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.
Hola, I'm Dee :) I'm a first generation Mexican-American Oregon native. Mom to Malia and Malehkai :D I like to think of myself as someone who's pretty creative. Most of my inspiration comes from my children and our beautiful home state. Photography is my first love and probably the best way I release my creativity. I'm a bubbly Aries and I love to talk (for hours). In my free time I enjoy thrifting, coffee sipping, and family time on my father's farm.
How do you define self-care?
Taking care of your needs before anything else. Saying no. Creating boundaries. Laying on the kitchen floor. Crying. Working out. Eating healthier. Saying yes to the doughnut and having no shame. Self-care looks so unique to me as I enter different seasons of my life. What you needed then is not always what you need now. Take time to listen to your body, mind and spirit, they're never wrong.
How do you start your day? If it differs from day to day, describe your ideal morning.
Mornings usually start with my 3 year old Malehkai, while my newborn Malia sleeps in. Oat milk matcha lattes are must with a side of Leon Bridges or Daniel Caesar. And if we sleep in, we skip matcha, and go straight to a smoothie. Which I really enjoy because its Malehkais favorite thing to make with me. To be honest, mornings with Malehkai are my favorite. He's a constant reminder to slow down and enjoy the moment. Even if that means waiting an eternity for Ely, the squirrel who comes and visits the tree by our window daily. LOL
Truly grateful for our mornings together.
What measures do you take when you feel off-balance/stressed?
Taking a couple minutes to myself. Going for a short walk or a run. Anything really, just as long as I'm physically outside of the house. I've learned over time that when I'm feeling stressed and really anxious I NEED SPACE. Especially when you live in a tiny 600 sq foot home with 3 other humans. SPACE, is my jam :)
Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well?
To be honest, no. As much as I try (and try) it's pretty difficult with a newborn. But ask me again when she's one!
What is your idea of beauty? Internal, external, or both?
Ah, beauty. A word i'm still trying to fully understand.
‘Beauty’ is something I've struggled with for many years. Especially in my adulthood and now motherhood.
There are days that I associate beauty with not being enough or worthy because I don't look a certain way - Especially after bringing two tiny humans into this world.
But i'm working on it. I promise :) And on the bright side those days are very rare. Over time, I've come to understand that true beauty starts from the within and it's a never ending journey that changes with every season in your life.
What is your philosophy around wellness?
‘Do what works for you, with the resources and tools around you’
Wellness looks and feels different to each individual- yet we still live in a time where everything has to be done a specific way for it to be the “right way”. I disagree.
Wellness doesn't always mean an expensive face mask or buying only organic- especially when it's not accessible or affordable to every human.
Wellness can be anything you want it to be. A daily walk in the park. A workout class on youtube. Knitting. Drawing. Deep breaths. Hugs. Vitamins.
Wellness to me is anything that brings you peace and sparks joy in your heart and makes you feel really really good!
Whatever that is for you, do it.
Don't let anything or anyone make you feel like you're doing it wrong.
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.