No More Ms. Nice Blogger - On Being Authentic, Burnout, and the Mind-Body Connection

So, I feel the need to be a bit more transparent on this blog'o'mine. Vegan Noms has gone through many transformations, ups and downs in posts and motivation, Vegan MoFos and months of silence. I've decided that I would like to start re-branding myself and this blog to be focused more on overall health. And not health in the gimmicky "detox your system" or "lose that belly fat" kind of way - serious (alright, sometimes sarcastic) Real Talk about health and our journeys to find what is most optimal for each of us.

I'm not a doctor, dietician, personal trainer, or otherwise specialized in any nutrition or exercise fields. But I am a licensed mental health counselor and a 7+ year vegan. And it's time I started joining together these passions for mental health recovery and veganism, instead of just self-talking about it, developing half-ideas that stagnate and become forgotten. And it's time to invite others in on the conversation.

The two elements are actually very related - ethical and environmental veganism are often driven by emotional pain, anger, hope and compassion. Going vegan for one's health could contain the same elements. And the mind-body connection is a powerful, undeniable force. What we consume (either by eating/drinking, or observing/reinforcing via our senses and cognition) has a huge impact on all of our bodily systems.

I'd like to start this explorative change-up by sharing a bit about myself and what I'm noticing with my own mind-body connection.

Photo: Flickr

I am burned the hell out. Stressed, overwhelmed, feeling beat down... whatever you wanna call it, it probably fits. And I feel like shit. Most everyone has surely felt this way at one point or another in their lives, but sometimes it takes awhile to really noticed that you're deep in it. I've been wading through burnout for so long, I'm not sure I really realized how deep the muck had risen until recently.

It's kind of like groggily sleepwalking into a swamp, waking up, and noticing that I'm up to my armpits in gross, sludgy, water. But, fortunately, now that I'm awake, I can begin to climb out of it.

There are a lot of factors related to my chosen field that contribute to my stress levels, over which I have recently begun to take more control and started to change. First, embarrassingly, I'd like to admit that it took me 29 years to realize that I do not have to pigeonhole myself into a career or a version of a career (hell, I or you or anyone else can even choose to change career paths entirely - oh, the possibilities!). I have options, endless options. I have talents, potential, a voracious curiosity to learn new things, new trades, new skills. And, just because I have student loan debt and have worked very hard at a degree and a licensure doesn't mean that that is my dead-end destiny. Rather, it's something I do, I love, and at which I try to excel along my lifelong journey, while I also try out other things I do, love, and at which I try to excel.

It has been very freeing to consider different detours, different recipes for a happy life. What have you always wanted to explore, but feel prohibited to look into? Are these barriers real or imagined? What in the world is stopping you?

This post may sound all kinds of cliche, Kumbaya, or otherwise hippy-dippy, but I fail to give a shit. I'm no longer going to only post within the narrow boxes I prescribed for this blog in the past - not just the happy-go-lucky posts or product reviews. There are going to be more musings, more engagement, more open discussion on living healthily and fully.

So, strap in, folks. If you'd like to come along for the ride, I would be thrilled to strap in alongside you. Let's get busy living.

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