meet michelle ranavat
The founder of Ranavat who believes maintaining your mental health means constantly checking in with yourself.
What do you do daily to support your mental health?
Mental health for me is constantly checking in. It’s making sure I’m saying no to things that I know aren’t good for me and saying yes to things that I know will make me feel better, like working out or prioritizing eating healthy, making sure I’m taking the time to really unwind, relax, and listen to what my body needs.
I do get vulnerable and share with my family because I find that’s my therapy session. For South Asians or immigrant families in general, you can’t share very much. My upbringing, I would say, was non-traditional in a way because we are so open and honest. My mom went through stage three breast cancer and there are so many things that we’re still dealing with after going through something so traumatic. When you go through those big moments, everything’s on the table. Going through those big moments in our lives where we’ve struggled, we’ve also really come together. I’ve always felt like I could go to my mom with anything and everything. And I feel like that’s very lucky because so many South Asians that I know, you really can’t talk about the struggle. You’ve got to suck it up. I feel very blessed to have that kind of community with my family.
What rituals do you practice that ground you?
Number one, taking care of myself. When I’m working out and my skin looks good and feels really healthy, I am prioritizing myself. Communicating with my family and feeling in touch with them, that’s when I feel the best.
“Also, having social interaction is key to me being healthy and feeling good about myself. It’s great for my mental health.”
How do you signal that the day has started and ended?
One small, but important one for me is coffee or morning tea. I actually get joy from it. Even if it’s a beverage that I’m sipping in the morning, I get a lot of intention just in that ritual.
I do the same thing at night. I make a nice chai or use my mom’s recipes. It’s a nice little end cap to relax. They’re markers throughout the day that always bring me joy.
When do you feel most at peace?
With my family.
When do you feel your body tense up?
Stressful work emails, managing a company. I care so deeply about what I do.
What gives you serotonin?
Working out. Dancing. Bollywood. But lately, I’ve been reconnecting with Britney Spears, given everything that’s happening. I’m back being her number one fangirl.
What does your body language say about you?
That I’m honest. I don’t try to be someone else in different situations. I’m always myself.
When do you speak your mind?
Selectively. I have always been a very upfront and honest person. I realize that sometimes you have to accept people where they are and who they are and not try to be right. I use to feel it’s not right, you have to say something and I’ve kind of come off of that. If that person believes in doing something a certain way, then I’m going to let them do that. In some situations, I’m very upfront about what I want and in other situations, I’ve learned to take a little bit of a backseat and listen and use my judgment before I try to change someone or something.
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