meet stephanie treinen

the Los Angeles-based creative director, who believes reflection helps you to stay humble, work hard, and be passionate.

Meet Stephanie Treinen

How do you make your health a priority?

Outdoor time. It doesn’t have to be in some beautiful location—just fresh air. Even for just 15 minutes. I also get up super early. I wake up around 5:30 am and I like the silence and waking up with the day. The use of cannabis/THC in my daily routine is also how I make my health a priority.

“It’s something I don’t discuss openly with a lot of people because of the stigma that comes with it.”

I feel like people automatically assume that it makes me “lazy, stupid and unconcerned,” as so wonderfully stated on Frank Ocean’s track “Be Yourself”. It started as self-medication when I hadn’t yet recognized that I was struggling with extreme anxiety and phases of deep depression. It was also during a time when therapy felt out of reach financially and my previous experience with a therapist was not long enough to yield any genuine results (as I know now). Now, as an adult, I still consider cannabis/THC to be a natural way to achieve a simultaneous sense of calm and motivation throughout my day. That, mixed with my low dosage of Paxil, can take a genuine edge off, which helps me see my depression more clearly when I feel it creeping or settling in.

Stephanie Treinen's second photo of her table.

How would you say your mental health is linked to your family?

A lot of these items have been collected from my great aunt’s house. My great aunt and my grandma had a big collection of things from their time in Japan, Peru, and the states. There’s a lot of story behind the heritage of these pieces that remind me of growing up and I find them very comforting to have now in my home. I’m Japanese American and my family’s story and immigration and how they came to the states are not just fascinating to me, but also gives me a lot of context in my current life.

People talk a lot about how depression and pain can be passed through generations and for me, that’s definitely a big part of my story. My mom’s side of the family had a very tough time. Like many people, they were immigrants and they worked hard. When I reflect on those things, it reminds me to stay humble, to work hard, and to be passionate. So that’s why I have this shrine in my room. To have these items close when I go to bed and when I wake up is always a nice reminder of where I’ve come from. The understanding of that has been really helpful in my mental health journey and getting to know myself and why I do the things I do.

Stephanie Treinen's medicine.

What sort of rituals are important for getting you through the day?

This is my nightstand and the pill in my hand is Paxil, my daily prescription antidepressant and anxiety pill. I use it for both and I can’t go without it. For me, it helps with mental clarity and it takes off that edge.

“I don’t feel like a different person, but when I miss it, I physically don’t feel well, so it’s a really important part of my routine.”

Also, the combination of both natural (cannabis) and chemical (Paxil) medications help me to focus my energy on the things that I love and love to do. It has never been something that has held me back, stopped me from achieving goals, and I can still work fast as hell, whereas not utilizing these things has caused meltdowns, panic attacks, and difficulty focusing.

At my bedside table, I also have The Nue Co. Functional Fragrance. At night, I shower and before I get into bed, I’ll put a little on my wrists and on the sheets to help me relax. And this Aromatherapy Associates Balm is part of my nighttime meditation routine. When I’m lying down and breathing in and out, it definitely helps me wind down.

next story — jayme cyk