My Thoughts on Wellness: An interview with Pretty Mushroom

I had the pleasure of chatting with Pretty Mushroom about self care and wellness. Read an excerpt from our talk below and see the full interview here

Here at Pretty Mushroom, 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 mean to them. Here, we interview Leah Thomas, @GreenGirlLeah, wellness and environmental justice writer living in Santa Barbara, CA. She works full-time at a sustainable apparel company and, in her free time, writes on her blog

How do you define self-care? 

Self-care has grown in meaning for me over the years. Currently, self-care means doing things that nurture and nourish my soul. I have anxiety and I’ve stopped hoping one day I’d wake up without it or be “cured”, with self-acceptance I’ve found ways to manage it with a self-care routine that includes working out regularly, creating time to be creative and learn new things (like guitar and woodworking), finding community, strengthening supportive friendships and trying to create an imperfect, healthy-ish, lifestyle with good food and products. My goals have shifted, I don’t want to be cured of things about myself that I don’t like or things I can’t control, I just want to practice self-care so I can manage it and so the symptoms don’t impact my day as much.

There’s a lot of stigma surrounding mental wellness, but honestly, if someone had another chronic health condition no one would question their need to make lifestyle changes that support their physical health. I’ve adopted a similar outlook, one without shame, about taking time for myself unapologetically.  

How do you start your day? If it differs from day to day, describe your ideal morning. 

My days differ and I’m still working on a morning routine, but an ideal day for me would include yoga, a warm shower, tea, and a positive podcast (likely Oprah) to start the day.

What measures do you take when you feel off-balance/stressed? 

When I feel stressed, I practice positive self-talk and self-soothing practices. I used to let my stress fester, but the body always keeps score and it’ll surface sometime later. When I feel off-balance, I acknowledge it and say to myself “Okay, I’m feeling this” and recognize the feelings that are present without shame or judgment. I remind myself that all feelings will pass and also ask what I need. If that means watching Netflix when I get home and not being social I’ll do it or if that means maybe I need to go on a run or to a yoga class, I’ll do that. 

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