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.
Hi, my name is Suzanne. I am the founder of Naked Zero Wellness and an approachable wellness solution for busy women. I try all the wellness things to achieve balance and grounding in my life, share them, and my honest reviews with women so they don’t have to weed through it!
I am also a minimalist at heart - quality over quantity and memories over things. I am a self-help book junky but have lately really gotten into reading fiction for the sake of entertainment only. I am a mother, bonus mom, and wife and live on the tiny island of Bermuda.
How do you define self-care?
Self-care for me is resetting. It’s whatever you do to reset and give back to YOU so that that you can freely and without regret or resentment give to other causes, people, and things. For me, self-care is whatever I have to do to make sure and remain my own top priority. So yes, it sounds selfish but it is 100% true and necessary to be selfless.
How do you start your day? If it differs from day to day, describe your ideal morning.
I love this question because I am fascinated with how others craft their day. With Covid, my days have been changing a bit with the kids being in and out of school. I don’t have a set TIME but I do have a set ROUTINE. I prefer it this way because wherever I am in the world or whatever is going on I can do this routine.
I get up before the kids, and always make my bed first. Then I do a very minimal skincare routine and put on comfy clothes. I head into the kitchen and pour a tall glass of water that I take my essential vitamins with. Then I put on the kettle to make matcha! I sit by myself and do nothing and enjoy the entire process of making and sipping it. Then I take the rest of the water and pop in a vitamin C and start the active part of my routine.
I call it the 3 M’s - Movement + Meditation + Mindfulness. Move my body in some way. Lately, I have been loving at-home workouts like the Pilates Class with Jacqui, then I do a 5-10 min meditation followed by some journaling, gratitude writing, or reading of the Daily Stoic. After that I’m full and the day just comes at me!
What measures do you take when you feel off-balance/stressed? Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well?
My answer to more of anything is always less of something else. It’s the minimalist in me! So when I feel off-balance or stressed, it means I need to do/be/have less somewhere else. Depending on the cause of the stress, I usually flip right into downsizing and decluttering mode, because fewer things to maintain means, less stress, less “busyness” and more thinking/me time!
After that, I lean on my wellness toolkit - adaptogens, acupuncture, movement, or journaling. Being a minimalist means you get really good and isolate what is going because there are only so many things that can be causing you stress, so you can build a relationship with yourself which allows you to intuitively know how to reset.
But, if you are looking for something more tangible, my #1 Bedtime “hack” is a white noise machine. I’ve used one every night for the last 5 years!
What is your philosophy around wellness?
Great question! I would say that wellness is a relationship. It is something that you work at, build, change, evolve, and grow with over time and it should be fun! Don’t try and arrive at some perfect destination of wellness in balance, just flow with it. Try different things; see what works for you, stick to it, be consistent and change when necessary. It has its ups and downs and that is absolutely part of the journey. It is like a relationship!
My other philosophy is that less is more. When you are looking at routines, products, ingredients; less is more. Go for quality over quantity and stay away from “fillers” - unnecessary steps, fillers in products, etc.
How has your being a Woman of Color influenced your daily wellness routine?
For me, I find that it is hard(er) to find representation in wellness. A lot of the big names in wellness don’t look like me and while the routines and products are great, it doesn’t always resonate. It has been an important part of growing Naked Zero. Ensuring that there is a voice, from a woman of color, that is actively trying various wellness practices and products and sharing them in a way that is approachable for busy women but especially women of color. I go out of my way to research products created by Women of Color and look forward to collaborating with many of them in the future.