by Aidan Encarnacao


What’s your favourite color?
Purple (for Prince, always).

What’s your favourite ‘go-to’ recipe?
Chilli salmon, tenderstem broccoli and rice is something I know I will always enjoy.

What self-care habits do you intertwine into your daily routine?
Journaling, reading, lighting candles, walking and making sure to moisturise my face. It’s all about the little things that keep you going throughout the day. Looking up at the sky is also super grounding.

What's your favourite book, and what book had the most significant impact on you?
I loved reading American Psycho and anything Sally Rooney – Conversations with Friends is amazing. Three books have had a really significant impact on me: Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now – Maya Angelou, Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton and The Alchemist – Paulo Coehlo. When I think back to the time in my life when I finished each of these books, they all seem pretty significant and I feel like I read them at the exact right time I was meant to. I’m still very much needing to read The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle! I think that will have massive impact.

Who can you talk to when you need to get something off your chest?
My best friends are my gurus, I have been so blessed with having the greatest friends who are always, always, always there at my worst and at my best. My Angels on Earth.
Where’s your safe place?
My bedroom. Anywhere with my Mum and my brother.

Have you ever dealt with anxiety? If so, what triggers it, and how do you calm your mind?
I have and still do deal with anxiety. I’m generally a very up and down person, I feel like I can have extreme highs and lows. Sometimes I don’t even know what triggers it, the smallest of things. Catastrophising ideas in my head and not dealing with facts. Meditating and getting my thoughts down onto paper can calm my mind when I feel like I’m spiralling.

Have you or someone you love ever been in a dark place? If so, what were the steps taken to get out?
Haven’t we all? Life in itself is very overwhelming. Everyone experiences things in different ways and it’s so important to be patient with yourself and others. Figure out which concerns you can influence and control to take the small steps by doing these day by day.

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?
100%. We are subject to so much information day in, day out. 2020 has been specifically traumatic, with racial tensions and injustices across the world. I actually took a 3-month break from Instagram because I really felt the effects on my mental and it was completely exhausting. I think not taking social media too seriously, monitoring how long you are on it and taking consistent breaks from it is necessary. Use social media by all means, just don’t let it use you and remember that a lot of what we see isn’t real life.
What’s the biggest change you can identify within yourself in the past year?
This year has given everyone a lot of time to think within. I’ve taken some active steps in putting myself first, which has been a long time coming. I feel more self-aware and able to release myself very quickly from situations and people that aren’t right for me. I got a new job in the pandemic and signed up to therapy. Both of which I hope will help me figure out more of the direction I want my life to go in. This year has made me feel a little proud of me 

What changes do you want to see within yourself in the coming year? 
I will continue my journey into self-love and come out the other side a lot more content than when I started. I will, I will, I will. Less negative manifestations… more positive!

What’s one of the hardest things you’ve had to go through in life? How did you get through it?
I was very, very sad that year. I think I cried every single day for the first 8 months. I didn’t really seek help from anyone and every time I think back it makes me tear up. But still, I survived. I’m here. I can look back at that time and realise I don’t want to feel like that again. Despite it all, I got myself out of that mental situation I’d caged myself in, and that’s powerful.

What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
For everything a reason. I don’t think I would tell her to do anything differently, or I wouldn’t be where I was today. I’d remind her of how young she is and to stay happy. There is so much life yet to live, don’t force growing up too soon. Embrace and enjoy the now.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt?
To be kinder to myself and realise we are all individual. Everyone will not think, act and believe the way you do.

If you could change one thing within society, what would that be?
Wow, there are literally so many things wrong with the way society is at the moment. Raising children with empathy at their core is a start and will surely help future generations. Society lacks basic respect for its citizens. Governments are corrupt, racism is rife, the police need to be defunded – to name a few necessary changes. There is honestly so much to change. I pray for the future.