Two models share their secrets to holistic health
Have you ever felt like you had so much to do in a day and that tiny 24-hour time window Mother Nature gave you to take care of it all just simply is not enough? Or maybe you have felt like you had so many thoughts running through your mind that a three second clip of what is going on in your head could fill an entire volume of the Encyclopedia of Britannica? I know I have certainly felt this way. This day in age, with new and confusing technology rolling out every month, a rough economy and an employment market that is more demanding than ever before, it can certainly be hard to maintain balance in one’s life. There is work, school, bills, family, healthcare, errands, politics, news, media and the list goes on. In yet, somehow in the 24-hour window, we are expected to find the time to maintain a healthy social life and still have an hour left over in our week to catch that new episode of Scandal? How can one take care of the ever-growing obligations and demands in their life while maintaining a healthy balance of mind, body and soul?
These two young models seem to have most of that figured out. With their busy schedule of work, school, casting calls and life on completely opposite sides of the country, both of these glamorous women are here to give us some of their own personal tips of maintaining holistic health in a society that has trained us to look everywhere around us as long as we are not looking inside of ourselves.
“Instead of thinking about myself all the time, I try to focus my attention on what I can do to help other people’s needs and not just myself. With modeling, it can be really easy to be absorbed in yourself and only look at the physical things.” – Emoni Baraka
For Emoni Baraka, fashion model at Click Model Management in New York City, a healthy state of mind involves balancing the things she has to do throughout the day while keeping a strong connection with her friends and family. “At the same time, it’s not just about making sure your needs are taking care of, but taking the time to make sure that you can take care of others too,” she says.
She keeps her head clear and emotional state steady by monitoring what information she is feeding her mind. “I try to cut back from social media as much as I can,” Emoni says. “That can be a huge way to procrastinate with things like Instagram and Facebook. I try not to get too absorbed in that and stay away from drama. I focus on things that are most important to me.”
Finding ways to be of service to her community is very important to Emoni. She joins her church on Sundays to help with Hurricane Sandy relief in the Rockaways and makes extra efforts to stay connected with people in her community. “Instead of thinking about myself all the time, I try to focus my attention on what I can do to help other people’s needs and not just myself,” she explains. “With modeling, it can be really easy to be absorbed in yourself and only look at the physical things.”
“Living in today’s culture—it’s so much pressure to look a certain way to gain acceptance from people. I don’t take it to the point where I am trying to please others all the time. I just try to be the best version of myself that I can.” – Emoni Baraka
“A healthy body is one that can function and perform in the ways it’s supposed to,” Emoni says. To stay healthy, Emoni eats healthy. “I try to eat all organic foods and not things that are really processed.”
Emoni also stays active to keep her up the functionality of her body. Walking around in New York can be a great way of exercise, she says. She also takes dance classes and zumba from time to time at New York Health and Racquet Club.
In her line of work, beauty is essential. “I’m really big on skincare,” she says. “One thing I do for that is a honey facial. Putting raw, organic honey on my face for thirty minutes will close the pores and give my face a soft glow. That’s one of my own beauty secrets.”
Not so surprisingly, Emoni has faced challenges in her life when it comes to other people’s perception of her beauty, as most women do. “That is true for every woman here,” she explains. “Living in today’s culture—it’s so much pressure to look a certain way to gain acceptance from people. I don’t take it to the point where I am trying to please others all the time. I just try to be the best version of myself that I can.”
“Without it [soul] you would just feel crushed and conceived by the generics everyone puts on you. You wouldn’t really have your own identity without it.” – Emoni Baraka
Emoni believes soul is her innermost being. “Kind of the foundation of who you are. It’s unique to every person. It’s where your emotions and intuition come from.”
She feels a person with a healthy soul is happy, carefree and does not take everything in life too seriously all of the time. She spends a lot of time with her family and friends while keeping her relationship with God strong, learning about herself through him. “It helps energize me and makes me feel good about myself. It makes me believe that I have something to contribute to the world.”
A healthy soul is essential to her. “Without it you would just feel crushed and conceived by the generics everyone puts on you. You wouldn’t really have your own identity without it.”
Emoni is currently working in fashion retail on Fifth Avenue and plans on pursuing a dual degree in Fine Arts & Literary Studies at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts.
“Organize yourself. Prioritize things in your life. The world will always throw a bunch of things your way. When you organize things in your life and prepare for them ahead of time, you will be better prepared for what is to come.” – Caitlin Green-Healy
For Caitlin Green-Healy, commercial fashion model at Option Model Management in Portland, Oregon, mind is “your conscious ability to process information in the world around you. Like the human machine operator.”
She believes a healthy mind comes from awareness of itself and the impact a person has in their environment. “Be okay with the things you can and cannot control,” Caitlin says. “Handle the environment in a way that is adaptive versus maladaptive.”
Maintaining a healthy mind is a constant process for her as she reflects on her past years of going to work and school full time while balancing her life with family and friends. “Organize yourself. Prioritize things in your life. The world will always throw a bunch of things your way. When you organize things in your life and prepare for them ahead of time, you will be better prepared for what is to come.”
She believes this also works with people. Caitlin’s father told her that people are a reason, a season and a lifetime. “Some people are there to teach you a lesson, to be a part of your life for a time or to be your friend for a lifetime.” For her, knowing the difference between these people is essential.
“Be okay with when you make mistakes and being able to just pick it up,” she adds. “Don’t sulk. Just cry it out, take a nice bath with a glass of wine and figure out your next steps. Don’t ruminate over it.”
The most important part of keeping her mind in a healthy state is to make time for her own personal care every day. “Just twenty minutes after work or a stressful day to be by yourself. Have music, just sitting and writing. Not so much media. Something to distract you from what was going on before. That is a must. That way you can remind yourself what’s actually important. Put your problems in perspective instead of sitting in them.”
Like everyone else, Caitlin has definitely had her views in life challenged by others. She may not always agree with someone else, so she believes that it is important to pick and choose her battles. If she ever does persuade someone to see things from her point of view, she knows not to take all the credit for it. “My dad told me people think they have way more influence over others than they actually do.”
“[Body is] your portrait. It’s your casing, your skin. What you have to deal with. It’s your home. We have to be careful in protecting it and making choices that benefit it.” – Caitlin Green-Healy
Caitlin believes body is “your portrait. It’s your casing, your skin. What you have to deal with. It’s your home. We have to be careful in protecting it and making choices that benefit it.”
Feeling comfortable in her own skin is important for her. While she thinks that what makes a healthy body is subjective, she definitely believes that it is important to be able to look in the mirror and believe that one is healthy and has made healthy choices in their life.
“I try to watch what I eat—not now because it’s the holidays,” she says. “Eating lots of fruit and vegetables is good. What goes in is what is going to come out. I don’t mean like poop, but like hair and nails.”
One of her beauty secrets is moisturizing her skin with baby oil or lotion once out of the shower to keep her skin looking healthy and youthful. She also gets facials twice a month. “If you can’t afford it, using fruits and veggies is good too.”
She has found that cutting back on salt makes her look less bloated. She losses around two pounds in water weight by cutting salt completely out of her diet, leaving her face looking more defined for her photo shoots and her skin looking clean.
She is also careful with what beauty products she uses and stick to one that never fails. “Water is your friend. Things that are advertised as ‘healthy’ can just be products that people want you to buy that are more for the benefit of them than it is of you.”
“A happy soul is one that can face the choices of your day and be sure they meet the checklist of your values. Did I lie? Did I hurt anyone? Was I taking a step towards a better me? These are good questions to start with.” – Caitlin Green-Healy
“If ones’ soul isn’t aligned with their choices, true peace and happiness is much harder to gain,” Caitlin says. She believes the soul is a self-fulfilling element of our being. The part where we need to believe our presence has a positive impact and our actions are truthful and right.
Working in fashion retail through her college career, she reflects on the decisions she has made with her employment. “The reason I recently chose to change my course in life was after I listened to my gut, which told me I didn’t value my job and needed to do something less straining,” she says. “I know my real career must involve helping people in some aspect, not just selling them material goods.”
She knows that when she feels upset or makes careless choices, she needs to be proactive in correcting the imbalance her actions have caused in her soul. “A happy soul is one that can face the choices of your day and be sure they meet the checklist of your values. Did I lie? Did I hurt anyone? Was I taking a step towards a better me? These are good questions to start with.”
To better understand what areas of her life need work to better the state of her soul, she examines each one of them individually. “I always make a list when I get anxious of the parts of my life I am working on—school, work, modeling, family, my relationships, my creative projects and learning. If too many of these categories are lacking strength or growth, then it is time for me to prioritize because whatever I have been doing with my time is not part of my values.”
Caitlin is wrapping up her last year of school at Portland State University, where she will graduate with a bachelor’s in psychology with an emphasis on industrial and organizational psychology. She is planning on moving to Europe after her graduation to study French and get field experience before she pursues a master’s degree in 2015.