meet erin allweiss
The co-founder of No.29 and Enough Media, who believes it’s important to acknowledge people’s mental health, especially now.
How are you really?
This past year has been challenging. I’m someone who’s community-oriented and it’s been hard not to be around people. That’s the other reason that right now I’m really good. I get to see human beings again and hug them. I’ve missed that so much.
At the beginning of the year, I found out I was pregnant, which was interesting timing after Biden was sworn in. I was also in a very positive mood after the end of the Trumpian dictatorship. But it was really hard to go through that without being surrounded by my friends and family. I don’t think people talk about that early phase of pregnancy, which I realized in talking to a lot of my friends that they had a hard time too.
I don’t share much on social. My “brand,” so to speak, is politics and sustainability. It’s what I care about and feel comfortable sharing publicly. The people who are close to me know the things that are actually going on and are more intimate. I don’t like to share too much of myself in a forum that’s a facade, which is a whole other mental health conversation! What helps me is telling friends I’m having a really hard time. And I found when I offer that, other people also share that it’s been hard for them, which is why I think it’s important to acknowledge people’s mental health right now. So I would say I’m a more closed person in public spheres. And then, with my friends, I try to be very candid.
What do you do daily to support your mental health?
I started reading The New Yorker in college because it made me feel very connected to New York, despite going to college in Boston. I remember the first article I read, which was about the sandhogs—the incredible workers who build the subway system and have been working on our water tunnels. I always knew I was meant to live in New York and be a New Yorker, and reading about the city—and Talk of the Town—captivated me. And then there’s the reporting. I don’t miss anything Raffi Khatchadourian writes (don’t miss his most recent on the Uyghur genocide), or Elizabeth Kolbert. And obviously Hannah Goldfield’s Tables for Two.
“Prior to being pregnant, I took both Gossamer Dawn and Dusk CBD daily!”
I would take Dusk 30 minutes to an hour before bed, and it was a part of my winddown ritual—which became even more critical during the pandemic. It’s incredibly calming, but doesn’t knock me out. It’s the one thing I can take and feel totally sharp in the morning! Even melatonin gives me that next-day drowsiness, but Dusk is just a better sleep experience. I took Dawn every morning instead of a second cup of coffee (and often in lieu of the first). It helped me to focus without making me feel jittery or jumpy.
How do you make your health a priority?
I think my partner would say—in his very caring and concerned way— that I do not make my health a priority. That I put everyone else’s wellbeing and sanity before my own. I’m really trying to change that. I was running until probably a month ago. Running is huge for me, but also walking. I live on Prospect Park and I walk every morning, rain or shine. I lace up my shoes and, ever since the pandemic, I make sure to get 10,000 steps, which I was doing naturally before just by being a New Yorker. It’s so easy to open your laptop, sit on your couch, and realize you haven’t left. So every morning I go to a cafe that’s exactly 27 minutes across the park. And I know the people who work there now, and they know my name, despite us always being in masks. And they know my dog Gumbo and he gets a treat. It’s community where I need it.
When do you feel most at peace?
When do you feel your body tense up?
If I haven’t moved.
What gives you serotonin?
What does your body language say about you?
That’s a hard one. I think other people would say open and then I would say awkward.
When do you speak your mind?
Pretty much all the time.
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