Last Updated on January 22, 2023 by Thalia
My name is Taylor Roar and I am a journalist and digital creative.
On my blog, Tay’s Divine Life I share free resources for learning about and strengthening your mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
More on my wellness journey
I began struggling with social anxiety at the age of 11.
Back then I didn’t know what to call it. All I knew was that I struggled to speak in school, I would shake, sweat and tear up against my will. From what I could tell, I was the only person experiencing this.
After years of silently struggling and going through bouts of depression as a result, I went to college. Suddenly, mental health struggles became commonplace. Not only did I finally get to name what I felt, but I recognized I wasn’t alone in my experiences.
My depression reached an all-time low during that time but knowing what it was helped me find the courage and tools to fight against it.
Wellness Q&A with Taylor
What does a healthy life-work balance look like to you?
For me, finding a healthy work-life balance looks like both disciplined action and disciplined inaction.
It takes just as much mental fortitude to get up and work hard as it does to shut my mind off and put my laptop away.
When I create habits and routines that prioritize taking action toward the things I care about and caring for myself, I create the environment necessary to show up in the world in a way that serves everyone.
How do you make sure you are regularly prioritising your mental and physical well-being?
I do my best to prioritize rest, no matter how much is on my to-do list.
In our fast-paced world, it is easy to compare my productivity to people who produce and post multiple times daily. When I look around me, I often find myself feeling lazy or inadequate, even though I recognize myself to be a naturally hard-working person.
When I take time to actively reflect on the benefits of resting, I take myself out of that need to constantly strive for more and into a space of inner stillness.
I have a blog post about why rest is specifically, and ancestrally, important to me as a woman of color in the United States, though I think its content is beneficial for all. It includes prompts for reflecting on one’s relationship to rest.
Some of my favorite prompts that I regularly ask myself are:
- How have your family’s actions informed the way you relate to rest?
- What does it mean to be “productive”? Is rest productive?
- Do you believe that your productivity defines your worth? Your deservingness?
How do you show yourself self-love and self-care? Are there any particular activities you indulge in and what inner work do you do?
My favorite daily self-care practice is journaling.
I rarely miss a day of gratitude journaling, not because I feel like I have to, but because it genuinely makes me feel energized and grounded.
There are many gratitude journals on the market, but I like to create my own list of questions and switch them up every few months. As a naturally restless person, this keeps me from getting bored.
My current practice looks like this:
- One word for how I feel today
- List 3 things I’m grateful for
- A paragraph-long “I am” statement
- A quick thought dump
I know journaling is a popular recommendation in wellness spaces, but it’s not a requirement for being well. I have kept journals since I was a little girl, so this form of self-care is easy for me.
It’s important to find habits that feel natural for you.
On days when I need extra care, I like to run myself a “luxurious” bath. It’s in quotes because I really don’t have a high budget for any of my self-care needs. Still, I make an effort to make myself feel like royalty. I take a trip to Lush and get a yummy bubble bar. I take every candle I own and surround the tub. I leave my electronics in another room and just soak.
I almost never feel like I have the time for an hour-long soak. Yet, when I finish I feel so nourished.
I find that the silence and the water element connect me to my intuition. So many of my worries or questions feel answered by the time I’m finished. It always proves to be a necessary form of rest and rejuvenation.
“It’s important to find habits that feel natural for you.”Taylor Roar | Tay’s Divine Life
What is your go-to productivity hack?
A lot of people recommend doing the activity you’re least enthusiastic about first.
But I disagree!
In my experience, if I fixate on doing the difficult tasks at the beginning of my day, then I simply won’t start at all.
My greatest productivity hack has been to do a small, but fun task at the beginning of my day. This gives me quicker gratification for having completed a task and makes me feel excited about my work. I don’t feel as much resistance because I gave myself that reminder that I am doing the work I love.
That makes it so easy to do a more strenuous task afterwards.
What self-help or personal development book would you recommend and why?
I have been recommending Seeking Slow by Melanie Barnes for years.
I’ve read quite a few self-help books and they often come off as the same pep talk in different voices. They’re useful, but they get old after a while.
This book is practical and timeless.
Barnes provides a brief yet thorough exploration of what it means to live slowly in a fast-paced world and how you can add slow moments to your daily life.
You can probably read it in a day and I guarantee you will reference its wisdom regularly.
Plus, for my fellow lovers of aesthetics, it includes beautiful photography and a dreamy cover for you to fawn over.
Get Seeking Slow on Amazon today
What would you say to your 21-year-old self?
It is better to actually be alone than to feel alone in a room full of people.
Go where you are valued. If you cannot find that space, value yourself in the meantime.
You may walk alone for some time, but it does not have to be lonely. It can be a space of self-exploration and self-love.
That safe space you create with and within yourself will guide you toward the physical space you’re meant to be in.
And lastly, what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Be the person you needed as a child.”
So much of my personal path to self-actualization has been illuminated through connecting with my inner child. I’ve taken lots of time in recent years to reconnect with what I used to love, what kind of care I needed, and what my dreams were as a child.
I believe we are born as pure versions of ourselves, so deeply connected to our true essence, before the world changes our perceptions, beliefs, and values. In remembering who I was as my most unbridled self, I can reconnect with the magic of who I am.
In recognizing the kinds of support I feel my younger self needed, I can create a space that supports people who experience the world in a similar way to me.
Where to find Taylor
One last thing…
I am always on the lookout for guests who are in the health and wellness space or individuals who have an inspiring story to share about their mental health and well-being. If you would like to be considered as my next Q&A guest then please fill out this form to show your interest and I will be in touch shortly with the next steps.
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