meet christa allen
The actor and content creator who believes that even when things go wrong, you can repair them. Then it becomes stronger for having done those repairs.
What or who provides you with a sense of calm?
Luna, my dog, is the biggest component of my mental health. There’s not a single way in which my dog does improve my life. Just looking at her makes me smile and giggle. She’ll be doing nothing and I think it’s the greatest thing in the world. I imagine this is how moms are with their babies, but she can do no wrong. Her whole existence exists out of pure love and it’s hard not to be uplifted by that.
What keeps you grounded?
Having plants around has been really was practical. I’ve been thinking a lot about maintenance, the concept of maintenance, and as a person, you get to decide what your value system is. I’m trying to employ that more in my life where, when something goes wrong, I repair it versus just getting rid of it and getting a new one. It extends to relationships too.
“Emotional intelligence was not prioritized in my household growing up.”
And even with relationships and friendships, it was, someone did you wrong? Never speak to them again. And I never considered it an alternative until I started going to therapy. I’ve gotten much better at friendships and relationships because I now understand that even when things go wrong, you can repair it and work on it and then it becomes stronger for having done those repairs.
What do you consider meditative?
Sound bowls are a nice thing to have around, especially when I struggle with sitting there for meditation. There are different sizes of bowls and they’re tuned to different frequencies. I chose one that is tuned to the throat chakra because a lot of what I do has to do with communication and it can be hard sometimes to communicate and find your voice. I find that there are emotional manifestations of it, but also physical manifestations. When I feel that it’s harder for me to communicate based on what I’m going through emotionally, I feel my throat actually close up a bit. It’s harder to find resonance in my voice. If nothing else, it’s helpful to focus my thoughts for a period of time on the concept of my throat, my communication, my voice, and finding that. So it just feels good.
What helps connect you to your body?
Silks are something I started about 10 years ago now. And it just feels good. To be very good at it, it takes incredible training. You have to be so strong and so flexible. The mental awareness of your body and space is a lot to grasp. There’s no end to the training.
Having the silks in my home, I can run, jump, swing, and play. And I feel as adults it’s so discouraged. You’re supposed to be well-behaved and buttoned up. But when you can break out of expectations or habits or routines, or just the pattern of every day, I feel like it’s good for your mind. Connecting and making new neural pathways or just doing something different, exposing your mind and body, is really important.
How does food impact your mental health?
Food is such a big one and such a complicated and difficult topic. It’s one that people always want to talk about and people are always searching for answers. I think the only answer is to feel good about the food that you’re putting in your body. I tend to feel better when I’m eating colorful foods, fruits and vegetables, but I also recognize that is a privilege that not everyone has access to.
“I also recognize that it’s not always possible.”
Of course, I enjoy fast food, but I feel that my body has more physical energy when I’m eating healthfully. Even when I indulge in chocolate cake, I try not to feel guilty about it because I feel like the guilt itself brings me down.
Shame is also a big one around food. You think, “I’ve been eating healthy all week and then you have one burger and you say to yourself, “I’m useless, I’m worthless. I am unable to reach my goals. I can’t stick with my diet.” You end up on this spiral. So I want to enjoy this indulgence, which means nothing about my character as a person.
How would you describe your mental health, currently?
I’m in a really good place now. The past few weeks I’ve been so overwhelmed with work and obligations and that’s partly my fault because I took on too much. It’s learning that work-life balance, which I don’t know if any of us ever really find, but I’m learning to be more selective with the work that I do take on and I’m going be even more so moving forward so that I can work on things that I feel are inspiring to me. I definitely slide into periods of depression. And it’s not something that I talk about a lot because I’ve been so much about my personal brand and what I’m putting out there in the world and I don’t think it’s particularly helpful for me.
“For example, I probably won’t go to a party if I’m very depressed because I don’t want to bring my darkness to other people.”
It’s almost like being sick and I don’t want to impose that on other people. I want to share that I am a real person who goes through these things, but I don’t want to impose my sadness or darkness.
How does intimacy impact your mental health?
It can be hard, especially in LA, as everyone is looking around for who they can step on to get there. It can be hard to find a genuine connection. There are a couple of relationships in my life that are so important to me and I don’t know what I would do without them. And it’s quality, not quantity.
I watch a lot of content of couples, even longingly. I think we can sometimes live vicariously through people on the internet. I’ll watch videos of them being cute and sweet and think, isn’t that nice? It’s not that I feel any animosity. There’s no end to our longing on this planet. So long as we live, we’ll never be satisfied and I believe that’s part of the human condition. Even if people say that they’re satisfied, there’s always something that you’re working towards.
What’s your take on medication, like antidepressants, and supplements?
Everybody needs to do what’s right for them. And I have absolutely no judgment toward anyone and how they decide to live their lives or what medications they decide to take. It’s not something that has worked for me. I’ve tried in the past prescription medication for my anxiety. It was not a long-term solution for me. However, I used to live in a perpetual state of anxiety, which would sometimes culminate in a panic attack that made me unable to live my life. So my baseline was very, very anxious all the time and sometimes incapacitated. I didn’t know what it felt like to be calm and not anxious.
“In trying the prescription meds, it taught me what it felt like to not be anxious.”
So then I had something to model after. There’s something an aerial coach of mine used in teaching when we were doing pretty complicated tricks. He called it endpoint modeling, which is where he would basically flip my body in space and move me into the final pose so that I knew where I was going. And I felt like the medication was my endpoint modeling. It taught me where I was headed. And then I learned to find that feeling on my own without the medication, and instead use exercise and meditation, and things like that. But I also understand it’s completely not an option for some.
What makes you stressed or anxious?
What stresses me most is the health and safety of my family and friends, that’s it. And it’s the craziest thing because I stress about it a lot. There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s absolutely pointless to stress about, but I do anyway.
When do you feel most at peace?
Hanging out with my dog in nature.
When do you feel your body tense up?
When I feel someone trying to get something from me.
What gives you serotonin?
Sunshine and my dog.
What does your body language say about you?
My body language tells people I’m an extrovert, but I’m more of an ambivert or actually an introvert.
When do you speak your mind?
Only after considering it thoroughly.
next story — brenda sarai zuniga