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.
Tayshia Adams is becoming quite the self-care queen. Between a lengthy skincare routine, consistent workouts and her sine qua non therapy sessions, Adams leaves no stone unturned when it comes to her wellness journey.
"People might not think it is a big deal, but it's loving yourself and taking care of you that allows you to be the best version of yourself — to be the best person to everybody else that's outside [in] the world," Adams, who just turned 32, tells Yahoo Life.
The former Bachelorette has been doing the work to cultivate habits conducive to mental prosperity, but it wasn't until she saw herself on TV that she realized just how much work she had ahead of her.
"I definitely didn't know what I was exactly experiencing," she says, admitting that she initially brushed off what she would later find out to be anxiety coming out as quirks.
"I couldn't even watch myself on TV. I thought it was like kind of funny that I would just kind of run out of the room, like, 'Oh, my God, embarrassing,'" she recalls. " I didn't really have the right verbiage to kind of relate that it was something like anxiety, or that my mental health was kind of on a brink of, 'I need to … assess this and work through it and talk to someone and go to therapy,' honestly," she says.
It wasn't until just before she became the Bachelorette in 2020 that she learned how to articulate the complex emotions that were consuming her. But through prioritizing quality communication and therapy, Adams says she was able to dissect the sources of her anxiety head-on.
"I always love the idea of therapy and I've always thought it's a very healthy thing to do," she says, noting a measurable shift in societal attitudes surrounding the idea of seeking help for one's mental health.
"I think there was also a kind of a stigma with therapy, you know? A few years back, it was … like 'oh, there's something kind of wrong with you,' as opposed to 'oh, it's just like, my daily maintenance of taking care of who I am,' and it doesn't have to be that something's actually wrong," she says.
Adams did have some initial hesitations about opening herself up to a stranger — not to say what's bothering her, but to identify "why does it bother me — and actually living in that emotion with someone, and working through that," she says, which "has been something that I really needed to learn to do."
Like with many wellness practices, therapy takes time to produce tangible results — something that initially left Adams frustrated and ready to call it quits early.
"It definitely takes time, and I think people think that when you go to therapy, it's like, 'Ok, great. I should be feeling better. I should have more clarity. Maybe It should be going way better than it was before, within a week or two or even a month,' It does not work that way. In fact, I've even gotten really frustrated with my therapist like, 'OK, I'm spinning my wheels here, I've been extremely vulnerable with you, I feel like I'm really working through these things, and nothing is changing,'" she says.
But through her persistence, she began to notice incremental shifts in her everyday behaviors, which she attributes to consistent therapy sessions.
"It's funny because it's taken maybe like about four and a half months, until one day it clicked for me, I was like, hold on a second, I am actually making these little changes, I reacted to something very differently than what I would have done … six months ago," she says.
Now therapy is an absolute non-negotiable for Adams.
"I make it a huge priority. I do not veer away from it. Even if I'm traveling, even if I am extremely busy or I have another event, that will be the first person I contact if it needs to be moved, because that's my number one priority," she says.
Apart from therapy, Adams says her workout and exuberant skincare rituals are crucial to her mental maintenance routine.
"I really prioritize my workouts, I really prioritize having a routine at night — like my skincare, doing yoga at night," she says.
"It's not like you have to go spend hundreds of dollars in order to feel good about yourself," she says. "The fact that you can go find a moisturizer or serum that's extremely affordable, within, like, the $20 to $30 range, and it makes you feel good and you visibly see a difference the next day, is something that I really loved."
For this next phase of life, Adams is focused on purposeful reflection and prioritizing herself.
"I love myself and those are the little things I really started to pay attention to because I was wondering, 'Why do I feel so scrambled?' 'Why do I feel so depleted?' 'Why do I feel so tired?' 'Why do I feel like I don't want to give the time and dedication to somebody else?'" she shares. "It's because I'm not taking care of things, and it's a huge priority for me to do what I need to do."
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