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GRL Talk: Minaa B

Minaa B is a breath of fresh air on social media, injecting love and support with everything she posts. Her work focuses on mental health advocacy, and redefines self-care in an accessible way. Basically, if you need some lightness and wisdom in your life, hit the follow button and read the below.

Hi Minaa. For those who may not know your work, tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I’m a writer, author and licensed social worker. In 2016 I self-published a collection of essays and poems on healing from depression and trauma titled Rivers Are Coming, and currently I’m writing my first novel. I’m based in NYC and I’m a huge advocate for mental health and self-care.

You’re a writer and psychotherapist, how do those worlds intersect? 

Writing played a huge role in my personal life. I struggled with depression from childhood to adulthood. So when I became a therapist it was important to me infuse the two and use writing as a pathway to healing so that people would know that there are creative ways to heal and sometimes all we have to do is look within and dig for the words then put them on paper.h

You write about self-care and wellness a lot, what do those words mean to you? 

Self-care and wellness are about treating the body as a whole unit. It’s about focusing on the five dimensions of your human form which is physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and social. This is important because often people treat wellness and self-care as if they are two separate entities and don’t affect each other. I believe both are equal, and it’s important to understand how not utilizing practices to take care of the five dimensions of our wellbeing can harm us.

Therapy is something that still holds a lot of stigma in the UK, compared to the USA. What advice would you give people interested in therapy but don’t know where to start? 

I think the first step is to be accepting of who you are and your struggles. Often in the mental health community, it is difficult to seek help because there are so many opinions around treatment that are often negative and it makes people feel like they shouldn’t engage in it. The first step is being grounded in your truth and knowing that you don’t have to explain your healing process to anyone. Once you are grounded, research support groups and websites that offer directories of therapists in your area. Always know that therapy is confidential between you and your therapist, but it can also apply to friend and family. No one needs to know that you are seeing a therapist if you feel it is not their business. We don’t owe people explanations around how we choose to care for ourselves. Always know that.

Your work is extremely vulnerable and open, do you ever struggle with sharing so much of yourself online? How do you maintain boundaries between your work and personal life?

I’m very mindful regarding having boundaries. Most of my online work is centred around mental health and self-care advocacy. There is still, however, a huge portion of my life that the digital world does not have access to such as my relationships (platonic or not), friends, family and other things that I feel has no space online nor needs to be shared. I always ask myself “if I put this out there, how comfortable will I be with others having access to it?”, because once you put something online you can not take it back. If I ever feel uneasy, or it feels questionable, then that usually means I shouldn’t share it.

Which womxn inspire you on the daily and why? 

Michelle Obama will always be my first lady. I love how she lives in her truth and she is such an incredible role model to black women. It’s beautiful to see someone in the media that looks like me, understands my everyday struggles, and had to work hard to get to where she is now. Michelle is a living legacy and I hope that one day I will be able to tell my future children about her.

What does 2019 hold for Minaa? Anything exciting in the pipeline you can share with us?

This year I am downsizing a lot of my projects so that I can focus on writing and editing my first novel. I am writing women’s fiction (romance) and I am currently seeking representation for my work. So hopefully I will be able to announce very soon when the new book will be released!

Now, finally, for the question we ask everyone. What would you go back and tell 16-year-old you? 

I would go back and hug her and tell her that she matters, she is worthy just as she is and that she is enough. She doesn’t have to subscribe to the ideas and expectations that others are projecting on her, all she has to do is be herself because she is worthy on her own.

Follow Minaa HERE.

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