Intellectual Wellness
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Intellectual Wellness

Intellectual Wellness sounds rather educational but don’t shy away because it’s actually very down to earth. 

When we refer to the Intellectual Wellness it means to participate in scholastic, cultural, and community activities. And it’s important as it helps to expand knowledge and skills in order to live a stimulating, successful life. (source: https://news.illinoisstate.edu)

And I may say, that as an Expat we are often put into such situation by default. With every move, we do expand knowledge and new skills. Often a new language gets thrown into the mix too. 

We do this without putting a name-tag on it.

I have to admit though that there are times when I struggle with it. Times when I get overpowered and overwhelmed by all the what is out there. I feel it’s getting too much. Then I need to take a step back to see what is really important for me right then. 

Unfortunately, this meant for this move that I had decided to drop my language class after a few months. We had just moved, my youngest was still with me all day, and I had started a different study course. 

I was finding my way in a new city, country and culture, defining what I would like to do for my own growth and be there for the family and connect to others. Over several weeks I felt torn and struggled by not giving enough to either aspect of my life. And therefore I dropped the language course as I felt I let the teacher and myself down. My brain had an overload back than with all that was going on and nothing stuck.

Looking back it was the right decision at that moment, as it was becoming too much. But sadly I never got back into it either. And that is something I regret a bit, especially since we extended our stay.

Having said that, it taught me as well a lesson. Next time – or when I free enough time and headspace here – I will look for a different kind of language course, one that is more focused on a daily conversation.

Why I share this? Just to let you see that it’s ok to choose. There’s simply a lot out there at times, especially when you just moved. You have to take care of yourself, the family and adapt. Perhaps you want to educate yourself further, you need to find new connections, and so on. There is so much to do, and often so little time.

But coming back to Intellectual Wellness, it’s not only about textbook learning. No, it’s about everything around us: 

  • what we learn about cultures, 
  • engaging in communities,
  • having meaningful conversations with those around us, 
  • reading books and magazines, 

all those do play a big part. But as well day to day things like playing games (I prefer board games in that context), playing an instrument or getting lost (and in my case never succeeding) in Sudoku help to keep our Intellectual Wellness active. It all stimulates your mind. 

Find something that is of interest to you, that sparks something inside of you and look for people around you to share, to get stimulated and inspired. 

And if you look at it from that angle, there is a lot of Intellectual Wellness happening right around us, daily. And at times it’s hard to choose.

Would you agree that as an Expat, Intellectual Wellness sounds somewhat easier to maintain than some of the other Wellness aspects?  

Now, next week I will have a look into the Spiritual Wellness, something I often feel hesitant about. But more on that next week. 

Until then, I hope you have a good week, 

AK 

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