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 Minaa B. and I am a licensed social worker, early childhood consultant and mental health educator.
How do you define self-care?
Self-care is the practice doing things that you truly love and enjoy, but it’s also a time for rest, introspection and self-enhancement.
How do you start your day? If it differs from day to day, describe your ideal morning.
During the weekdays my schedule is pretty straightforward. When I wake up I say a prayer and I think about the things that I am grateful before rolling out of bed. Then I shower, cook/eat breakfast from home and I make tea for the car ride. I like to enjoy silence for most of the trip before going to work but on days when I need a little boost I’ll listen to some music. During the weekends my habits are pretty much the same except I allow myself to linger in bed a little longer and when I’m doing little things around the house I’m most likely listening to an audiobook in the background.
What measures do you take when you feel off-balance/stressed?
I always try to pay attention to what triggered me to see if I can tackle the root of the problem. I also engage in mindfulness where I’ll do deep breathing exercises and I challenge my negative thoughts by switching to positive ones. I like to surround myself with the community as well so I take that as an opportunity to engage with a friend and talk about the things that are happening so that I am not struggling or feeling stressed all alone; an outside perspective is always helpful.
Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well?
To be honest, getting quality sleep is difficult for me most of the time despite my nighttime rituals. I like to be in bed by 9/9:30pm, I read or write in my journal, and I listen to white noise to help me fall asleep. Sometimes I'll even do a nighttime meditation. Despite all of this it doesn’t guarantee that I will sleep well but It helps to set the mood for me brings me a sense of calm before getting in bed.
What is your idea of beauty? Internal, external, or both?
I truly believe beauty is inside and out. Inward beauty is rooted in self-love, self-awareness and self-enhancement, therefore it’s important that we pay attention to these things and how we nurture them, but I also feel that it’s totally fine for a person to care about their outward appearance. We have a right to that.
What is your philosophy around wellness?
Wellness is about enhancing the five elements of our being: it’s physical, social, emotional, spiritual and intellectual. When we put the effort into tapping into all five of these things, we can see ourselves bloom in beautiful ways.
‘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.