Healthy Habits - Ifetayo White

Healthy Habit: Self-Care

HH Ifetayo0323March 2023
Photography (top) by Cassidy Dunn Photography

Ifetayo White
Healthy Habit: Self-Care

Career: Reiki Teacher, Wellness Coach

You are a powerhouse at self-care.
Tell us the importance of self-care and when you realized it was important to you.

I realized in my 30s when I was diagnosed with asthma; I wanted to learn what was necessary to not suffer from this condition and be on a nebulizer for the rest of my life. This started my journey of study and practice, which eventually eliminated asthma from my life, as well as cigarette addiction, clinical depression, and anxiety. I am 78 years old now, take no meds, and have supported people to “be well” for the past 33 years.

What elements are most important to you in your self-care journey?
What do each of them bring to your quality of life?

The elements most important to me in my self-care journey are to live with an open heart, a clear mind, and a healthy body. An open heart is my source of joy and peace. I am approachable to all people without fear, even if we are not totally in agreement. My open heart also allows me to be grateful for everything. My clear mind helps me make decisions that are healthy for me. My body is able to get around freely and is not limited by constrictive conditions.

Mindfulness is a buzz word these days. How do you describe the practice of mindfulness? How do you include mindfulness in your daily/weekly routine?
For me mindfulness is being still enough internally to be present and aware. I have daily practices of meditation and deep breathing to help me stay mindful.

Most women may never get to the level of self-care and introspect you have incorporated into your life, as you are THE master. What are some “baby” steps women can take to just get started and not feel overwhelmed?
Since my life is about supporting others, it is important for me to be a demonstration of wellness and good self-care. Women can begin good self-care by having some time of mental and physical stillness, and engaging in some enjoyable movement daily, i.e., walking, dancing, water aerobics.

Ifetayo, you are Mother Earth, Peace on Earth. Help us women who feel like we are drowning in stress, sadness, confusion, depression, overwhelm, anger. Give us a nugget of your wisdom:
"What I do or don't do today will determine my health in the future.”

Do you believe dedicating time to self-care has a direct correlation to happiness?
There is no happiness without self-care of body, mind, and feelings.

We all have disappointments, fears, doubts, how do you combat negative thoughts?
Combatting negative thoughts is a daily commitment of being mindful of my thoughts and feelings, not holding onto them with whatever it takes, and being willing
to forgive.

In the midst of the most difficult times most of us have experienced in our lives,
can you give us three tips to find peace?

We must be committed to finding peace in our daily lives so that it comes more readily when we are challenged with difficulties. I would suggest daily praying for a peaceful and compassionate heart, meditating to still the mind, and refraining from negative company.

Can you tell us about a few “Aha” moments that
have come through your self-care rituals?

One of the biggest "aha" moments for me, which came through my self-care rituals, is that I, alone, have power over my thoughts and feelings, and I am not a victim to them.

Why are healthy habits important to you?
I will be able to continue to enjoy my life as fully and joyfully as possible as I age.