Searching for self love - Diabetes WA
 In Blog, Health, Healthy Hints and Hacks, Lifestyle

For Kiki Ely, it wasn’t until she came face-to-face with death more than seven years ago that she realised she had been putting herself last for far too long.
Following her near-death experience, Kiki was diagnosed with Endometriosis Stage IV. Her shaky state of her wellbeing soon became a stark wake-up call that spurred her to embark on a holistic journey to regain control of her health. Looking back on the months that lead up to her diagnosis, Kiki – a former attorney turned blogger and influencer who now speaks at conventions, retreats and workshops about self-care and mental wellbeing – realised she had been neglecting her physical, mental and emotional health.
“Like many people, I was living a typical modern existence – burning the candle on both ends with very little conscious thought about my actual wellbeing,” she recalls.
“I was doing everything possible to keep up with a list of ever-growing demands, continued to add event after event to my social calendar, committed to responsibilities and obligations to make others happy, and tried to do all of it with a smile on my face while trying to quiet the anxiety I was feeling just trying to keep up with it all.
“Eventually…I came to the realisation that my emotional and mental health had likely deteriorated before my physical health and I had not even noticed until it was – almost – too late.”
It was at this point in her life that Kiki knew she had to start changing the way she was living her life by finally putting herself first.
“I changed my lifestyle by changing my mindset and slowly but surely put myself back together – not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, too – and I was healthier and happier than I had ever been,” she says.
While piecing together her physical, mental and emotional wellbeing was a slow and steady process over a period of seven years, Kiki was finally able to find her happy place.
Now speaking at conventions, retreats and workshops, Kiki shares her journey to recovery with others and in June released her first book, The Complete Guide to Self-Care.
“This book has been something I have been living since my near-death experience in 2013,” she says. “When I realised the transformation in my own mindset, I felt compelled to share my experience and practises with others so that they could experience the sustainable joy I had found. I wanted everyone to know what I felt was a deeply guarded secret: that you have everything you need inside of you – absolutely everything.”
Throughout the book, Kiki lays out her tried-and-tested strategies for self-care, from implementing regular morning rituals and gratitude journaling to setting boundaries and saying ‘no’
and learning how to be present. She also shares some insightful tips on how movement, hydration, nourishment, sleep and meditation play an important role in establishing a healthier state of being.
“The strategies and practises in the book are a collection of things I have learned – and that I actively practise – in my own life,” she says.
“I spent those years diving into philosophy, psychology, travel, meditation, the arts, reading, retreat work, breath work, therapy, spirituality, and anything that I deemed ‘beautiful’.”
In the book, Kiki’s self-care strategies are broken into five elements – physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and social, with each section comprising actionable exercises to incorporate the practise of self-care into your life.
“Once you understand that taking care of yourself is not selfish and you recognise that it is necessary to show up fully, you can begin to incorporate the practise – guilt-free – into your own life,” she says.
For those who may find the idea of “self-care” a foreign one, Kiki suggests starting off with a few small changes.
“Start with putting aside five minutes a day for yourself to get outside and just breathe,” she says.
“Focus on your five senses to pull yourself into your body in the present moment.  This simple practise is a tiny step towards mindfulness and meditation – but that small step towards mindfulness is a huge step towards self-care, inner peace, emotional stability, and self-love.”
To read more about Kiki Ely’s journey, visit blonderambitions.com. The Complete Guide to Self-Care, $24.99, is out now.

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