We had the honour to interview Eveliina Tistelgren for our holistic wellbeing blog series. Eveliina, also known as Eevsku, won the world championship in fitness in 2019, after having built a career as a coach for ten years. Today, she manages her own coaching company Eevsku Training where her focus is on wellbeing, bodyweight training and skill training such as learning to do a handstand.
From the beginning of the interview, it was clear that this woman knows what she’s talking about and she has put a lot of thought to think through her values, life and coaching philosophy.
For Eevsku, holistic wellbeing doesn't mean just one thing; it can be divided into physical, emotional, social and financial wellbeing. Wellbeing is about balancing the different areas and finding tools that help an individual human being improve his or her daily life, health, and wellbeing.
Eevsku reminds us about a very crucial part of wellbeing. Wellbeing is not simply some goal you can achieve and then never think about it again; it’s more of a constant search for balance, because it changes constantly as we as a person change.
The definition of holistic wellbeing depends on the current situation - like how big the overall load of stress is, both in our lives and how much effort we are able to give for each area. If you have financial worries, it might not be the most optimal time to start a very intense training program. If you are going through relationship difficulties, you might notice how it lowers your overall energy level. Or, if you train professionally for your sport, you might have fewer resources to take care of your social life.
When Eevsku was professionally training for her competitions, she too needed to give many things up. For example, her social life couldn’t be in balance - at least according to the social norms. For her, it was enough to have a small circle of dearest people around her who also supported her sports career 100%.
Eevsku has worked on her goals, priorities, and routines for years and she has developed a set of tools to help her in her daily life. When she notices an increase of stress in one area, she knows she must loosen things up in other areas for a while.
According to Eevsku, everything starts with a good night's sleep. She feels lucky that she has always prioritised sleep and that she is also ready to go to bed early enough to get the right amount of sleep.
Obviously, life happens and sometimes we sleep less optimally. Then Eevsku’s advice is to check up with your mindset and reactions. Even after a poor night, you can still have a good day.
If your sleep is often bad, you might want to map the other areas of life; is there something there to improve your sleep?
Movement is life for Eevsku. She has always been keen to move and doing sports, and she notices a direct correlation on her holistic wellbeing. Movement is the key to affect the other areas of her wellbeing too.
Nature plays a huge role in Eevsku’s wellbeing and especially in recovery. Being surrounded by nature has a grounding effect, helps to sort out thoughts, and creates a feeling of a greater balance.
By this, Eevsku means the living environment; where you live and with whom you spend your time. It makes a difference in how you live and if the people around you encourage you to achieve the things in life you want or not. Taking care of your living environment and social circles can have a tremendously positive effect on your holistic wellbeing.
Life throws us lemons sometimes. We all have bad days, or even longer periods of time, when we struggle. With this in mind we should give ourselves mercy. None of us must “have it all”, but the goal in life is to find what works for us individually. What are your values? What is your why? How do you want to spend your valuable time? What makes you lose a sense of time? It could be doing sports, wandering in the woods, cooking, or painting.
When you can answer these questions, it is easier to align your decisions to match your values and to not just prioritise these different areas of life, but to also find your settings for optimal holistic wellbeing.
It is good to remember our own definitions of holistic health, and especially how to prioritise the physical, emotional, social, and financial wellbeing changes through our lives. What worked five years ago might not work anymore. Our values and priorities change constantly. To keep on track, find ways to check up with them. For example, block out some time in your calendar weekly, monthly, once a quarter or once a year - whatever works the best for you.
During this special time, you might have extra time on your hands. Tune in and write down your answers to the questions above. This time could be optimal to have an appointment with yourself. If you don’t want to do it now, don’t worry, this blog article will stay in here for you later too. 🙂
Ama, Essi & Elsa
Edited by Alex Burchell
Photos: Oskari Ranta