The journey on the Road to Santiago is an expression of a strong attempt at selfcare by Coelho. It is a journey of self-development, self-awareness and self-recovery (from the failure of gaining the sword during the celebration in Brazil) and through this strong self-care, Coelho regains self-worth, which is one strongly important aspect of self-care (Coelho, 2003b, p. 224). The self-care focus during the weeks of walking leads to a new self-worth, to feelings of achievement, recovery and healing, and contributes to Coelho’s holistic wellness.
(j) Stress management
The narration shows a development in stress management in Coelho. In the beginning, Coelho stresses about his journey and expresses his fears by creating conflict with his Cristina (Coelho, 2003b, p. 10). He displays different coping strategies regarding stress on the way to Santiago, such as asking questions (Coelho, 2003b, p. 23) (cognitive stress management), refusing his master or climbing a mountain and taking on the challenge (Coelho, 2003b, p. 139) (stress management through certain behaviour patterns). At the end of the journey, when Coelho walks on his own, he is challenged and stressed by the “thick fog” and feels that the “fog has to stop” (Coelho, 2003b, p. 217). He then hesitates, realises that he has no influence on the fog and decides to take on the challenge, accepts his stress, trusts himself, is self-confident and moves fearlessly into the fog. He manages his stress through a change in perspective, through following his intuition, trusting himself, being self-confident and feeling increased wellness while taking on the challenge to walk on without sight. This situation shows that Coelho has improved his stress management during his walk and has consequently reached increased wellness.