The Wellness Spotlight series highlights military spouses and their real world health and wellness journeys in a Facebook live series. Below is an excerpt of Ashley’s feature.
Tell us a little about your journey as a military spouse. Where did it begin?
My journey as a military spouse began 7 moves – soon to be 8 – and a few months short of 13 years ago. As the military lifestyle goes, it has consisted of deployments and various unknowns. But more importantly, it has been full of amazing experiences and meeting the most wonderful people along the way!
Have you experienced any extreme highs/lows since becoming a military spouse? How did you overcome it?
For much of my life, I focused on perfection rather than progress. I found myself chasing the elusive feeling of having everything in life be “just right.” By focusing solely on the end result, I failed to recognize incremental milestones.
I over came it with an open mind and an open heart, I turned to deep self-reflection and critical engagement. I started reading a broad range of personal development books and taking a variety of wellness courses. By implementing small changes from the books and courses as well as prioritizing dimensions, my life became more aligned.
Am I healthy, strong, confident, aligned, and living my purpose? Hell yes! But the journey never ends and I know there are so many more highs to come!
What is one personal habit that contributes to your success?
Setting an intention for each of the 8 dimensions of wellness. An intention is a guiding principle for how you want to be, live, and show up in life. Realizing that I am a whole person with 8 dimensions that are intricately connected, and setting an intention for each, changed my life. I no longer feel the need to stress over outcomes. Everything I do is guided by my intentions.
How do you avoid burnout?
I avoid burnout by unplugging. Unplugging from work, my laptop, social media, and even responsibilities at home. A full inbox and an outstanding to do list will not kill me. Taking time to rest and rejuvenate increases my creativity, productivity, and problem-solving ability.
If you could share a health and wellness resource with the military community, what would it be and why?
Yoga nidra or “yogic sleep”. It is a state of being between sleep and consciousness. Yoga nidra is a powerful tool for deep emotional and physical healing. My family has found yoga nidra especially helpful for managing the stress of military life.
If you could recommend one book and/or podcast to military spouses, what would it be and why?
Authentic Happiness by Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D.! This book will change how you think about happiness. It includes questionnaires and practical guidance. Dr. Seligman has since released a new model, PERMA, but this book is still a must read.
(Purchases using the links above will help InDependent cover administrative costs for our programs at no extra cost to you!)
ABOUT Ashley Matejka
From the start of Ashley’s professional career, she has held a variety of positions. From event planning to background investigations for national security and public trust positions. What Ashley learned over the years is that her passion lies within holistic wellness and social impact. Now, she is the Founder of Wellevance and the Program Director at Milspo Project. Wellevance encourages a holistic approach to wellness through experiences, products, and community. For fun, Ashley enjoys all modalities of exercise, spending time with family, trying new foods, traveling, reading, and learning.