Getting to Know Minaa
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Minaa B. I’m a writer, author of “Rivers Are Coming,” and a licensed therapist based in NYC.
What are your preferred pronouns?
Any interesting facts about you?
I’m a big fan of baking. It’s one of my favorite self-care practices.
Minaa B.’s Mental Health Story
Are there any turning points in your life where you didn’t feel the best with your mental health?
I will say my night time anxiety has affected my mental health in regard to my sleep hygiene and ability to rest. Some of its symptoms look like excessive negative thoughts, heavy breathing, hot flashes and insomnia.
Do you think there’s anything particular that might have triggered your night-time anxiety?
I started dealing with night time anxiety many years ago due to facing a natural disaster. I was displaced for 3 months after Hurricane Sandy ruined my home and that was the onset of my nigh time anxiety.
At what point did you seek for help? What prompted you to take that first step?
I came to the realisation that the more I worry about the judgment of others, the more I would stifle my dreams and that’s not the life I wanted to live. The reality is that no matter what I do, whether it’s good or bad, negative or positive, people will have their judgements about me. And the only opinions I care about are the ones from the people who I know care about and are supportive of me.
Better Me, Better Life
What support systems have you had? Any support system you wish you had?
As a therapist, I too see a therapist. I’m a human before anything else and I truly believe it’s okay to ask for help. It can be hard, but hard things can be done. Going to therapy was the starting point in treating my nighttime anxiety but it is still an ongoing process where self-care plays a huge role in managing my anxiety.
I also have a very supportive network of close friends and family members, and friends that meet my needs in different ways which is essential when building a network. And, I am involved in many different communities such as church, my neighbourhood, etc.
I find all of them to be effective depending on what my needs are.
What do you have to say to encourage those don’t feel comfortable opening up?
Opening up can be hard, but as I always share, hard things can get done. I always encourage people to write down their needs, how they think they can be met, and what’s blocking them from obtaining what they need. Spend time thinking about this and how you might be getting in your own way and what’s one actionable step that you can take to change that.
You also have to ask yourself who is in your network? And in what ways might you need additional support without always having to rely on friends and family such as a support group, therapist, or hobby group.
Minaa’s Wellbeing Recipe
What does mental health wellness mean or look like to you?
Mental health wellness means learning to honour every part of my being. I am multifaceted, I live with many different emotions and it’s okay for me to honour them all instead of pretending they don’t exist.
Could you walk us through your daily self-care routine? Any practice you’d recommend?
Some practices that I engage in are deep breathing exercises, doing hobbies like baking to keep myself focused and at my mind at ease, reading books – specifically fiction, going on walks, and also going to therapy.
A Note to You Who’re Reading
Could you offer us a final word of wisdom to our readers who are looking to heal their mental health wellness?
Everyone has their own personal struggle, so don’t get caught up in the idea that you are alone. I want people to read my words and know that they have power within themselves to create the change they want to see within them and around them.
We all have the power to do good, we just need to tap into it and sometimes we need to be inspired through art, hobbies, and others to find that power and step into. I hope my words can help someone do that.
Know that your life is worthy and don’t be afraid to take care of yourself and your mental health.
You matter and so does your needs.
Where can I find you?
View this post on Instagram
Honoring your mental health isn’t only tailored toward going to therapy. I always tell my clients that although we spend 45 mins out the week with one another, outside of that, you must be putting to practice the things that you’ve learned in conjunction with other self-care practices to sustain and honor your mental health. Therapy is a piece to the puzzle, there’s still a bigger picture and it’s important you gather those other pieces. This past weekend was #WorldMentalHealthDay and it reminds me of how far we’ve come and how much more work needs to be done. Although IG is not therapy, it’s become a major platform where folks are getting therapeutic advice and thats great, but we also have to remember that because of systems and policy, there are many folks who could highly benefit from therapy who don’t have access to it. Therefore, pushing therapy in their face isn’t going to help. As a therapist I will always champion the benefits of therapy and encourage everyone to attend, but I will also do my duty to ensure people know that the work can still be done outside the therapy room. You can still benefit from what’s at the table even if you’re not sitting around it. – Community: 1. Do you struggle with getting access to therapy? 2. In what ways do you honor your mental health daily?