Since the #50DayWellnessChallenge last fall by the Winds of Change, we’ve been talking with people who took up the invitation to help a 50 day countdown to the Wellness Gathering, and delve into what wellness means for them. This is Almanac contributor, Winds of Change booster, resilience expert and emergency services guru, Bettina Falloon’s experience.
How did it go?
I wasn’t sure when Lisa asked the Wellness Almanac bloggers to participate in the 50 Day Wellness Challenge, if I could commit, knowing that I had a very busy schedule ahead with work and school (completing a Masters and was going to be away for three weeks of the challenge). However, with the inspiration that Lisa expressed and after considering what I could commit too, I embraced the experience.
What was your challenge?
My challenge for 50 days was to embrace “mindful brain goodness.” To me, that meant an activity (hike, bike, walk, run, SUP etc.), learning, laughter, discovering, exploring, etc. My challenge was also to include a photograph of what that goodness may be or mean to me in that moment.
Why did you say yes?
Seriously, I believe and value the mandate of the Winds of Change and have been an active participant with the Committee for a number of years. I enjoy the Wellness Gathering and look to support the initiative as much as I can. And I thought this was a creative way to promote the event and engage others to become aware of the Winds of Change and what they are achieving within the communities.
What were you hoping to get out of it?
I went in with the goal of completing the challenge commitment. I wasn’t sure how it would go – “Can I keep it up?” “Will it just become a chore?” “Oh I’ll probably do it for a bit and then it will dwindle off.” However I found the opposite. It was a bit addictive – I enjoyed posting and looked forward to seeing others’ achievements and progress.
How did you interpret #50Day? Did it have to be daily? How did that go? If you were successful and did every single day, how did you maintain that? What made it easier/more doable?
At first I started out daily, being conscious to post something to Facebook.
However, after a period of time and thinking “do my friends really want to read everyday something that I have done?” and “is this becoming social media clutter?”, combined with life commitments, I opted to summarise my days in a weekly post.
I was still conscious of the initiative every day in that I took time to be grateful.
This challenge was made easier and doable as it reminded me of another commitment that I participated in recently with two very close girlfriends. Each of us were experiencing our own personal challenges and in order to support one another we agreed to email each other three things we were grateful for that day.
They were simple things, serious things, silly things, or they made us laugh or cry, but what was most important is that they connected us on a deeper level. Our friendships reached another level as we learned more about each other, we were open and honest, and we were mindful and appreciative of where we are and who we are. This has been a similar experience – a personal journey but shared among friends on a very open platform. (Sounds sappy).
Did you sustain momentum for the entire 50 days?
Yes, I did! In fact, I have been missing the commitment to post. The regular postings became a log for me, a daily diary. In the end I didn’t care what others thought. I was posting for me.
Did you choose a singular/focussed challenge, or something more general? Was it hard pinning it down to one thing? Was it harder or easier to fulfil it?
I kept my focus broad as I knew my time commitments were going to be strained over that period. Therefore, it was relatively easy to maintain and fulfil.
What was your best takeaway from the experience?
That I have incredible family and friends and live in an amazing little part of the world. Pretty darn cool community.
What do you feel you accomplished?
I feel I learned a little bit more about me and what is important to me.
What challenges did you face? Were there low-points? How did you handle them?
Part of the challenge coincided with being away from home completing my second residency as part of my Masters program. It was an intense time with lots of work and commitments. However, I made sure to step away and take time for me – walk by the ocean, hike with friends, or a quiet cup of tea.
When you needed motivation where did you turn?
To a cup of tea and a quiet moment checking Facebook and reading others posts – I very much enjoyed following the daily ride and photo posts of Gary Martin.
Where to next? Will you keep any of it going?
I like the idea of my interpretation of “mindful brain goodness” so yes, I will keep it going to be whatever it means to me: activity, learning, laughing, discovering, exploring etc.
Would you do it again next year?
Yes, I would commit again to the #50DayWellnessChallenge, but may choose another challenge for myself, such as learn a new hobby, skill or mediation. Although, I will be in the final stages of writing my major research project at that time so maybe my challenge will be to survive and not indulge in eating peanut M&M’s as a study treat.