WHAT'S REAL WITH ALIYA ALI
What’s your favourite color?
Mustard yellow and green.
What self-care habits do you intertwine into your daily routine?
Waking up early, cleaning my work space, wearing something I feel good in, putting perfume on during the day and before I go to sleep, drinking tea/hot chocolate (I really love this stuff)
What's your favourite book?
Harry Potter: The philosopher’s stone will always have a special place in my heart.
Who can you go to when you need to get something off your chest?
My little sister. Being one of 7 children, it was always easy to feel ignored and her being the closest to my age we always confided in each other. Having experienced so much of the same things in life, if there is anyone on planet Earth that knows me best, it would be her.
What’s your safe place?
Being alone in my room with a sketchbook and my music.
Have you ever dealt with anxiety? If so, how do you calm your mind?
I dealt with and still do to some extent deal with social anxiety. It started in my early teen years and it was suffocating at times because I couldn't complete basic day-to-day interactions that came so easily to other people for a million different reasons. Whenever I felt like I was starting to panic, I just had to keep reminding myself there’s nothing to worry about and I think a lot of that panic stemmed from scenarios I constructed in my head, but with all the wrong endings. It wasn't healthy, but I have come a long way in closing that chapter of my being. Now onto the next.
Have you ever gotten yourself out of a dark place? Or have you ever needed to help someone else out? If so, how?
I’m sure we have all encountered periods of time in our lives where we felt ourselves going down a dark spiral of sorts. Me alike, because I am human. Happy days everyday is an unrealistic expectation to hold yourself to and isn’t healthy in any light. What I have always held on to however, and what I continue to hold on to is that nothing is forever. Allow yourself to go through the emotions; we need to release tensions and emotions we harbour unknowingly, but it is also important we don’t allow it to become so engrossed in our beings that we start radiating that negative energy onto others. Dwelling on things for prolonged periods of time eventually start to drain any sweetness life may present to us. Occasionally things have to get ugly before they can get better. So whenever you feel you are at your lowest point, remind yourself it is only up from here, it will get better if you just keep moving forward.
Do you think social media affects your mental health or has any other negative impacts on you? If so, how do you best deal with it?
I think with its many highs, social media has most definitely contributed to its fair share of lows for me, but this is a given no matter who you are. It's easy to take everything for face value and forget many online exhibit a standard of life that is simply unattainable and near impossible to maintain (even for them). Whether we care enough to admit it or not, feeding off validation from people who have never seen us in the flesh is almost second nature. For me, knowing when to take a step back and engage in real dialogue, real activities, have real experiences free from the shackles of instagram, twitter and the rest of it is grounding and necessary. But as draining a place as it can be, there is love and support to find on there too. Surrounding yourself with people that uplift and empower you online just as you would in real life, is equally as important.
What’s your biggest fear?
Growing old knowing I didn’t live life to the fullest.
What’s the biggest change you can identify within yourself in the past year?
I feel I'm a lot more capable of keeping an open mind and confronting my feelings. If I'm upset, conversing with myself and asking the necessary questions like why did this hurt me? How can I overcome it? What can I take from this? Just taking the time to have these reflections for me personally, allows me to not only keep my feelings at bay, but lets me move on with my life. It means I’m not spending too much time being upset over things that will come to pass. Life continues.
What’s one of the hardest things you’ve had to go through in life? How did you get through it?
I am thankful that as of right now, I haven't experienced anything too major in my life but being someone of faith, I am a firm believer that everything is written, things happen when and where they’re meant to and the way they’re meant to whether I can see the wisdom in it or not.
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
> Ask questions
> If you don't know, find out
If you could change one thing within society, what would that be?
Where to even start. If I could rid this world of anything in particular it would be hate. The role hate has played historically and continues to play in the declining state of our society today is astronomical. Hate breeds all kinds of evil.