|Marissa tells me that her version of self care means proper sleep, eating whole foods, exercising and having moments to herself to think and reflect: “I found sticking to a regularly scheduled routine helps me take of myself. I prepare or plan meals for the week, maintain the same work schedule throughout the week (since I work at home), including yoga five times a week and taking evenings of downtime.” Marissa cooks at home, maintains a yoga routine, takes long baths, sleeps for at least 8 hours at night, and limits prolonged use of digital devices. As for additional practices “I wish for more acupuncture, massages and retreats (yoga/meditating) in my life.” Marissa explains. Drinking herbal tea, yoga, resting, sleeping, breathing and slowing the mind down are all part of Marissa’s routine for when she feels unbalanced.
Marissa also keeps a minimal-fuss beauty routine: “I don’t use many beauty products, but Brooklyn Herborium and sans [ceuticals], which are natural or low on chemical use, are my favourite. As for diet, Marissa enjoys high nutrient-value foods and starts the day off with a simple green tea (“which I drink throughout the day until after lunch. At one of my yoga retreats in India, I stopped drinking coffee and alcohol, and I naturally kept that up after returning”), but she also knows how the odd endorphin boost is also a treat “I also love to enjoy the occasional French fries, ice cream and pizza.”. Marissa also shares her relationship with the mirror, which can often be difficult: “Self-image is a very funny thing- how you see yourself vs. how others see you. I have been struggling to embrace getting older. I just turned 44 years old, and my body is not the same as it was when younger, yet admittedly I expect and wish it to be because that is the idea we are exposed to. I look in the mirror and see all that I want to change, instead of fully accepting that this is what I look like and who I am.”
Running a busy independent clothing company, Marissa shares the mantra she lives by “Put one foot in front of the other. Work and life can be very chaotic, overwhelming and anxiety-inducing, that I often just tell myself this mantra to ground me and, to rather, focus on thinking and solving the problem instead of getting absorbed in the feelings.” Being a female entrepreneur, Marissa also shares my line of thought that the world that has opened up, especially when it comes to being a woman in 2018: “The glass ceiling broken, and we are in a world hyper aware of the inequalities women have faced in the past and face today. Compared to growing up in the ‘70s, it is a more accepting world and endorsing, especially speaking as a woman of colour and immigrant parents. That said, we still have far to go for equal rights.”
I also love the story of Marissa’s grandmother Jesusa Generoso, which translates into “generous Jesus”, who certainly lived up to her name: “She was a devout Catholic; woke up at the crack of dawn to pray for 2 hours and did the same at night” Marissa explains “She was virtuous and donated what little money she had to those who were less privileged. I do not practice one denominational religion, but I like to think that I carry on her sense of commitment and faith into the way I live my life.”
Visit the Anaak clothing website and Instagram, and follow Marissa on Instagram here.