As part of a new series, we caught up with some of the most influential, successful women entrepreneurs around the UAE to find out more about what it takes to be a successful woman, how they live a happy, wholesome life and what a day in the life looks like for these incredible women.
What better person to start the series off than with, Noura Alali, business owner of My Mind My Choice, an incredible woman who helps people develop better cognitive and emotional skills, reduce symptoms of mental illness and cope with challenges in their lives.
This is what she had to say...
Fashion & Lifestyle
How would you describe your personal style in 3 words?
Classy, elegant and feminine
What does slow fashion mean to you?
Slow fashion to me means being fair and considerate to the world. I am a full advocate of buying better quality clothing that will last longer and valuing fair treatment of people, animals and the planet. I will always push towards wearing fabrics that can eventually return to the ecosystem once I am done wearing them.
What are the key staple items in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without?
Nothing beats a classy long black dress, a high quality soft t shirt and a pair of white sneakers to dress all your ‘going out’ dresses down and be ready for any occasion.
What would a perfect morning routine look like for you?
A perfect morning routine would look like a 7 AM sweat session at the gym, followed by a full balanced breakfast, and going for a walk right after with my pup. That is the perfect morning for me!
A quote you live by is...
The biggest risk is not taking any risk.
When did you start your business?
My business launched in 2017- time has flown!
As an influential woman, what do you find the key to success is?
Only do what aligns with your happiness, if you're creating a business make sure its revolved around something that brings you joy and passion because that will shine through. If its in your day to day life only associate and do things that resonates well with you, you are never obligated to do things that you aren’t happy or comfortable with.
What motivates you?
I have this image of what I want my life to look like in a year from now and in five years from now and that’s what keeps me pushing forward. It can be an image of my house, my goals coming to life, my family dynamic and travels. The key for me is a vivid imagination and manifestation of what that looks like to me.
How do you balance work-life responsibilities?
With my favorite tool ever... an agenda. Agendas keep me as organized as can be.
If you had one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Care much less about what people around you think, and do everything for yourself and not for others.
What do you do to relax?
I make a nice herbal tea, grab a book and read on. For the days where i’m not feeling like reading, I flick on a nature documentary - especially the ones based on under the sea are my favorite and I let my mind roam free in there.
What three tips would you give to someone who suffers with anxiety?
Simple, sometimes you feel like you are dying but its just your body protecting you from the heart racing, to the stomach cramps, the nausea and head spins - all of it is your body trying to protect you so what you can do to make your body feel safe is:
1.) Use your breathing techniques as much as you can
2.) Merge chamomile tea or valerian root tea into your daily and nightly rituals
3.) Find your triggers, write them down and use slow exposure - this can be as micro as just imagining you doing those ‘triggers’ but envisioning a good outcome.
Do you have any bedtime rituals which help you sleep better?
Of course, changing into pajamas is the first. I have a key rule to sleep in my pajamas only and not house clothes that I roam in - this helps my body understand that it is sleep time. My State of REM pajamas are my absolute favorite it feels so relaxing to be in them and personalized because it has my name embroiled on them. After would come my skincare routine, cup of chamomile tea and turn on some Hrtz vibrational tones from Spotify which I let that play for the first hour of my sleep - this helps heal your internal energies and align you also to mention how relaxing the sounds are!
What does your self-care routine look like?
It’s a realistic one, self care could be but isn’t always baths and face masks.. sometimes its organizing your thoughts by jotting notes down or writing what you need to do in your agenda to feel more clarity and peace. Even a deep cleaning session in the house works for me, it helps me release tension in my body and having a clean environment always helps me feel motivated and relaxed. These are the things I do in my daily life to help keep up my inner peace.
The three ways someone can prioritize their mental health is by...
1. Seeing a therapist
Sometimes you cant process your own emotions or understand your train of thought and by speaking to someone you learn more about yourself than you could ever imagine.
2. Identify your stressors
It should come as no surprise that in order to face your mental blocks, you first need to figure out what they are. Take inventory of your stressors, number them 1-10 of importance and tackle the most important one first. This will help you get a sense of your biggest concerns and it’ll help you place focus on where you need it to be. Once you’ve identified your stressors, don’t put too much pressure on yourself- take it one step at a time.
3. Say no
Say no to the things you don’t want to do and don’t feel obligated. When you do things you naturally aren’t comfortable with or happy to do, it creates more tension in your body and brings your mental state down.