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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.
Netflix star (13 Reasons Why) may be young, at just 24, but she’s already a natural at leveraging her platform for good. In 2017, she teamed up with then-Vice President Joe Biden to clear up the murky topics of drunk sex and consent, telling survivors, "you are never, ever, ever alone." These days, she’s partnering with and to share tips for being a better ally online, a cause near to the actor’s heart. (For every CO. by Colgate product purchased in 2021, $1 will be donated to The Cybersmile Foundation, a nonprofit committed to tackling abuse and bullying in the digital space.)
Ahead, the Norwegian-born Boe, (who’s of Somali and Norwegian descent and whose real name is Alisha Ilhaan Bø), speaks to Yahoo Life about journaling, yoga and channeling positivity.
Being a Gen Z, I can divide my life up by what social media platform was most popular at that time. Unfortunately, growing up, that made it easy to be cyberbullied and I’ve had to navigate that world. There's a fine line between finding positivity through these social media platforms and also protecting yourself and the people you care about. The way I approach that is making sure that I am creating positivity through my social media platforms — and I stand up for people if I see any negativity on those platforms.
What’s your day-to-day approach to mental health?
It’s a lifelong journey. I remind myself to write down positive affirmations and to care for others — which is a huge practice for me. When I take care of the people I love, I feel loved back... [I also] reach out to my support system when I'm feeling down.
Do you have any self-care rituals to help you reset?
I love to start and end my day with journaling — just getting all my thoughts out on paper makes my day feel more organized and streamlined. I love doing yoga and going for walks in nature, with friends or in solitude. Oh, and reading!
What kind of books do you read? What are you into lately?
I love reading novels; I’m somewhat of an escapist. I’ve been reading the latest Sally Rooney book. I loooooove Sally Rooney and all of her stories! She captures the millennial and Gen Z generations really well.
What things stresses you out?
What brings you joy?
Where do you turn for wellness inspiration?
I got inspired through yoga teachers during quarantine. I got into practicing yoga. The classes stress peace of mind, wellness and meditation through movement — and make me really aware of how to take care of my well-being in a holistic way.
Yoga is great for simply remembering how to breathe!
Which is SO hard, by the way! When you actually sit down and take a second to do breathing exercises, it affects your whole body. I’ve found it so amazing but difficult, too. It’s the best tool for anxiety or panic attacks… you can do breathing exercises from anywhere and it really grounds you.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Always trust your gut and never question who you are — because who you are is the most beautiful and unique thing. When you fall back on that statement, you don't worry so much about the outside noise.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
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