Name: Gloria Rebello
City: Toronto, ON
Fav thing about your city: Kensington Market! It's this little area tucked in Toronto with the cutest stores, street art, etc. Perfect place to just hang out with friends and take Instagram-worthy pictures.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself! I have a tattoo of a lotus flower on the inside of my left ankle. To me, it's a reminder that everything will be okay in the end.
What is your connection to mental illness?
My mental illness is something I'm still trying to work through. It was something that kind of slowly crept up on me out of no where. I was never one to really talk about what was bothering me, I felt as if I was being a burden to others. I kept everything built up inside till I couldn't hold it in anymore. I would explode and the process would start all over again. I hit a low when my grandmother got sick. She was started to lose her memory and things just weren't the same anymore. I started to get depressed but I kept a mask on to make sure no one noticed. It got to the point where I even went to some dark places.
Fast forward a few months later and I ended up telling a friend what was going on. I started seeing a therapist who has helped me work through my issues. I am slowly learning that talking about what's bothering you is really important. You should never bottle things up because they have such negative consequences. Even though I still have days where I am down, I try to tell myself that in the end, everything will be ok.
What does your everyday look like?
I kind of have 2 everydays, school and sleep-in. On school days I usually wake up around 7 a.m., take the train and go to class. My schedule isn't too busy. After class, I usually try to fit in a little gym time. It makes me feel energized and after a gym session, I feel so much better....till I have to walk up this massive set of steep stairs outside, not very fun. Then I do some work in the library and head home. On sleep-in days, I usually wake up around 9 a.m. (I'm a morning person), and listen to music while I go about my morning routine. I usually go to work on these days or I try to go out and have adventures, I love travelling around Toronto. On both days, I wrap everything up by writing in my journal. Whatever comes to mind I jot down and then I go to sleep. Listening to music is about 75% of my day, it just helps me be chill, kind of like my coping mechanism.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to keep fighting because even though things are hard right now, it will get a little better. What I was going through in the past has only made me stronger as a person and it has made me more thankful for everything in my life. I would also make sure to tell myself to talk about what's bothering me and to not keep things bottled up. It's okay to let others know how you're feelings, especially those who genuinely care about you. You are allowed to feel any way you want, you are NOT a burden and it's okay to cry sometimes. Just remember to love yourself.
Who is a Role Model to you?
My biggest role model is my grandma. She is the strongest, most courageous person I know. Ever since I was born she has been taking care of me. She stayed with me and raised me when it wasn't even her obligation. Even with her old age, she managed to do everything from grocery shopping in freezing weather to cooking delicious home meals. She gave me everything I could ever ask for, love and happiness. She is my rock and without her I don't think I would be the amazing person she raised me to be. I aspire to be like her one day.
How do you spend your Self-Care Sunday?
My favourite way to spend my Self-Care Sunday is just to sit back and relax. Cuddle up to a good moving eat some white cheddar popcorn. Jamming out to my favourite music would be ideal too. And I can't forget writing in my journal, wouldn't be a Self-Care Sunday without jotting down a few things.