#WorldMentalHealthDay

Creativity. The most fruitful part of healing throughout my life. Whether the medium is photography, styling looks, writing or crafts... I channel my intentions, honest feelings and experiences into everything I get my hands on. Being able to express myself in this capacity is as refreshing as opening a window in a stuffy tight room, and finally taking in that first fresh breath of air. It’s a home to my vulnerable emotions and allows me to let go of what no longer serves me, while also bringing me closer to souls who mirror my own.

creative direction: Maica Sta Ana x @msnerriss

creative direction: Maica Sta Ana x @msnerriss

I’ve grown up pretty aware of mental illness, both learning how to be a supportive ally to those struggling in my family, and figuring out how to navigate my own feelings of depression and anxiety. I held onto demons for far too long, and as an empath had a tendency to hold onto others’ too. Art in all it’s forms has been the release.

At least for me, content creation has always been about storytelling and creation itself. Not recognition nor reputation. It’s a personal ritual. It’s medicine. All the toxic tendencies that I encounter in the influencer/blogging world are discouraging and I always have to ground myself with why I began in the first place. To create. Sometimes you can’t escape the mud that grows around the lotus, but you can continue to grow through it.

I struggle with the ebbs and flows constantly, whether it shows publically or not. The first sign I’m going through it is when I’m introspective and extra quiet in the virtual world. Sometimes, I feel like I have to be a lover and fighter all at once.

I guess my lesson to share and note to self is this. Grow through the mud, even past the days when self-doubt, hopelessness, or anxiety start to peak through. Catch yourself before you spiral and step back. And on the same note, take your time and cherish the present. Don’t rush the process, just give your personal best. Sometimes you’ll feel like you can take the world while other days, your best is just putting one foot in front of the other and it’s absolutely okay.

No matter what it is that brings you down, I hope you always stay rooted in what makes you feel whole. Sending you so much love.

Kindly, Kimiko

Reasons Why You Should Already Be Forest Bathing

Some of you know I've been an Executive Assistant with the National Park Service for several years now. In a week, I'll be taking a career leap outside of the parks and tourism industry. It's bittersweet. This has been a meaningful chapter in my life and the foundation of my career. At the same time, I'm filled with excitement for new beginnings. It feels surreal to take on a new adventure as a Project Coordinator in the tech industry with a renewed sense of passion and readiness to learn. 

Even as an employee working for the National Parks, this past year, my time spent in nature has dwindled close to none ...with the exception of blog shoots, short walks and occasional brunches on restaurant patios.

I crave it often. All of it; the sense of adventure, the fresh air, the laughs, those rewarding peak views and the relief of walking back down the hike.

Here's my promise. I'll keep nature close and hope these few words of encouragements inspire you to do the same.

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Shower yourself in greenery.

Forest Bathing (also known as Shinrin-Yoku) is essentially the practice to visit the forest to slow down for preventive health benefits. 

The idea is simple: if a person simply visits a natural area and walks in a relaxed way there are calming, rejuvenating and restorative benefits to be achieved.
— shinrin-yoku.org
  • Scientifically proven benefits of forest bathing include reduced blood pressure and stress, increased energy levels and improved mood and sleep.

  • Those who practice forest bathing consistently are said to be happier people, nurture deeper friendships and better sense of clarity and intuition.

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Nature has renewed my perspective and refreshed my soul when it needed it the most. 

As I left the office on the day of this shoot, I felt frantic and frazzled, just trying to get from point A to point B. When I arrived to the succulent gardens to meet Nicole, I had some time to sit down and look up. It's been awhile since I unplugged, and though it was only for a few short minutes it was exactly the medicine I needed.

Nothing but the sounds of garden... the rustling leaves and a startling surprise of a tiny hummingbird zipping by my back.

I needed those few minutes more than I realized. Just, to be there, in that very moment.

Those few minutes in the gardens brought me back to what mattered most: a calm state of mind. Those few minutes brought all my focus towards creativity and getting to know Nicole.

Such a pleasant surprise for an unexpected life lesson... a reminder on how important it is to give yourself time to catch up with yourself, which many of us forget from time to time.

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As humans in this time, we easily get distracted by loud noise and information overload.

Our minds are being trained to run just as fast as our smartphones. The expectation to react and respond to emails, texts, social media only ups the ante. It becomes harder and harder for us all to disconnect from work. A lot of the times we may be somewhere, but our minds are obviously wandering elsewhere distracted in thought.

Though we can't control this demand, we can empower ourselves through self-care and prevent normalizing this busy state of mind.

Forest Bathing may be what you never knew you needed.

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Find a quiet garden or park. Take a stroll. Close your eyes. Open your senses and breathe...

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Essential Positive Affirmations feat. JORD Watches

In the midst of change and growth, sometimes the hardest part is not letting go of what you have always known. But to begin new chapters in life, I'm learning that we must be okay to let go of the past, in order to make room for what's to come next.

Lately, I've been inconsistent with my creative projects, including my blog, because upcoming changes in my professional career are on the horizon, and I'm watching how this next chapter will take form. My heart is ready for new experiences, challenges and opportunities that will allow me to use all that I have in a new way.

Change is inevitable; in our careers, in our families, in our passions and in ourselves. And if you are like me, it can be just as scary as it is exciting. What do you do when you're in the midst of growth? For me, every day, once a day, I repeat a few positive affirmations to assure I'm aligned in the right direction of life. On weekends, this ritual is even more special because I can be more intentional with how I incorporate this into my day. Here's how my ideal reflection routine goes:

JORD Watches Sutro Bath San Francisco
JORD watches sutro bath san francisco blogger

PUT ON YOUR FAVORITE OUTFIT

Pick something that makes you feel good inside and out. It sounds strange to start with the exterior, but when you dress up to celebrate life, you'll notice it will uplift you too. For me, my uniform is selecting a variation of a black top, paired with denim pants and ankle boots. A few key accessories you'll never find me without are my Quay Australia sunnies, my ThirdEye Pinecone necklace and my newest uniform addition, my JORD Frankie series zebrawood watch. Something about incorporating natural elements into my favorite outfit makes me feel closely connected to nature, even in the middle of this city hustle and bustle.

JORD Watches Zebrawood wooden watches champagne

SETTLE DOWN IN YOUR FAVORITE SPOT, INDOORS OR OUTDOORS

This could be a quaint cafe, or a relaxing view in your town. For me, one of my favorite spots is Sutro Baths in San Francisco. Especially when the sun rarely comes out to play, I'll wake up early and visit any calm place in Golden Gate National Recreation Area to relax and reflect.

FIND A QUIET PLACE AND STATE THESE AFFIRMATIONS

Pro-tip: If you feel uncomfortable stating these affirmations out loud in public, pre-record yourself stating these affirmations (with confidence) using the voice recorder on your phone. When you arrive to your favorite location, plug in your headphones, and listen to your recording. Even better, listen to it once a day! You will be surprised how hearing yourself speak positively about yourself will quickly change your perspective in a wonderful, optimistic way! :)


AFFIRMATIONS FOR NEW BEGINNINGS

  • I am grateful for the good in my life.

  • Something great is happening to me. I open myself to the possibilites.

  • Letting things come undone returns me to powerful innocence.

  • When I take a pause from receiving multiple messages, I can hear my true calling.

  • All of my treasures are buried deep inside, and I trust in the resources I already have on hand.

  • With this new chapter, I am grateful for a new start.

  • I am willing to step out of my comfort zone.

  • I trust myself to handle anything.

  • I am confident and brave. I live in the present and look forward to the future. 

JORD watches zebrawood series san francisco
ocean beach sutro bath san francisco blogger

BEST OF LUCK ON YOUR NEW BEGINNINGS! 

Photography: Rachel Radcliffe Photography
Watch: Frankie Series from JORD Watches

THANK YOU JORD WATCHES
FOR PARTNERING WITH ME AND GIFTING ME THIS BEAUTIFUL WATCH.

 

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