Victoria Wong on Self-Awareness, Work – Life Balance in the Fashion Industry, & Her Mental Health Journey with Food

“I have a weird relationship with food, and it’s an issue that I’m working on improving. It’s something I’ve struggled with since high school and I can admit, I have good days and bad days. Even now. I didn’t really talk about it with anyone at first; it was a little shameful you know? I mean, I still don’t really, but working on it and it’s helped. At the time, because I wasn’t eating, I was getting into a lot of fights with my family, becoming anti-social and overall, just unhappy with everything. I didn’t go out at all, didn’t see friends, and if I did, I would really beat myself up the next day about it. Opening up about my issue the first time really helped… I think talking about it made it real, and forced me to acknowledge and reflect on what was I doing to myself.”

Sadé Jones, Advertiser and Wellness Blogger On Navigating Adulthood, Investing Time To Get To Know Oneself, & Wellness

“Discussing mental health is something I feel comfortable talking about to a certain extent. I still feel the judgment when I openly talk about mental health with others and that part makes me feel uncomfortable. However, I know how imperative wellness is, so I push through and embrace difficult conversations. I enjoy making my writing vulnerable. On my blog thefireinsidesade.com, I share some pretty personal anecdotes and it’s like a safe haven for me.”

Jeremy Gardner, Serial Entrepreneur, Crypto Leader, & Founder of MadeMan On Defining His Wellness, Living with Radical Transparency, and Ikigai

I believe mental health comes first and foremost. Ensuring that I am maintaining my sanity while running all of my different ventures is essential. Mindful breathing is the most important tool employ on a constant basis. Breathing in and out and just slowing my brain does wonders. Given the number of different organizations and individuals I’m responsible for, the best skill I have developed is delegation: discerning the critical tasks I must accomplish and then identifying the right person to fulfill every other responsibility. Lastly, despite all my sleepless nights, I’d say I average about eight hours of sleep a night. When I miss a night or two (which happens more than I’d like), I’ll try to catch up when I get a chance. This is totally unscientific but it works for me…
I have a professional coach (which is Silicon Valley’s rebranding of “therapist”) who helps me manage my expectations for myself and responsibilities. Whether it’s a coach or shrink, it’s vital to have someone that keeps you accountable, without an emotional connection.

Jee Lee, Founder & Creative Director On Realizing Her Own Vision By Creating Brand A.F.L.O.A.T and Paving the Way in Conscious Consumerism in Swimwear

“”Made in NYC” has a special meaning for me despite the relatively higher cost of production that comes as a result. “Made in NYC” has allowed me to have full, direct control over the entire process from sample making to production in order to ensure high quality. Additionally, I made it our goal to use sustainable, eco-friendly fabrics as well as minimal packaging, which is in line with what the acronym A F L O A T stands for— ‘All For the Love of an Awesome Tomorrow,’ signifying our commitment to raise awareness on sustainability issues.”

Renée Simone, Model: Grounded in Liberian & US Roots and Pursuing Her Now & Future In South Korea

“I was interested in South Korea before I came to live here so it made me eager to keep learning about Korean language and culture. This curiosity, openness, and desire to culturally assimilate makes certain things easier in adjustment as a foreigner. But it’s not always easy. There are times I feel like I have to have my teacher hat on– needing to politely correct racially/ethnically ignorant comments, looks, or gestures, but I understand that comes with the territory of being and looking different in a country that has been a reflection of homogeneity for decades…
Somewhere down my childhood, I learned that being a “strong” woman was a great honor. However, in my world, the virtues people praised in the “strong woman” were things like suffering and carrying on dutifully in self-sacrifice for her family, or the collective. I grew up being taught that the strong woman was defined as one who put others first, always. Always, always, others before oneself. With this in mind, I did not feel I had access to the full understanding of mental health nor the freedom in evaluating, validating, and responding to my needs, which is what I needed as an individual and woman. For a long time I separated myself from pursuing the whole of mental health– it was more of something I read about in textbooks, heard from friends, maybe saw in a few good relationships that surrounded me.

Carly Schwartz, Editor – in – Chief of TRIX & Google Insider on Being Diagnosed with Depression as an Adult and Finding her Personal and Professional Wellness

“I was really depressed. I couldn’t get out of bed, except for parties and so I would go on these crazy benders and then I would get in bed for a week and then leave to party again and I just started to feel like my partying was out of control. I realized I hadn’t experienced happiness without the help of drugs and alcohol in a really long time, maybe ever, and I just hit my limit. I told my therapist about all the drugs that I was doing and she suggested that I needed help.”