POWER SERIES: Wellness with Emily
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Meet Emily: Graphic Designer, Founder of Wellness Kits & self-love explorer.
How did Wellness Kits come about?
Wellness Kits began in 2018 as a small passion project that set out to support homeless people in London. Homelessness has always been something that touched me, as I was brought up to help others and always offer food to rough sleepers – my earliest memories of this are from primary school.
The first year of Wellness Kits outreach was simply done with the aim of collecting as many donations as we could. I’d never organised a project like this but we were able to create care packages for 50 rough sleepers, which was a huge achievement considering this all happened because of a small idea I had. The following year we did our first collaboration with another charity called Football Beyond Borders and the success was unreal; we collected 2676 items and created 130 care packages for rough sleepers and also members of larger homeless charities. The success in 2019 really inspired me to invest even more time and energy in to Wellness Kits, so we have some amazing plans for the future!
What made you realise that helping others was a passion you wanted to pursue?
It’s something that has always come very naturally to me. Over the past few years I’ve been learning more about the importance of taking complete control of your life in order to pursue your dreams. If I was going to leave the corporate lifestyle, it had to be for a purpose I was truly dedicated to and helping others really is that purpose for me. It makes me happy and even though it takes a lot of energy, I always feel fulfilled knowing I was able to brighten someones day.
I also share a lot of the self-help techniques I’ve used on myself to get me through delicate mental health periods, with the Wellness Kits community. I learnt so much in the process of recovering from quite bad anxiety, so I wanted to use this as another layer of what Wellness Kits is all about – that’s why our tag line is “promoting wellbeing and inclusivity”.
As someone who advocates highly regarding Mental Health, what are some of the things you now take more into consideration?
I think it’s important to check in with yourself and be completely honest in the process. We often go through life with such busy schedules and distractions and it’s important to take some time to enhance your mental health and wellbeing where possible.
Social media is a big one, I listened to a Jim Kwik (brain coach) podcast nearly 2 years ago where I learnt about the negative effects of using your phone during the first hour of your day. It’s safe to say since hearing about it, I haven’t touched my phone before 10am in nearly 2 years!
I’ve also curated my social media feed in to a really positive and empowering space where I connect with people who have the same interests as me. I stay away from celebrity gossip, reality TV or anything along those lines. I definitely spend more time on Instagram now as I’ve started filming weekly tips videos but it honestly makes the world of a difference when there’s nothing negative on your radar.
Aside from social media, sleep is another huge one. It’s been proven that lack of sleep can actually cut years off of your life. The negative effects of not getting enough sleep are endless so I’ve been forcing myself to get a full 8 hours, even if it means sending myself to bed really early – you get used to it!
During Covid-19, a lot of people may be struggling with confinement or general disruption of their wellbeing. What advice would you give to maintain balance in their atmosphere?
I’d recommend sticking to some sort of routine. I spent the first couple of weeks of this lockdown sleeping in and rolling out of bed just before my daily work meetings, but that’s a really unhealthy routine to get in to so I dropped it quickly. I now try to wake up between 7-8am, have a slow morning where I get to enjoy my routine and breakfast in peace, before settling in to work. I’ll also do a yoga session (following Yoga with Adriene on YouTube) and set aside some reading time. Taking breaks throughout the day to do these sorts of things are a great way of getting some self care practices in whilst still feeling productive. Now that we’re allowed to go out a little more, I’d also say make the most of the fresh air. I experienced a real burnout recently but taking a long walk and a full social media break really helped me get back on track.
What’s your power?
It’s newly found, but loving myself to the absolute core – including the good, the bad and the “ugly”. I’ve reached a point where I’m absolutely living for my own approval and contentment, not anyone else’s. It’s extremely empowering and liberating and it’s taken some real inner work to get here (I’m nowhere near finished), but this journey is what has pushed me to work on all the things I love, regardless if it’s what society sees as the smart thing to do – I’m happy and attracting abundance, that’s all that matters!
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