GRACE'S MUSINGS: In conversation with...Sarah Ann Macklin

First of all, can you tell us a little more about the Be Well Collective and how it all started?

I started the Be Well Collective after feeling very alone in my early 20s, during my modelling career, which carried huge amounts of pressure without any guidance and support and I felt I had nowhere to turn. I was turning to Google for answers which is never a good direction!

I left New York where I was working, to come back and complete a bachelor of science in Human Nutrition to help implement support and guidance in a world which I felt was exploding with misinformation. During my training, I also saw a huge link towards poor diet and poor mental wellbeing, but also vice versa and I knew nutrition wasn’t the sole answer, so the Be Well Collective was born.

It helps support all minds to Be Well through inspiring and educational health podcasts, weekly health blogs, mentoring and health summits.

The podcast ‘Live Well Be Well’ has shone the most throughout my mission. Being able to inspire people through empowering voices is something I wish I had access to in my early years of work.

In a world of social media, there are so many differing opinions and information out there - it can be a minefield at any stage of life. What are the principles you live by/share as part of your teachings?

There are two elements I truly believe. We are all individuals and therefore, need to explore what health means to us, which will be different to your friends and family. So personalisation here is key.

Secondly, self-compassion, how we see and speak to ourselves plays a huge part in how our bodies respond to food and stress. Being mindful in this process is key to acknowledging the way we speak to ourselves and what our bodies and minds truly need. When we are harsh to ourselves it impacts how we metabolise food and our behaviour around the food we choose to nourish our bodies with.

What were your own experiences with your health and lifestyle that helped to shape the Be Well Collective and everything you do?

I experienced extreme burnout and was hospitalised due to the severe stress in my previous career and striving for success. My own experiences have shaped the importance of what I voice today. Exploring and understanding your mental health, developing a strong sense of self-worth, self-compassion and understanding how to nourish your body to thrive.

We are never taught these concepts in life and are always looking for external validation and resources when, really, it comes from within.

How can our mental health impact our physical health and well-being?

It is one of the biggest factors and sadly it’s still so overlooked. Purely how we speak to ourselves can have an impact on our physiology. Many of us look for one vertical or outlook to help improve our health, but our mind and body are one unit and your thoughts not only shape your behaviour but have dramatic impacts on your blood pressure, weight, blood sugar, and even how you age.

Having a strong inner critic or low self-worth can impact your physical health more so than any other health metric in my opinion. I believe sadly mental health has been confused with mental illness and therefore even the conversation approaching mental health still holds a huge stigma.

We must try to remove this and speak about mental health with an inner power. It is the most empowering thing you can do for your health.

What’s the most important advice you would give to women wanting to embark on a new wellness journey?

Connect with what your needs and desires are and ask ‘WHY?’ Sometimes we have many outcomes that we envisage but is that truly going to bring you health and happiness?

Approaching your well-being should be a happy and empowering journey. Sadly the word ‘wellness’ has become very trendy but has also been distorted in my view. Well-being should mean you are healthy and happy and shine from within.

Take these next steps to being present, mindful and self-compassionate and ask yourself what more you need the thrive.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

I have felt really lucky to have copious mentors over my years and all of them have been huge sources of inspiration. Alongside this, my father who has battled with so many health challenges and a very tough upbringing, going onto build his own company, always with a smile on his face, despite the many challenges he has had, continues to inspire me.

What’s the hardest challenge you’ve had to face?

Every challenge encountered with entrepreneurship!

Accomplishment you are most proud of?

Writing my book – as a former dyslexic with low self-esteem in this area, it’s a moment I never thought would happen.

Top beauty ‘must have’ in your makeup bag?

Dr Sam’s Lip balm – I can’t leave home without it.

And finally, your favourite quote to live by?

“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know, before you learnt it”.

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