Name: Christina Paul
City: Guelph, Ontario
Fav thing about your city: The many parks we have (all unique and charming), definitely the University of Guelph library during the school year, and Johnson Green on campus during the warmer months.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself! I never tagged myself as a writer, but I definitely spill from the heart and have an over-active mind when it comes to writing my “big thoughts” down. My blog is srslychris.com if you’re interested in checking it out, I appreciate feedback since I just started it!
Why is ending the stigma important to you?
Dealing with mental health problems is so common, that it could be anyone. The trouble is, nobody wants to talk about it, which makes it even worse. I personally struggle with depression and an anxiety disorder, and as a child and teenager, I was terrified of talking to anyone about it. I tried to talk to people about the issues I had, and EVEN FROM PROFESSIONALS, would get the response “you’re just an average teenager, you all go through similar struggles”. Now that I am a young adult I’m finding that these people are just having a hard time with the truths that surround us. There are children struggling with eating disorders and middle aged people committing suicide, and why is it not okay to talk about why this is happening? Stigma is shame, and nobody should feel ashamed about an illness that takes over their life. I guess to answer your question, ending the stigma is important to me because every human being is important to this world, and they should never feel any different.
What does your every day look like?
I’m always up between 6:30-8:30am for work. I am a nanny, so every morning during the week I take care of little ones. Most days I get afternoons off (sometimes I will head back to work in the evenings depending on the family’s needs). Since I’m free during afternoons, I’ll usually try to coordinate an “adventure” with my friends or boyfriend. If nobody is free, I’ll usually make myself an amazing lunch and then work on little projects I make up for myself. When I get home in the evening, I like to be in bed at a decent hour and watch Youtubers (I follow a lot of daily vlog channels), and then have my lights out by 11:30pm-ish.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
That’s a tough one. I’m a pretty stubborn person, and I know that my younger self didn’t listen to a lot of advice I was given in the past. I think I’d give myself the advice to listen with my heart, not my ears. On the other hand, if I were to give a piece of hard advice, I would tell my younger self to practice saying “no” in the mirror. There will be times in your life where you will have to say no to people, and it won’t be easy. You need to set boundaries for others and take care of yourself before you take care of others. And you know what? Everything is going to be alright. You’re going to lose people, get your heart shattered, feel isolated, and totally depressed. Nothing is ever permanent, so next time you’re wrapped up in thoughts of how awful everything is – envision the way you want things to be in its place. Eventually, the tide will turn and life will be more wonderful than you ever thought possible.
Who is a Role Model to you?
I spent about 30 minutes trying to decide out of the countless inspirational people in my life, who my biggest role model is. My first ever role model was my Grammy. She had eleven children, and raised each of them to be strong and independent beings, all of which I look up to in different ways (I love my aunties and uncles so much – on both sides of my family!). My Grammy had a heart of gold, and always had the wisest words to share, and truly taught her family to be gentle with themselves and to love themselves and their family more than anything materialistic in life. I’ve also always looked up to my cousin Ashley (@amftherapytoronto on Instagram). She’s always had such an amazing work ethic, she’s caring to those in her life, but most importantly she taught me about how self-care is extremely important. She makes me love myself for the way I am, and she’s a great example for never hiding my true colours and taking care of myself and those close to me. Currently, I look up to everyone who is in the WYL family. They’ve all endured a hard journey that is unique and inspiring, and I feel so blessed to have such illusory people in my life. I definitely also need to give a shout out to Kayley (CEO of WYL), because she created such a beautiful clothing line out of a place of pain. She took something incredibly hard in her life and made a mountain out of an ant hill. This takes a lot of courage because she not only has shared her story on various platforms and media, but she’s inspired people like me to be an awesome girl-boss in the future and to not be afraid what’s to come! (Sorry this part is so long, I like these people a lot and they deserve the shout-outs)
How do you spend your Self-Care Sunday?
I spend my Self-Care Sunday’s taking care of whatever needs I haven’t fulfilled the previous week. Sometimes I’ll workout, sometimes I’ll binge-watch Netflix, sometimes I go out to the beach or do something outdoorsy…but in the end, I pay attention to what I need. I listen to what my body is telling me. If I’m anxious, I have a low-key day. If I’m feeling spontaneous, I plan an adventure. I make sure to always end the night with a good meal and run my oil diffuser.