"I’ve faced adversity before & I have found my happiness through that." Fireside with Jasmin
Hi Everybody! My name is Jasmin Reyes-Corona. I am an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC) who has an immense love for the outdoors. I was raised in Santa Maria, CA. by two beautifully humble and hardworking Mexican immigrant parents. I currently reside in Ventura County of CA. I love discussing mental health wellness, whole hearted well-being, gratitude, and perspectives. I love catching sunsets, hiking (naturing in general), adventuring and getting lost!
Q.) What are your positive outlets and how did you discover them?
My positive outlets include: naturing and talking to someone. I truly find bliss in practicing solidarity out in nature. There’s something truly abundant and powerful in spending time with one self and taking the time to breathe, really breathe, practice gratitude for the self and the world, and be present in nature. Practicing gratitude while naturing can look differently to many people so if you’re trying this out for the first time, be patient with yourself. Personally, I take the time to sit in nature, I practice my breathing techniques while closing my eyes and I express gratitude through stating it out loud or in my head, for example i’ll say to myself: I am grateful for my body, I am grateful for my sight (even if do wear glasses haha), I am grateful for this moment in time, I am grateful for the outdoors etc. Stating everything I’m grateful for and then opening my eyes to this amazing world we live in, provides me with a bountiful view on who I am in this world at this moment in time. Another outlet that is huge in my life is being able to talk to someone. Life isn’t fair sometimes. Life doesn’t feel great ALL the time, don’t get me wrong, I love my life, but some days are tough. Sometimes my mental wellness isn’t at its peak, sometimes i carry others’ feelings (as a therapist this could easily happen, shoot, as a caring person this happens easily!) and sometimes hormones happen! So when i’m at a low, talking to someone helps so much. It takes practice to find someone that will listen to you the way you want to be heard, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you need in conversations. I also have realized that some times depending on my needs, I seek different loved ones. Surrounding yourself with good energy and good people that bring out the best of you in different ways is important and a part of being balanced. Sometimes I need to laugh to feel better, sometimes I want advice, sometimes I need a different perspective, sometimes I just need to vent and need someone to nod away and say “I hear you” or “damn.that sucks”. I discovered both of these outlets through trial and error. I have always loved the outdoors but I wanted to make experiencing outdoors more meaningful, so sometimes that meant trying different mindfulness apps or breathing techniques until I found a good mash up for myself. I realized how important talking to someone was at a very young age. But even at 28 years old, I can still say I am working on communication styles and stating what I need with loved ones.
Q.) If you had to create a "self care box" for yourself, what would be 3 things you'd put in it?
If I had to create a a self care box, the three things I’d put in them are: spring water, nail polish and a phone. Spring water because my body needs nutrition. Water and food I believe truly have an impact on my mental health and well being. I choose what I put in my body, and everybody knows I love me some donuts, pizza, cupcakes and every mexican plate you could imagine being served on December 24th, BUT I love to balance it out with lots of water and meal prepping because at the end of the day I know that physical health correlates with mental health. Doing my nails became my go to feel good treat to myself during High School. Doing my nails every Sunday has become a bit ritualistic. Picture my nails being a metaphor for my life. If my nail polish is chipping and my nails are cracking, I rebalance it by taking off the polish, taking care of my nails, and redoing the polish. That’s life right? I also really like nail polish as a self care because it proves to many that self care doesn’t mean expensive. My nail polish costs $2 max! I mean I would love to travel every time I need a self care treat, but ya girl ain’t made of money haha. Third a phone, no. not to post on social media haha. A phone to be able to talk to someone, listen to music or take/look at pictures of loved ones. I know that on many levels social media and technology are frowned upon, but at the end of the day you choose what you do with your phone/technology. If you’re stuck on Instagram, Tik Tok, Netflix, Snapchat or whatever else is out there, for most of the day on your phone, then you are choosing to fill your self and knowledge with only that. Think about it, how are you using technology? and how is it affecting your mental health?
Q.) What is something that someone has said to you that has always stuck with you when overcoming hard times?
I remember when I was done with my Bachelors Degree at UCSB and I found myself in a job that I absolutely hated. I was so “done” with every day, you know that feeling of just “being” and nothing else? Not truly fulfilling a purpose or loving the mundane. You know? Well, during this time, I remember visiting my parents and my dad asked, “how are you doing?”. Instead of replying with “good” (which is such a go to answer for humans), I broke down in front of my dad. I mean full break down. Imagine the ugliest cry, that was me. I didn’t realize how much I disliked my life due to this job until someone asked this simple question and a big thing was that I chose to reply honestly.
Anyways. I remember this conversation a lot. Then, my dad asked me, “are you happy?, nothing is worth it, if it doesn’t fill you with happiness”, of course to my spanish speaking people who were raised by humble farmworking fathers, could probably imagine my dad saying this in spanish and me bawling even more because I felt like I had failed his american dream and above else, I felt like I had let myself down. With this raw moment of feeling feelings and connecting with my dad I realized so much about what happiness and unhappiness felt like and meant to me. I began to question and continuously evaluate and reevaluate what “happiness” is to me since this conversation and I make sure to do things that bring me happiness and joy. I go back to this simple question every time I face adversity and am dealing with difficult times because it allows me to be gentle with myself. It allows for me to remember that I’ve faced adversity before and I have found my happiness through that challenge. Adversity and challenges are just that, they are a moments in time, but growth, healing and joy will come from them. I remind myself that the meaning of happiness and joy change; it evolves as you evolve, therefore your habits and what makes you happy will change. I try to be as mindful as I can on a weekly basis to question what makes me happy and evaluate how I am nurturing myself to enjoy who I am, my life and my purpose. Next time you're feeling some negative feelings, imagine a loved one asking you, “are you happy?” and if you reply with a no. then begin to figure out what you are going to do about it. Side note, I quit my job the next day and applied to my Masters program that month. Biggest blessing ever. Shout out to those loving and compassionate humans that can feel your energy and vibe and ask the right questions at the right time. May we all become more of these compassionate human beings!
Q.) What advice would you give someone that is struggling?
My advice to someone that is struggling? Talk to someone. Therapists, myself included, can talk about coping skills for days, but at the end of the day, the one we use most and the most efficient one, is talking to someone. Your voice matters. You are worthy of love and joy. You are worthy of feeling bliss in the mundane. Be picky when finding someone to talk to. Find someone that will present and promote to you healthy boundaries and greet you with unconditional positive regard. If you want to find a therapist but think it’s too hard, it’s not. That’s an excuse you’ve made. Ask. You are worthy of trying to find this. Call a hotline, call your insurance provider, no insurance? google “sliding scale therapy”. Just. Start. Ask. Don’t Give up. Also, side note. I recommend doing a phone call trial run before signing up with a therapist. You get to choose who is the right fit for you, don’t like them? fire them, no hard feelings! Try again. If you feel like giving up. Don’t. You don’t want to give up, you just want the struggle and hurt to stop. Because if your best friend were to share these feelings with you, what would you say to her/him? You wouldn’t want them to give up right? So. Remember that you are worthy of being heard. You are here for a purpose, even if it doesn’t feel like it. You are worthy of love. You are amazing; and if you ever question this, just to remind you, once again, you are truly a force of energy that is beautifully purposed in this lifetime. With much love and compassion.