kiera’s journey with caravan

Kiera’s self-care journey

KIERA WILLIAMS
JOIN FASHION MODEL KIERA WILLIAMS ON HER JOURNEY WITH WELLNESS

Can you tell us about your journey and where you are today?

Wellness has been an essential part of my life from a very early age. I have fond memories of ecstatically joining my mother as she followed old school pilates tapes. As a child, I didn’t really focus on “wellness” per-say. I enjoyed engaging in physical activities from sports to workout videos. However, my dietary habits were not quite up to par with my fitness ones. A family history of overeating eating mixed with poverty did not make for an extremely healthy childhood diet. By my teen years, social pressure had led to body image obsession, beginning a cycle of binging and calorie restriction. Apart from a series of highs and lows with my physical habits as a teen, I disregarded my emotional wellbeing completely. From a cultural standpoint, emotional self care wasn’t really a thing. I was expected to achieve excellence in every aspect of my life and bury my emotions. For most of my life, I viewed depression, anxiety, general sadness, and the inability to cope with my emotions (asking for help) as a sign of personal failure. I was always the person that encouraged and validated everyone else’s feelings while ignoring my own mental health needs. I became a master of hiding my own emotions.

“I now know my worth and prioritize my self care like never before.”

Fortunately, I decided to actively take charge of my mental and emotional wellbeing about four years ago. It has been a long ongoing journey, but I begin opening up to people about my own neuroticism after it began to affect my daily life. After a year of just sharing how I felt with friends, I began working on my diet and how I perceived food, focusing on optimal health instead of appearance. Once I started college, I began taking advantage of wellness services and educating myself on better daily practices. Through all of this, the most pivotal moment in my wellness journey has been the moment I identified every lie I had been telling myself from childhood about my worth and replacing those lies with truth. In my current season of life, I’ve created a set of daily rituals (that change as I do). When it comes to my consistent everyday habits, there’s definitely room for improvement, but I am happy with where I am and how much I’ve grown.

What is your experience with wellness?

As you may have read above, my experience with wellness has been quite the journey. I literally went from viewing (personally) needing a therapist as a weakness; to prioritizing my own physical and mental well-being over everything. When it comes to routine, my mode of wellness is always changing. During my adolescence, when I didn’t quite know what wellness was or the importance of it, music and the performing arts were my forms of self care. I could not survive a single day without some type of artistic expression – be it through music, dance, or writing. At the time, I just thought I liked those things, but they were truly what saved me in the darkest of times.

“As I have grown older and more conscious of how my everyday decisions impact my wellbeing, I have taken steps to be proactive in creating sustainable habits that fuel my overall well-being.”

In high school, it was reconstructing the way I viewed diet and exercise. Now, it’s refining every aspect of my life. Over the past two and a half years, I’ve gone beyond diet and exercise, looking deeply at the emotions attached to certain habits. I think for a person to truly be healed and improve themselves, they have to reflect on trauma, forgive, and grow spiritually. I do that through prayer, meditation, and living my life with a set of standards surrounding love and active kindness. However, the biggest key to wellness for me has been forgiveness – of myself and others.

What are some of your favorite CARAVAN classes and why?

My favorite CARAVAN classes are definitely “Mid-Day Pause and Reflect,” “Mindful Eating,” and “Meditative Journaling.” As someone living in New York City while pursuing multiple artistic paths, I am always on the go, so taking time to slow down and recenter is essential. Mid-Day Pause and Reflect allows me to ground myself when it seems like things are moving too fast. It’s perfect for calming any kindling feelings of anxiety. Meditative journaling has a similar effect while also boosting creativity. I’m a creative, so having a guide to channeling my deepest thoughts while resetting with a mediation is super useful. Last but not least, mindful eating is a charm for me. I’ve had a weird relationship with food for a long time. Mindful Eating is a great guideline for changing how I view my relationship with food and reminding me to stay on track with good habits.

How has incorporating wellness into you daily routine improved your lifestyle?

Prior to making wellness a lifestyle, I was all work and no play. Even the things I was passionate about became a task or challenge to exceed. Creating a daily routine centered around wellness instead of what “needs” to be completed has truly transformed how I feel, perceive the world, and carry out everyday actions. I wake up in a state of joy (and occasional grogginess), am more patient, and I don’t beat myself up over the little things.

In case you’re wondering what my daily wellness routine consists of:
Prayer (Devotion to God/Creator), Meditation, Smiling, Stretching, Writing, Exercise, and Exploring (looking for something new, even in things I know).

These are common wellness routine items, but I think it can be easy to forget them when you’re constantly on the go. To make the most of my time, I usually start my day around 4:30AM with prayer. Either in the early morning or late at night, I do hot yoga or use a steam room to workout/stretch while also using the conditions to deepen my state of meditation and prayer. Throughout my day, I take time to be present, find moments of stillness, and mentally explore parts of my surrounding that I may have not noticed before. I smile any and every chance I get; it releases endorphins and it’s infectious.

Random tip: bike over using the metro. It’s often times faster and you get mini workouts in through the day.

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