I am ALL about a loving approach to health and wellness. There are no rules, no guidelines, no ‘goal body’, fitspo or one size fits all approach. We want to show all of you beauties that your health has nothing to do with anybody else and is totally all about what feels good for YOU. We want you to create your own definition of wellness. Hollie Azzopardi is a Health Coach and wellness wonder woman who lives by this approach and shares beautifully that good health lies hand in hand with loving yourself throughout the process.
Hiii Beautiful Hollie! Myself and many others have been so incredibly inspired by your message. I would love to know how you got started on your wellness journey?
Thank you for the kind words angel. My wellness journey started about five years ago. I was studying journalism, interning at CLEO Magazine and living a normal early-twenties life, when my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. It really shook me up, and I took it on myself to do as much research as I could about cancer, holistic treatment and overall wellbeing.
It was here that I was introduced to the early work of the incredible Jess Ainscough, and I became obsessed with following her journey to wellness, and everything she wrote and shared.
I started juicing greens, and paying close attention to the food I ate because of what she shared - heck, I was making chia puddings and raw desserts before they were even a thing!
From there, I ended up on my own health battle, with severe adrenal fatigue, leaky gut, parasites, psoriasis, and anxiety. I realised it didn't matter how clean I ate or how much I exercised - health needed to be HOLISTICALLY focused on - that is, mind, body and soul. I put as much energy into healing my mind and soul as I did my body, and the rest is history.
We've all been a victim of HEALTHspectation (feeling as though you need to do certain things to live a healthy life). What's your view on this and how have you navigated your way through this on your journey?
What I have come to learn is health looks different on everybody. What works for me in living and thriving is not necessarily going to work for you, and that is okay. We can admire these amazing influencers, follow the way they exercise and eat - but if it isn't in line with our own truth and path, then we will come unstuck.
I learned this when I first started out - I have tried every bloody wellness trend you could think of - raw food diets, meditation, alcohol free - everything, but what I found is that in trying to emulate the 'healthy living' habits of others, I wasn't tuning in to what I really needed.
Now, I do what feels good to ME. Sometimes that means I eat gluten free and go without drinking. But other times, when I feel like a brownie or a cocktail with my friends, I don't deprive myself. Health to me is a personal journey and my experience is I don't thrive when I feel deprived of anything. Balance is key.
Through your work, you do the most incredible job of sharing the importance of self love. Do you have any daily self-love rituals?
Self love has become a natural way of how I live my life but it hasn't always been that way. Every day I make sure to do things that only light me up. I say no a lot more now too, from a place of love of course - but really, only doing things that I truely WANT to do, not that I feel I should (recovering people pleaser here).
My self love rituals include my entire morning ritual, made up of meditation, journaling and oracle pulls, as well as some form of exercise depending on how I feel that day. Rest is another daily non-negotiable - be it a nap, reading a book, or a cup of tea outside. And finishing my day with a bath, essential oils and some beautiful music. All things that fill my cup and allow me to give more of myself to others, which is so important to me.
What are your three non-negotiable health practises?
My first one is so unsexy and I don't even care - sleep. 8-9 hours a night of uninterrupted sleep is my absolute non-negotiable. I lived a very sleep deprived life during my fatigue and worked super hard to get my energy to where it is now. Sleep is just as important as the food we eat and the exercise we partake in, but its't spoken about nearly enough. It prevents mental health issues, heart conditions, cancer and stroke. It enables us to think clearly, behave productively and makes our skin glow. Sleep is my absolute number one.
Only using natural beauty products is number two. Our skin is our largest organ, and more than 60% of what we put on it is absorbed directly into our blood stream. The beauty industry is not regulated and many of the mainstream products are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. Knowledge is power here, so once I started learning more about this, I switched all of my products to natural and haven't looked back.
Taking time each day for rest is number three. Too often we applaud people who exercise themselves to burnout, run on empty working 12 hour days, and eat #clean, yet when I was at my fittest and eating my healthiest, I also was my most unhealthy. Rest didn't exist for me, and I had to learn the hard way how detrimental this is for your overall wellbeing. Rest for me is different each day - sometimes it's a bath before bed, other times it is a few deep belly breaths outside in nature, or lying on the ground with my feet up the wall. We are no good to anyone burned out.
What is your favourite mantra?
It's just one word: Trust. I chose Trust as my word for the year and I have kept coming back to it, time and time again. Trust to me is all about allowing things to unfold as they should be - rather than pushing or striving for an outcome, surrendering to whatever will be. When we are in that state of flow, it is a beautiful space to be in.
If you could set one challenge for our HOH beauties, what would it be?
To start saying no to the things that don't light you up. Catch yourself in your people pleaser moments, and ask, "Am I saying yes because I truely want to be doing this, or because I want to people please the other person?" Start saying yes to YOU. Remember, you can decline an outing or event in a loving way. And keep an eye out for my ebook, The people pleaser's guide to putting yourself first - which is set to launch in the new year.
You can stay inspired by Hollie by following her journey here.
Love and Wellness,