Inside Keely-Shea’s Daily Mental Health Routine
Keely-Shea, our VP of Brand and Curation, is known around our office for a few things; an impressive knowledge of all things wellness, a keen eye for the latest trending products, and a deep love for dogs and the great outdoors. Keely-Shea is also a passionate advocate for mental health care; having experienced periods of high anxiety herself since 2020, she’s learned to cope through therapy and other effective techniques. Below, Keely-Shea shares a glimpse into some of these tools and how she incorporates them into her day.
Waking up from a good night's sleep leaves us feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, right? However, during periods where my anxiety levels are elevated far beyond the baseline, I often wake up in a state of panic, which isn't necessarily uncommon! Cortisol, the hormone that helps our bodies wake up and get ready for the day, is typically highest in the morning. However, my cortisol levels are sometimes off the charts and I wake up with a racing heart and mind. To bring my body out of fight or flight mode, I like to practice a 4:8 count breathing exercise or a grounding meditation.
Once my body is in a calmer state, I’ll journal using the Anti-Anxiety Notebook to challenge any negative thoughts I’m having. The Anti-Anxiety Notebook uses cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, which are the same strategies that I use regularly during my own therapy sessions. Note: ‘a calmer state’ may not equate to feeling 100%; instead it may simply mean that I’ve given my body a chance to relax and my mind a moment to realize that everything is OK.
After getting outside (even if just a few minutes) with my fur child Arya, I’ll eat breakfast and take a dose of Glow Inner Beauty Essential from The Beauty Chef. There are studies suggesting that mental health is closely linked to gut health, so I try to introduce specific bacteria strains into my daily routine.
After breakfast, I’ll shower and do my skincare routine, which has become a meditative practice of sorts. Applying the products to my skin and really focusing on the different smells and sensations helps quiet anxious thoughts and calm my parasympathetic nervous system.
While I work throughout the day, I’ll sometimes light a candle to help create a calm environment. My current candle is the Esker Plantable Candle; it’s fresh and perfect for the start of spring. I'll also call a loved one or friend just to check in and say hello, as staying connected has been critical in improving my mental health over the past year.
After the workday, I take 10-15 minutes to decompress by meditating again. I use the Halfmoon Singing Bowl and Cotton Yoga Blanket to keep myself warm. I like to write down a few words or an intention for myself and how I want to feel, then meditate on those feelings.
Tension from prolonged anxiety takes a toll on my body physically so I’ll lay on the Kanjo Acupressure Mat or use my Theragun at night to help relieve that. My boyfriend and I will swap our Theragun back and forth so we can take turns fully relaxing our bodies without anticipating the sensations from the device.
Taking care of my mental health is a daily effort and sometimes a daily struggle; I usually don't achieve all the things on this list and I'm still learning how to accept that that's OK! If you're experiencing anxiety, consider confiding in a friend or family member, utilizing tools like the Anti-Anxiety Notebook to challenge negative thoughts, and remembering to breathe.
Help is always available; if you are in need, please reach out to your primary care physician, family member, friend, or neighbor.
- In any case of emergencies, dial 911 immediately
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) a free and confidential routing service offering resources for mental, behavioral, and substance challenges
- 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) - a free helpline offering crisis support
- Alma: a network of mental health providers that works with major insurance plans