Here at Peak and Valley, we have been interested in topics surrounding self-care/wellness. The term ‘self-care’ specifically is starting to become an overused buzzword in marketing and news outlets. Separating out what self-care means for you personally means ignoring a lot of marketing jargon and messaging. We all have to remember that self- care doesn't have to be expensive or exclusive. Given that, we are introducing an interview series where we ask people what self care and wellness means to them.
Provide a short introduction explaining who you are.
My name is Daisy Pyo and I am a freelance graphic designer and social media strategist based in Brooklyn, New York. I’d also describe myself as a mental health advocate and wellness junkie, where I use my Instagram as a platform to discuss these topics and share my journey to finding ~balance~ !!!
How do you define self-care?
It’s true that self-care has become a buzzword as of late. I always like to say that self-care is much more than slapping on a face mask or using a jade roller. It could be these things for some people, but for me it’s really about putting energy into the things that truly uplift me, serve me, and bring me joy. This could look pretty and instagrammable, but these things could also be difficult and agonizing like learning how to say no, ending toxic relationships, experiencing growing pains, etc! It’s all about being present, prioritizing yourself and your journey to healing and becoming a better version of yourself.
How do you start your day? If it differs from day to day, describe your ideal morning.
Mornings are my favorite part of the day, and I’m a firm believer that having a solid morning routine that brings you joy and makes you feel good is so important to set the tone for the rest of the day. I try not to look at my phone first thing in the morning. Phones can be such a big distraction -- and I believe checking your email or messages first thing in the morning is almost like giving away your sovereignty right away. If you think about it, we spend most of our day responding / catering to people, messages, emails, etc! Mornings are sacred to me, so I try to spend this time to be selfish and dedicate it to only doing things that serve me. I love taking my time to make my bed, do my morning skincare routine, some light stretching, and going on my 3 mile walk while listening to music or a podcast. My morning strolls really help to clear my head and get my brain ready for the rest of the day ahead. Then, I love making my daily fresh green juice and coffee while writing down my intentions and to-do list for the day.
What measures do you take when you feel off-balance/stressed?
I’ve realized that seeking balance will be a ~ forever type of thing ~ because I’m always learning and re-learning new things about myself and my body. I struggle with anxiety and PCOS, so it’s extra important for me to manage my stress levels. When I feel stressed, I try to journal and write everything down. When I put my thoughts down on paper, it really helps me to learn why I am feeling a certain way and I try to let those negative feelings ride rather than suppressing them. I remind myself to slow down and I try to redirect my focus and energy on the things I can actually control. I then spend some time doing things that help me unwind, which usually consists of making my favorite comforting meals, calling my mom, going on a walk, or just laying down and reading a book or watching my favorite show. It’s always different, as it depends on my mood and what my body is telling me I want / need. I always try my best to listen to my body because she truly knows best!
Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well?
Lately, I have been rubbing essential oils on my temples to help me unwind. This makes me feel SO relaxed and loosens a lot of tension. I also like to do some light stretching if my body is feeling tight, and I make a warm cup of my favorite turmeric tea. This really gets the job done, and it never makes me feel groggy in the AM.
What is your idea of beauty? Internal, external, or both?
As corny as it sounds, I don’t think anyone needs to look a certain way to be beautiful. I think beauty is all about being kind, self-aware, open, and being unapologetically yourself. There’s truly nothing more beautiful than someone who is so in tune with who they are, and so shamelessly themselves. That confidence is always so radiating, and something I’ve always admired.
What is your philosophy around wellness?
I have three main philosophies when it comes to wellness. The first one is to never forget that your mental wellness is just as important as your physical! It doesn’t matter how many celery juices you’re drinking or how often you take your vitamins if you’re not taking care of your mental health too. I’m an avid believer that wellness begins from your insides.
Secondly, strive to eat less out of boxes, and more whole foods from the earth. It can really be that simple! We’re all bombarded with new wellness / health products left and right nowadays, but things like elixirs and lyposophic vitamins are just extra. These are all nice things, (and I’ll admit, I can be a huge sucker for them all!) but I always like to tell someone who is just starting their wellness journey to start with the basics, like eating more whole, colorful, nutrient dense foods. You’d be surprised how much this can affect your mood and overall body, it’ll make you feel more energized and full of life.
Thirdly, I believe it’s important to note that just how all our bodies are different, our wellness journeys will look different too. It’s important to be mindful throughout your day and become more conscious / aware of what brings you joy, nourishment, and fulfillment -- and what doesn’t. This doesn’t always have to be in the form of food, but daily habits in general. It’s important to find what rituals, diet, and lifestyle works for YOU, and what makes you feel your best.
Ending this with a reminder that no journey is linear -- it’s completely normal to fall off track from time to time. Don’t let this discourage you, because your healthy habits will always still be there to return to. Always strive for wellness, because it’s what you deserve.
I live in Northwest Arkansas - I specifically call out the region because it’s a distinct part of the state, unlike the rest. I love it here - it gives me the progressive nature of a larger city with the comfort of community. There’s still opportunity for growth and change, so I’m happy to be a resident who can play a part in its future.