WHAT'S REAL WITH NIKKI CORTEZ
by Aidan Encarnacao·
What's your favorite color?
My favorite color at the moment is brown. Brown is so classic, rich, timeless, very deep and often overlooked, but so beautiful. I love brown.
What's your favorite go to recipe?
Honestly, I am no cook. Although, over quarantine I really got into making myself breakfast. So in this case- waffles, with strawberries & bananas on top w/ a nice lil matcha on the side. I really don't think you can ever go wrong with breakfast at any-time of the day.
What self-care habits do you intertwine into your daily routine?
So many that I do habitually. Making sure I get enough sleep, deep breathing/meditation, bubble baths, and reading.
What's your favorite book and what book had the largest impact on you?
All About Love Bell Hooks, wowowow.....life changer. The perspective & understanding it provides for its readers is unmatched. A must read.
Who can you talk to when you need to get something off your chest?
My younger brother Daniel, my absolute best friend.
Where's your safe place?
Myself, my room, my home. The places where I feel most centred, where I can level out & understand myself the most.
Have you ever dealt with anxiety? if so, what triggers it & how do you calm your mind?
Yes, absolutely. A couple of years ago my anxiety was at the point where it really took a toll on me & affected every aspect of my life. At the time it felt like I was actually drowning. It was in fact that moment that pushed me to dig deep within myself for air, strength & understanding of who I was. I calm my mind by journaling. That truly changed my life. Instead of venting to others around me, or looking to them for help, I think it's important to look within myself & trust myself. Journaling encourages me to do just that.
Have you or someone you love ever been in a dark place? if so what steps were taken to get out?
Yes, I have been in a dark place as-well as someone I loved. For me it was finding love, happiness, & peace in nature. Nature inspires me. Nature changes perspective for me, and helps me see just how beautiful life really is. It's not materialistic. It's constant, growing & changing everyday. It's out of our human control, and it just IS. As for a loved one being in a dark place, I think it's important to provide an open space of safety for a loved one that is in a dark place. No judgement, just love.
Do you think social media affects your mental health or has any negative impacts on you? if so, how do you best deal with it?
Not anymore, but it definitely used to. I've learned that instead of allowing social media to control me, I can actually have full control over social media. I use social media for work purposes. For example: researching, educating myself, sharing my life & interests, as-well as inspiration. It pushes my creative mind, and provides a way to connect with others. Social media is actually a beautiful tool.
What's the biggest change you can identify within yourself in the past year?
The biggest change I can identify is that I have been intentional with slowing down, pacing myself, and being patient with life's course. This has been so necessary & vital to my growth.
What changes do you want to see within yourself in the coming year?
I would love to see myself gain more confidence & learn to trust others more. There are so many ideas I have that I bottle up, & so many things I do not say out of feeling unsafe, but i'd love to see myself show up more for myself without worrying about others opinions.
What's one of the hardest things you've had to go through in life? how did you get through it?
There are 2 specific moments in life that were the hardest moments in my life. Sometimes peak their way back into my life, but I get through those moments by surrounding myself with nature, music, journaling, and with the love of those around me.
What advice would you give to your 16- year-old self?
As long as you follow your heart, stay centred, stay true to who you are, remember where you came from, and work hard - everything will workout. Nothing is unattainable. Trust the process.
What's the most valuable lesson you've learnt?
Everything in life starts with your mindset first, and your actions second.
If you could change one thing within society, what would that be?
If I could change one thing it would be racial injustice. Everyone is human, no one is better than anyone else. Black lives matter <3