Bloggers Uncensored: with Wellness Grind
Welcome to this weeks Bloggers Uncensored! If this is your first time reading a BU interview, this is my longest running blog series, and definitely my favourite. This series is a perfect opportunity to read your favourite bloggers' honest and uncensored opinions on real life topics, and to discover new bloggers to follow! This weeks blogger is Wellness Grind.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, I'm Wendie. I have a background in mental health and sustainable community development. I am passionate about wellness and created an online wellness community.
Why do you write?
I write to inspire others to work on their wellness and continue on their wellness journey. I like to share factual information, research, personal stories, and product reviews to help people learn new ways to support their well-being.
Why did you start blogging?
I started my blog as WellnessGrind.org in 2018 to share my Spin playlists and workouts that I use in my weekly indoor cycling class. I realised that I had more content to share and expanded it in 2019 to incorporate all the dimensions of wellness in addition to workouts.
What do you love about the blogging world/community?
Everyone is so supportive, full of information, and helpful! I have found so many great friends, resources, and inspirational people who are part of the blogging community. I love how much information people share and how bloggers share other blogger's content. I enjoy the camaraderie and how everyone's voice matters.
What do you hate about the blogging world/community?
Sometimes it's hard to know how to drive traffic, work on SEO, create new content, and do all the things that running your own website requires. I wish there were less people selling me courses, resources, e-books, etc. While these materials are helpful, I've signed up for way more email lists than I'll ever be able to manage just to get information on how to run a blog. I'm very behind on reading most of the emails from these email lists and I'm sure I'm missing cool free stuff. But the whole thing is very overwhelming.
In your opinion, who are the most underrated bloggers?
Besides me, I think there are some cool bloggers in the financial wellness space who are just starting. I'm excited to see where they will be in the future - Andrea at ThickerGrits.com and Amanga Millionare By Next Year are two that come to mind. Very nice people in person, wonderful content and perspectives.
What are some hard truths you have learnt about life?
Not everyone will like you. That's the truth about your blog as well. Not everyone will jive with your voice, content, pictures, etc. It's frustrating at times if you let it get to you but I remember how many times I think "Ohh I don't like that at all... vs. This is the BEST ever!" Everyone has preferences and opinions. You can't expect that everyone will like you or you're really going to be let down.
What does freedom mean to you?
Freedom means the ability to make your own choices and have the resources to do whatever your heart desires. I've been lucky and worked hard to ensure that my freedom is something that I can exercise in most situations. I have seen how capitalism and societal expectations about consumerism can sometimes limit the perception of "freedom" with student loan, credit card debt, bills, etc. limiting people#s freedom to live their dreams. I hope that as society changes in the upcoming years, encouraging people to choose careers and lifestyles that are closer in line with their passion and true calling will revolutionize how people feel about their freedom in life.
What are your thoughts on mental health and how it's portrayed in today's society?
I have so many thoughts on this because this is my field of expertise. I think first and foremost, the stigma about mental health issues, accessing treatment, and medication needs to stop. We need more people to have a basic understanding of what mental health is, that there are both positive and negative aspects to your mental health, and that mental health is a normal part of life.
From there, we can enter into a conversation about accessing resources, how to pay for those resources, and how to support each other through a mental health crisis. The stigma about mental health in general prevents us from having a deeper level of conversation about how to address mental health because those of us in the mental health space are stuck trying to convince people it's a "thing". As society begins to accept and talk openly about mental health, we will be able to address low level mental health issues in the general population as well as supporting people who are in need of more intensive mental health support and services.
What are your thoughts on feminism and how it's portrayed in today's society?
I think feminism is now a given. Many people understand the movement and the history behind it, although, they might not necessarily agree with it. I'd like to move past the traditional view of feminism and move towards a more empowerment framework that shows women how to lift each other up. Changing the narrative and expectations that feminism is about fighting for equality for women and more about how to ensure the success of other women so we can build a strong foundation for future generations of little girls.
What are your thoughts on 'Love is Love' and how it's portrayed in today's society?
I think there are a lot of definitions of this statement. Once could be that love has no boundaries - age, religion, class... Another could be that you love the other person no matter what.
I think there is too much emphasis on love in general. As a single 39 year old unmarried woman with no kids, I often get the question "why haven't you... gotten married, had kids, etc." I have followed the "love is love" statement into bad relationships in the past. My perspective now is that society places too much emphasis on external love for another person and less on self-love. Self-love is so important to your personal growth, your well-being, and your social interactions with others. I'd like for our society to move towards teaching self love at a young age to children with positive body-image development, understanding your personality type as you grow older, and how to self-heal. Imagine if we taught young children these skills how much more resilient they would be through normal life trials and even traumatic events.
What advice would you give to someone who is fighting a mental illness?
You are valued, loved, and we ned you here.
So many times I've worked with people who were anxious, depressed, or had other severe mental illness who were also battling thoughts of self-harm, violence, or suicide. I wish we could have more support person to person for those who are living with mental health challenges when they need them the most. Many of us are not trained in how to talk to someone when they express to us they are struggling. The more everyone knows about how to help a person living with a mental illness and shows compassion, the better everyone will be.
What advice would you give to someone who is being bullied or harassed?
I was bullied as a child and as an adult in the workplace. As a 6th grader I was called "thunder thighs" and that title stuck with me for a lot of life, shaping my body image. As I said before, a positive body image is crucial for young people. If I could give a young girl who was bullied about her looks advice, it would be that no one's opinion of your body matters but your own. In the end, that person will leave your life and you don't need to remember them, what they said, or what they did. The only thing you need to remember over your life is your own vision of what you want to become.
As an adult I was locked in my own office while my bully pounded on my door. If there is an adult experiencing bullying in the workplace my advice would be to document every incident and report it. Workplace harassment and creating a hostile work environment is reportable to human resources. Keep track of times, dates, conversations, threats, and how you felt at the time. This information is valuable and helpful if you are able to legally take action.
If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?
Poverty. I've seen some of the worst poverty when I lived in Africa and saw how happy people can be even living in extreme poverty. I would love to see how happy we could all be with everyone thriving.
What else do you feel strongly about?
Wellness! So many people get caught up thinking they need to lose weight, diet, or go to the gym and that's the totality of their wellness efforts. We need to teach people about all the dimensions of wellness and how they work together. I help people understand that you have to put in meaningful work on all the dimensions, find balance, and start wherever you are on your journey today with solid wellness goals for the future. In case you didn't know here are 10 dimensions of wellness you can start working on now!
Dimensions of wellness:
Mental & emotional
Let's end this with some fun 'This or That' questions:
Love or money?
Love. Especially love for yourself.
Work hard or play hard?
Play hard. Work is a means to provide financially for yourself so you can enjoy your play time.
Cups in the cupboard: right side up or upside down?
Ahh I think I honestly have them both ways because I throw them up there as fast as I can because I hate dishes.
Chocolate or sex?
Chocolate. I need daily chocolate, sex-not so much.
Plan everything or wing it?
Plan most things, wing the rest. I like having a general outline of what I'm trying to accomplish with plenty of room to deviate if I see fit.
Happiness or money?
. . .
There's a new blogger every Sunday at 5pm, see you there!
If you like what I'm doing and you would like to support me and my little blog, then you can do so by making a small donation via ko-fi here, or via paypal using the following email address firstname.lastname@example.org