Welcome to Superwomen in Wellness, where we sit down with inspiring female leaders paving the way in the wellness space.
We chatted with Meadow Monaghan, Mental Health Brand Consultant. Meadow shared the daily wellness rituals she practices for having a positive day and relaxing evening. She also gives a glimpse into her mental health advocacy work and how she turned her personal mission into a fulfilling career and more compassionate world.
Where do you live and what’s your favorite mode of expression?
Hi! I’m Meadow. I live in sunny San Diego, CA where we specialize in Taco Tuesdays and being outside as often as we can.
Writing has always been a comforting, cathartic experience for me; and over this past pandemic I’ve only upped my journaling as a personal development routine more and more. It keeps me grounded. That’s the internal expression side of things, if you will.
My favorite mode of external expression is fashion. There’s so much to say in an outfit! On days I’m not feeling it, I’ll wear baggy trousers and a vintage tee shirt. On days I feel confident and excited, I’ll put on something that makes me feel like a baddie. You can share your interests, your style of art, your mood all through what you wear, but more importantly, how you wear it.
Do you have any wellness rituals? What are they?
I have a million and one wellness rituals haha. The first and most important thing is taking my SNRI every morning. It took me a while to accept that my anxiety was a chemical imbalance and that I needed the extra support. Even working within mental health, there are still self imposed “rules” or stigmatized ideas that kept me from getting that extra bit of help. Once I did, it made all the difference.
In addition to that, I am strict with giving myself a morning and evening routine. I find that carving out the space to set myself up for a good day, and unwind from whatever the day brought, is integral for me to feel grounded, balanced, and ready for the next day. For me, those routines will include drinking something warm (coffee, tea, lemon water, a hot toddy, pick your poison), reading for pleasure, moving my body, and practicing meditation or breath work.
How does your day typically begin?
With said morning routine, baby! I give myself a big ol’ hour and a half because I really like to have long, indulgent mornings. I’ll make myself a pour over and listen to groovy music or a fun podcast. I’ll read for fun, not for work, to get my brain going. I’ll stretch or maybe do a workout if I have the energy. I’ll meditate. And I love to journal first thing in the AM. It helps me get out all my thoughts, to do lists, internal dialogue out on paper so my thoughts aren’t swirling around in my head all day.
What are your current self-care routines and how do you nourish yourself?
Beyond taking my meds and having morning and evening routines, I also make sure that I keep my stress levels in check by balancing heavy work weeks with big self-care days.
On those days, I’ll nourish myself with healthy meals that I make myself or new meals I’ve been meaning to try. I recently got Priya Krishna’s book “Indian-ish” and have been having fun exploring those recipes. I’ll get outside to move my body and connect with nature either by going to the beach or simply taking a walk around the neighborhood. Sometimes, I need days to get out and connect with others. Sometimes, I need days to stay in and connect with myself. I listen to what I need in the present moment.
What’s your most sacred time of day?
My after-work walks with my partner. I work from home, so on busy days it’s easy to not get outside all day long. When he gets back from work, and I finally lift my head from my computer, we go on neighborhood walks together and use them as our time to unwind, check in with each other, and signal to ourselves that it’s time to put away the first half of the day and enjoy the evening together.
What’s your superpower?
My diehard optimism. I always say, when something challenging comes your way, you have two options: you can let it get to you, or…
I always choose the or. If one option is to let the challenge consume, derail, or hurt me, I choose the other option, every time.
What inspired you to work in the mental health space?
Lived experience! I grew up in a family with mental health challenges on both sides. I have been trying to relate to others through those experiences for years. Back in the day, it was a lot harder to bring up these topics than it is today. So, back in the day, I decided if the only way to have those conversations was to contribute to the mission to destigmatize mental health, then that’s what I would do.
What’s the driving mission for you behind bringing mental health advocacy into DTC brands? How do you think this work is helping shift the narrative around emotional wellbeing?
I kind of fell into bringing mental health advocacy into brands. Up until Dec 2019, I was solely working in mental health / social work / community programming. Beyond those day jobs, I had a personal goal since 2013 to “make mental health cool online”. At first, that looked like trying to start my own blogs. But, once I fell into this space, I found that we are stronger together. When my advocacy efforts aren’t limited to rigid nonprofit or corporate structures, and when brands want to spread messaging beyond consumerism, we can join forces to make a difference together. And to make it cool to do so.
What’s something special happening in your life right now that you’d be excited to share with our community?
I may or may not have a mental health podcast coming out with my bestie Gaby Ulloa…. Stay tuned 😉