5 Thought Leaders in Wellness Reflect on Their Personal Growth in 2022

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The past year has been a whirlwind of ups and down. While we saw advancements in technology, health care, and community organizing, we also grappled with the fall of Roe v. Wade (and with that the loss of our federally protected right to abortion), and we're currently dealing with an onslaught of respiratory viruses making this cold and flu season particularly bad.

Through all that chaos, thought leaders in the wellness space were still able to learn, find strength, prioritize rest, and acknowledge their growth as humans this year. In the latest episode of The Well+Good Podcast, host Taylor Camille sat down with Sharmin Hossain, organizing director of 18 Million Rising, a digital-first organizing collective that advocates for the rights of Asian Americans, Jessamyn Stanley, author and co-founder of The Underbelly, which offers inclusive yoga classes, AK MacKellar, queer and non-binary entrepreneur and founder of  Free to Move, a body inclusive movement platform for LGBTQ+ folks, Maya Shankar, a cognitive scientist and creator and host of the podcast, A Slight Change of Plans, and Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian, and health and nutrition coach—to hear their biggest takeaways from 2022.

Listen to the full podcast here:

5 wellness leaders reflect on 2022—and discuss their personal growth this year

As we look ahead to 2023, these wellness experts reflect back on what made 2022 a year to remember for personal growth.

On prioritizing rest and growth simultaneously

"It was really concretizing all of the self-care practices and the community care practices that I have been cultivating that really center. Rest, but also hobbies and skills and tools that are going to keep me strong and disciplined in the long run. It's amazing how our bodies adjust and grow and learn with us. I learned about the intimate connections that I could build as a friend and as an adult. I learned about the ways that I can lean into trust and new habits that allow me to be vulnerable."—Sharmin Hossain

On sharing who you are authentically

"This year, I felt I made a ton of growth in my personal life—I took a lot of big steps in terms of sharing who I am with the world and with my family and the people around me in terms of my non-binary and trans identity, and that took a lot of courage in bravery, and it's something that I'm really proud of."—AK Mackellar

On becoming even more curious about people

"I think I became a far more curious person. This is pretty unexpected because I think I'm naturally pretty curious. But when you interview fascinating people all the time, and you're learning about them and reading their books, you end up leaving any conversation with far more questions than you had at the outset. I have new questions about the human mind and condition."—Maya Shankar

On learning how to find inner strength and wisdom

"Oh my goodness. I learned so much about what strength is, where the strength lies, and what it means to look within yourself for the answers to life's questions. I also learned a lot about community and how important it is to be in community with other people and how important it is to show and share love."—Jessamyn Stanley

On connecting self-care and community care

"I totally grew in my healing with EMDR therapy for trauma and expanding the ways that I take care of myself. I would also say I grew in my business as well. Being able to create a space for women to come together and share their experiences and gain friendships and watch women support each other as we are celebrating their health goals and reaching new heights in the way that they take care of themselves."—Brigitte Zeitlin

A final thought for 2022

Just as these wellness leaders reflect on 2022, it can be a reminder to check in with yourself, take note of where you are, and set an intention for where you'd like to be in another 365 days. This time of year can be fun, heartbreaking, stressful, relaxing, and everything in between. Remember, the start of a new year is nothing more than an opportunity to continue to be gentle with yourself, and embrace the change to come.

To get more than a taste of what these wellness leaders had to say about their 2022 experiences, check out the newest episode of The Well+Good Podcast here

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