The Unwind is Yahoo Life’s well-being series in which experts, influencers and celebrities share their approaches to wellness and mental health, from self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries to the mantras that keep them afloat.
Ayesha Curry may stay busy writing cookbooks and hosting cooking shows, but the 32-year-old wife of NBA player Steph Curry is also mom to three kids who range in age from 3 to 9. Yahoo Life recently caught up with Curry at Walt Disney World, where she and her family visited for the resort's 50th anniversary.
"The cortisol levels are going down and the happiness is up," Curry said of her Disney visit. "You cannot set foot through the threshold of this place and not feel happy. It's pretty incredible."
Curious about what Curry does to stay happy when she's not visiting the most magical place on earth, we asked her about the routines and rituals she puts in place at home to keep her mental health game strong.
Curry tells Yahoo Life she's an empath, and while it's not always easy to make like Elsa and "let it go," she's found mantras and practices, which she shares here, that have helped her lighten her load.
Do you have any self-care or mental health rituals you use to brighten your day?
I do. I think it's so important that we're talking about this right now — mental health in general and rituals — because it's something I didn't figure out for myself for so long. I didn't grow up that way. I didn't know it was necessary to take time for yourself until after having kids, so I've been backtracking trying to understand that aspect and it is life-changing.
For me, I try to prioritize waking up before the kids so then I have that hour for myself in the morning to meditate or do some yoga. Even a workout is a form of meditation for me, so I try to just have an hour by myself before the chaos of the morning and that, for me, is a game-changer.
And then my nighttime ritual is very important to me. Something as simple as washing my face and putting my skincare products on... the ritual of knowing I have that constant at night is important to me.
Do you think it's harder when you're in the public eye to deal with stress or your mental health?
I don't feel like it's any different because we're all human. Like everyone else, do I have really bad days? Yes. But I also have really great days. So I try to find the silver linings.
You have a large social media following, but are there any accounts you follow for inspiration or a mental health boost?
Jessica Alba is someone I've always followed. I started out loving her as an actress and then she became a mom. Then I became a mom and I thought, "You know what? She is just killing the game." Also, just as a businesswoman, I've always looked to her. We've become friends over the years, so that's been pretty cool as well.
And then, my sister-in-law [Sydel Curry Lee]. She graduated with a major in psychology and she decided to use the platform she has to advocate for mental health. I think seeing her bravery from that perspective —how she's willing to just talk about all of the things — has been really inspiring.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
I would say, "Don't sweat the small stuff."
I'm an empath by nature and I carry the day with me. I don't even just carry the day: I carry the week. I carry the month. And when you start to unravel all of that, you notice a lot of things are there dragging you down.
So when you try not to sweat those little things, you just realize, "Hey, we're OK. My kids are fed. Everybody's healthy. We're good. We're stress-free." And that helps.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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