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From Fast-Paced to Finding Peace: Sanya Smith’s Journey of Self-discovery and Mental Health

We all try our best and hustle as much as we can to achieve our dreams faster and sometimes it keeps us from considering our health, especially our mental health.

Living in the city where time seems to move faster than we think due to our hectic schedules and complicated situations be it from work, studies or just life in general can be exhausting.

No matter the success of some people let us be reminded that they too have their own moments where they feel lost, confused, and weary.

Let us take a peek on how the ever impressive DJ, influencer and mental health advocate Sanya Smith journeyed and faced some of her battles with mental health.

Have you ever felt that life has been moving too fast and that you always need to catch up? Guess what? Sanya felt it too! Prior to her recently diagnosed medical condition, she struggled a lot with her mental health. However, it was a huge help that she knew what she was dealing with. It helped her understand herself better than ever and accept her for who she is.

“I’ve been taking better care of myself, living with more intention, trying to stay mindful and in the present moment, and giving myself grace.”

She explained when she came into terms with her struggles with her mental health.

We often see mental challenges as a sign of weakness. But here’s the truth: it takes incredible strength to admit you’re struggling and even more endurance to navigate the journey towards healing.

“Healing isn’t linear,” she stated. It’s a rollercoaster of good days and bad, victories and setbacks. It can be utterly exhausting, but it’s also incredibly rewarding that at the end of the day, you did try your best.

The real strength lies in facing your demons, not hiding from them. It’s the courage to say, “This is hard,” and then keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Majority of us faced a variety of challenges when the pandemic hit us last 2020. Isolation. Fear. Uncertainty. These were the hallmarks of 2020 for many, and for Sanya, living alone in a small apartment, the pandemic’s impact went beyond the everyday anxieties. While she cherished solitude, the enforced isolation pushed her into a different kind of aloneness – one that demanded deep thinking.

Prior to the pandemic, Sanya’s healing journey focused on external factors: social circles, activities, and lifestyle choices. However, forced introspection revealed a crucial truth: true growth lay within. Confronted with the “ugly parts” of herself, Sanya, like many of us, initially struggled with acceptance. But within the darkness, a spark ignited.

Sanya learned to approach her shortcomings with love and compassion, a practice that extended outwards. 

“I learned to look at them with love and compassion and make the necessary changes. Once I started doing that for myself, I started to show love and compassion for others who might be going through the same thing.” she stated.

The experience of darkness allowed her to recognize and appreciate the light, not just within herself, but in others.

Guilt in Paradise

As we grow older, we all have our own proud moment decisions. Sanya’s journey of self-discovery continued after the pandemic.  She describes her move to Palawan as both “easy” and “hard.”  The allure of a slower pace drew her in, but leaving everything familiar behind was daunting.

However, upon settling in, a new kind of challenge emerged: guilt.  The very tranquility she sought became a source of self-criticism.  The negative self-talk “you’re lazy,” “not doing enough,” “you have no purpose” spiraled into anxiety and depression.

This internal battle is a testament to the complexities of mental well-being.  Even in seemingly ideal circumstances, our minds can find ways to create obstacles. But here’s where Sanya’s true strength shines. Through self-care and perseverance, she overcame these internal struggles.

Breaking the Cycle

Thankfully, Sanya didn’t let the negativity consume her.  She describes “catching herself” before the spiral took hold.  This self-awareness is crucial. Recognizing negative self-talk and its potential consequences is the first step towards positive change.

Sanya then reassessed her situation.  She acknowledged the vast difference between her past city life and the island’s slower pace. “15 years in a demanding industry would naturally leave its mark.” This understanding allowed her to let go of the pressure to instantly adapt.

Finding Support and Instruments

Furthermore, she sought support. Connecting with other women who’d made similar moves validated her experience.  She learned this guilt was a normal part of the transition.

Finally, Sanya implemented coping mechanisms: journaling, meditation, and affirmations.  These practices fostered self-compassion and reminded her she deserved the peaceful life she’d chosen.

The Power of Rest

Sanya emphasizes the importance of good rest for mental and emotional health.  We live in a world that equates self-worth with productivity, leading to the dangerous allure of “hustle culture”.  Prioritizing work over rest can lead to burnout, depression, and anxiety.  Rest allows your mind and body to recover. She stated, “Sleep is medicine”, and she believes a lot of the healing happens while we sleep.

Her understanding of the crucial role rest plays in mental and emotional health led to a fierce prioritization of sleep.  Literally nothing stands between her and her bedtime routine!

Over time, she’s crafted a wind-down ritual that works wonders.  A relaxing shower sets the stage, followed by the calming ambience of slow jazz and an aromatherapy candle.  Journaling helps clear her head (when she remembers!), and sometimes light entertainment like a Switch game, a comedy show, or a nature documentary provides a calming pre-sleep activity while nestled in bed.  Investing in good pillows transformed her sleep experience, and her bed is treated as a sanctuary, kept meticulously comfortable. 

Supplements also play a part: magnesium and ashwagandha work their magic by regulating neurotransmitters, reducing stress, and enhancing sleep quality.  For nights before big events or when traveling, the Health Fusion Melatonin + 5 HTP gummies are her lifesavers! They promote the production of serotonin, a crucial element for good sleep.

The Power of Prioritizing Rest

Sanya’s unwavering commitment to sleep has yielded significant results.

 “By prioritizing rest and sleep, I feel my best mentally, physically, emotionally, and I even think spiritually.” 

Good sleep, she explains, allows her to regulate her moods and make sound decisions.  She feels energized and equipped to tackle the day.  The difference between well-rested Sanya and sleep-deprived Sanya is stark.  “When you truly listen to your body,” she says, “you realize the immense impact sleep habits have on how you handle things.”

Living with ADHD and Prioritizing Sleep

Sanya also acknowledges that having ADHD can make sleep challenging. However, her established routines prove invaluable in this regard.

Advice for Young Women Struggling Mentally

With a voice filled with empathy, Sanya offers advice for young women grappling with mental health challenges:

 “This might sound repetitive, but I cannot stress this enough.  When times get tough, don’t hesitate to reach out for support.  This could be a friend, partner, family member – anyone you trust.  I understand how scary it can feel, but there’s absolutely no shame in asking for help.  You’d be surprised by the support network you have and how much you’re not alone.”

A Message of Hope

Sanya encourages readers to view challenges and setbacks as part of the journey.  “Trust the process,” she urges, “and offer yourself grace.  Be kind to yourself and acknowledge your strength.”  She concludes by sharing a favorite quote:  “‘If you fail, you’ve already won because you tried in the first place.'”

A testament to the transformative power of self-care.  It’s a reminder that mental health challenges are surmountable, and reaching out for support is not a sign of weakness but a crucial step towards healing.  By embracing self-compassion, resilience, and a willingness to seek help, we can all embark on our own journeys of island healing.




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