home and then maintaining those things whether it be cleaning them or repairing them. I would look around my home and be stressed because I would see picture frames to dust or throw pillows to be put back in their place. Since I have removed a lot of items from my home, digital world and “to-do” list I have felt so much freer.
Q: What’s your philosophy on “stuff”, and why do you think people get so attached to their belongings?
I think we are bombarded with so many advertisements through social media, the news, and movies that we think we need these things to be fulfilled. I have personally saved up to buy items because I have seen it on Instagram, only to find that I didn’t like them. My boyfriend and I have a 30-day list where we put big purchases that we want to buy. Usually, when the 30 days are up, we don’t even want the items anymore. I think the issue is that people attach feelings to their belongings. They look at an item and see the money that they spent on it (or the person that gave it to them), and they don’t want to get rid of it. The truth is, things don’t have any real meaning. They are just stuff.
Q: What’s your favorite wellness habit or hack?
Ha-ha! It is so hard to choose just one but I would have to say for me it is Epsom salt baths. I get a lot of chronic fatigue and body pain so not only does it help with that but it is super relaxing and helps detox my body. It is also a great way to get some quiet time.
Q: What does “Living Well” mean to you?
Living well to me means ever striving for growth and knowledge. Wellness isn’t a destination it’s a journey. I think it is being aware of the habits and mindsets we have and always being open to change. It is finding what works for us and holding ourselves accountable for our own lives.
Want to learn more about Shalee? You can find her at: Shalee Rae
You can also follow her on Instagram