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She Talks Asia: 5 Ways to Practice Mental Wellness | go! | Globe
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iMatter: 5 Ways to Practice Mental Wellness

Love is at the heart of healing

Just in time for World Mental Health Day, She Talks Asia held iMatter: A Conference on Mental Well-Being last October 12 to drive dialogue and normalize conversations on mental health. She Talks Asia is a safe space to promote empathy and compassion to, ultimately, start healing as a community.

Husband-and-wife tandem, artist Vim Nadera and psychiatrist Dinah Nadera, believe that art has the inherent power to heal. Self-expression—through art and science—is a tangible way to build resilience. They created AWIT (Advancing Wellness, Instructions and Talents), a foundation heavily focused on capacity building through the arts. Art itself is therapy, but there is art in therapy, too.

Among the roster of accomplished speakers, host, director and Plastic Tides PH founding member Julian Rodriguez shared his account of tribulation. During his teenage years, he was involved in a kidnap-for-ransom incident, which led to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that affected him for years. He shared five pragmatic ways he practices mental wellness on the daily.

Be here now.

When things start getting really stressful, be in the moment. Look inside yourself and see what needs alignment. Build habits that practice awareness; this may be as simple as checking your posture or doing breathing exercises. 

Find your tether.

Your tether is your harness, the rope that can pull you through mentally and emotionally. This may be your faith, a family member, a friend or even an idea or a goal—this may change overtime.

Prepare yourself for reality. 

Some people will cross your boundaries and project their insecurities on you. Take into consideration all variables. (Good and evil exist, neither can exist without the other.) If your expectations fail you, at least you know not to dwell on disappointment for too long. 

Find your “cure.” 

Understand medication and therapy through continuous research. Know what works best for you. There isn’t a single cure for mental health problems; it could be yoga, meditation, painting—just make sure it’s reviewed by your peers. 

Use your story. 

Sharing your story is building power. Recognize that you can have control over it. Wear your pain and you’ll find other people who went through or are going through the same thing. The less you pretend you’re okay, the more you’ll get to the place where you need to be—and eventually, who you want to become. 

To learn more about She Talks Asia’s advocacies and events, visit

Words Elisa Aquino

Art Alex Lara

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