Meet Wale, 23-Year-Old Nigerian-American Therapist.
Currently a Columbia University graduate student, Wale is studying for her Masters in Mental Health Counseling. With millennial artists as her main clients, she gets an inside feel of the challenges many of us face living in the city, particularly when it comes to self-care.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Wale after meeting her at an art talk a couple of weeks ago. Maybe it was the carefree-afro crowning her head that drew me to her, or her naturally easygoing vibe. Nevertheless, our conversation flowed effortlessly.
Self-care Is Therapy.
We all have the freedom to create our own self-care rituals. Here’s a #selfcarechat with Wale, get your tea and journal ready!
What does self-care mean to you?
Putting yourself first, and sticking up for yourself. It’s been a big theme in my work, encouraging clients to speak up for themselves. That for me is the definition of self-care: knowing when to say yes and when to say no, putting yourself first.
How do you maintain peace of mind during happenings like that of Charlottesville?
At first when it was happening I was watching, thinking what’s going on? Is this where we’re at in 2017? It’s crazy, it didn’t seem real, and it lasted so long. It’s too much to carry as a person of color.
At one point, I had to disconnect from it because I thought to myself, this is too heavy. I still need to be able to be present with my clients. I still need to live in this present moment.
Check out my original piece, A Poem for Charlottesville.
Has living in NY influenced your self-care routines?
I’m more conscious about it. Although I do love living here, in the winter it does get very isolating. And I see why people jump into relationships: it’s cold, you don’t want to go anywhere, you can be laid up by the radiator. I get it, I really do!
So in that sense, I try to take even more time for self-care; make body scrubs, take baths, light candles, and just feel good about myself.
Regular self-care routines? Do tell!
- Spending time alone to decompress
- Doing a weekly face mask
- Making sure my room is my solace
After a long day, I need to go home, not talk to anybody and relax. Being with yourself, not thinking about anyone else, just you and you is necessary.
I try to mask once a week. I love peppermint and lavender oils. I just bought an oil diffuser that I use right before I go to sleep and it’s life-changing! It sprays oil mist into the air, creating a calm, relaxing vibe.
My room is my solace, it has to be completely the way I want it and comfortable.
Thoughts on the people you surround yourself with?
Having a trusted circle of friends, in NY especially, is everything. My group is lit! They’re all awesome. We send each other resources, not even just for school but life. I could text them and say hey I’m thinking of doing yoga and they’ll send me back a list of possible places to connect with.
Everyone is so willing to provide info. It’s important to surround yourself with people who are willing to give. Because I’m willing to give.
What’s a self-care affirmation you live by?
Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.
– Audre Lorde
Keep up with Wale on social: @wxxxle, and wish her luck on her last year of grad school!
👇🏾Like if you relate to this #selfcarechat.