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 Kelly Peacock and I am a 23-year-old poet and writer based out of Brooklyn, NY. Currently, I am a full-time writer at Thought Catalog, and in my free time, I’m working on my collection of poetry, reading, watching Netflix, and creating content for social media.
How do you define self-care?
To me, self-care is doing whatever it is that makes me feel good. Practicing self-care is so much more than putting on a face mask, taking a bath (personally, I hate taking baths), or doing yoga and meditating. Self-care is also buying that book you’ve been eyeballing, or leaving work early because you have painful menstrual cramps or staying in on a Friday night and ordering take out and watching a movie that makes you happy. To me, self-care is whatever makes me feel content and right, within my body and my soul.
How do you start your day? If it differs from day to day, describe your ideal morning.
After my everyday routine of face washing, moisturizing, and applying face oil, my days always start with a cup of warm lemon water. I’ve been trying this for a few months now and I can already tell that my body feels more awake and active, even before I’ve had a cup of coffee. And then, obviously, I’ll make myself a cup of coffee and enjoy it while I journal or catch up on some reading.
What measures do you take when you feel off-balance/stressed?
I’ve been dealing with an anxiety disorder for as long as I can remember, and thankfully, while I am on medication for it, I know that there are other things I should do to make myself feel better when I start to feel off-balance. If I’m really feeling stressed or anxious, I’ll make a cup of tea—lavender or peppermint usually—, practice my breathing, and do something to distract myself. I’ll either watch a really engaging TV show or movie, go thrifting, or workout. I’m trying to get into yoga and meditation, but it’s hard when my mind is always racing. Sometimes, when there’s really nothing I can do for myself, I just let myself cry.
Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well?
I don’t, but I wish I did. Trouble sleeping is one of the many symptoms of an anxiety disorder, and getting a good night’s sleep is something I’m still trying to do. Sometimes, if I’m having a bad day/night and need help falling and staying asleep, I’ll put a few drops of lavender essential oil in my diffuser, drink a cup of lavender tea, and read until the words put me to sleep.
What is your idea of beauty? Internal, external, or both?
Every person has a different standard of what they think is “beautiful” and I think because of that, I have mixed feelings about what “beauty” is. We’re all beautiful—some more so on the inside, some more so on the outside, sometimes it’s both. I agree with the saying “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” but I also believe that beauty is skin deep and is so much more than what we see. To me, my idea of “beauty” isn’t so much looks, but someone who is kind, caring, and empathetic. Beauty is something that makes my heart flutter (in a good way). Whether if it’s the NYC skyline, or a beautiful spring day with the birds chirping and the sun shining or seeing Harry Styles smile--beauty, to me, is just something that makes your soul feel content.
What is your philosophy around wellness?
To me, wellness is about taking care of yourself and doing things that make your mind, your body, and your soul feel good. Whether if it’s drinking a glass of orange juice, taking vitamins, going to the gym, splurging on something you’ve wanted for a while, spending time in the outdoors, or having an actual skincare routine, “wellness” is the awareness of doing something that not only gives you comfort and pleasure but something that will benefit you and help you grow as a person. I like going to bookstores and thrift shops. I like sitting out in the sun. I like writing poetry and reading and drinking a cup of coffee every morning. How you take care of yourself is up to you, but for me, wellness is doing things that make me feel good from the inside out.
To me, beauty has absolutely nothing to do with what you put on your skin, or how you eat, or what yoga studio you go to. Beauty is the kindness, the effervescence that pours out of your heart. Beauty is the way you interact with the world around you and the way the sun hits your teeth when you smile! The most beautiful people are confident, comfortable, and joyous in their soul and their existence.
Get your greens and enjoy 'em too with this delicious smoothie with mango, banana, and spinach!