We’re all about holistic beauty and wellbeing and we love hearing about how other people are managing there’s and finding out all about their favourite products and practices- you know …the things that enable them to be their best selves…
Here’s our latest My Beauty and Wellbeing feature with Jess Adams. She is a cognitive behavioural specialist who helps build up each and every woman to achieve everything they desire in life.
Let’s talk a little bit about your relationship with your own wellbeing… what has your journey been like?
It has been a trip! When I was studying, I didn’t prioritise my own wellbeing. Actually, I didn’t prioritise anything other than my studies. This was so damaging. By the time I had graduated with both of my degrees, I had already secured my first role working in an educational setting as a pastoral manager, and had been working there alongside completing my Masters for six months. I had normalised solely prioritising my academic and professional career above everything else. This led to me living in a high stress state, experiencing anxiety, and low mood. I was never present with friends and family, I felt constantly irritated and I would experience huge guilt cycles if I didn’t think I was being productive. As I am sure you can imagine, this wasn’t sustainable.
It wasn’t until I made a very serious commitment to myself that I began to reconnect with my own wellbeing and now, my daily wellbeing practices are my non-negotiables. Everything else fits in around these because I have learned that in order to best serve others, I have to serve myself first. A common frustration in sessions with my clients is that they feel like they ‘know what to do, but for some reason they aren’t doing it.’ I think it is so important for people to know that just because you know how to ‘do the work’ to build a solid foundation for your own wellbeing, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t susceptible to the fragility of it all.
How can cognitive behavioural therapy help someone with their own wellbeing?
Now I can appreciate that I may be a bit biased here, but I believe that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is so hugely beneficial when we are looking at healing, growing, and understanding emotions. CBT enables you to gain a heightened sense of self-awareness, through talking therapy. This brings recognition to why you may be thinking and feeling a certain way.
Once you gain a sense of recognition, you will naturally develop a level of understanding for why you think, act and respond in the way that you do. With your newfound recognition and understanding, we are able to learn your triggers, and coping behaviours. We can understand your thought patterns and your thought spirals. Once we have gained all of this insight, you will naturally develop and begin to cultivate self-compassion. At this point in your journey, we will then be able to unlearn the unhelpful strategies that are no longer serving you and start replacing them with healthier tools and strategies. Here, you will have reached a place of self-compassion and acceptance, with the heightened sense of awareness needed to promote long term healing.
From your experience, what are some of the biggest wellbeing challenges that people need to overcome?
Through our experience, we process information that shapes our perception of our world. Life changing event(s) may happen, or a multitude of ‘insignificant’ events will be processed that encourage us to make up narratives or as I like to call them ‘absolute truths.’ Absolute truths are things about ourselves and the world around us that we passively accept. If we passively accept them, they will go unchallenged and shape how we see ourselves, how we believe others see us, and the opportunities we take and don’t take, to name a few ways these impact our perception. These are known as our belief systems.
The biggest challenge to overcome with regards to your own wellbeing in terms of mental training is to recognise and overcome your limiting belief systems. These are absolute truths that you hold about yourself and your world that go unchallenged, but limit you and hold you back. This can impact your confidence, self-esteem, sense of self, self-worth, anxiety, mood, and your purpose.
Wow Beauty is committed to encouraging self-care, what are some of your non-negotiable self-care rituals?
All acts of self-care should be seen as a commitment to yourself, the people around you and your community. If you are giving yourself everything you need, you will thrive. Therefore, you will be able to have the capacity to live your life to the fullest, however that looks for you personally. I know that I need a lot of restorative self-care to keep up with the life that I want to live. So, I prioritise walks along the seafront, cooking, yoga nidra, good quality sleep, baths, and reading. My regular active rest rituals are spinning, quality time with friends and family, wild swimming (but only in the summer months!) doing anything outdoors. My emotional training rituals are meditation and reflection, journaling, working 4 days per week, keeping myself accountable to holding my boundaries.
Have you made any changes to your own wellbeing toolkit since the pandemic? What items have become your lockdown/ wellbeing must haves?
Absolutely! We have lived through incredibly difficult times. At the start of the pandemic, my workload increased dramatically and I began working from home. This was a shift that was harder than I had anticipated. I learned to readjust by managing my own expectations of what I could and wanted to achieve. Leaning into the discomfort with understanding and compassion reduced the frustration I felt personally for the situation, but also the hurt I was feeling for our planet. I made a conscious effort to get outside when we could, discover new recipes and slowed down. I had more time to be mindful about shopping with small businesses and swapped my gym pass with a secondhand bike and home workouts whenever I had the motivation. I experienced that old guilt cycle of not being productive and I prioritised gently challenging this. I gave myself permission to honour my energy levels and take everything at a gentler, slower pace than I would have done pre-lockdown. This has certainly changed my perspective longer term. I will continue to prioritise this slower pace as it helps me feel more calm and grounded.
What changes would you like to see and the wellness industry over the next year or so?
I am impressed with the increased visibility and diversity of people in the mainstream media in all aspects of the wellness industry but there is still a very long way to go. I am concerned about the impact that the exposure of this has on our younger generation. Photo editing is so normalised and accessible and this greatly impacts the attachment of self-worth to appearance. Of course this can be unlearned, however the journey to healing this is painful and the chances of others projection, while they are trying to navigate their own painful journey, is potentially very damaging.
Jess Adams is a cognitive behavioural specialist who helps build up each and every woman to achieve everything they desire in life. She helps overcome the barriers that may be stopping them from growing and evolving into their ideal future selves.
She specialises in areas surrounding low self-esteem, lack of confidence, stress, anxiety, depression and overcoming limiting belief systems. However, she has worked with clients in all areas from eating disorders to trauma recovery.
Find Jess Adams website here: https://www.jessicasadams.com
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