Growing up in Sweden, Badria Ahmed, founder of Holy Curls, always felt different. Her skin was dark, her hair was kinky, and she wore the hijab. A complicated relationship with her hair eventually led to a life-defining experience, the creation of Holy Curls, a natural haircare company for curly hair. According to Ahmed, learning to accept and embrace her hair turned out to be a holy experience for her, helping her to unlearn misconceptions and embrace her true self. Here, she shares the role wellness plays in her life.
What does wellness mean to you?
For me, wellness is taking the time to look after myself mentally, physically, and spiritually. It is my daily meditation practice. It is moving my body regularly, whether that is through yoga or a more intense workout and fueling it with the right food. It is also taking time out for myself with self-care and beauty rituals.
Is there a specific fitness activity that you love and why?
I love a good HIIT workout. I love getting a proper sweat out of a workout. But I also love yoga—stretching and breathing is a daily practice for me.
What is your greatest wellness achievement?
I’m happy that I’ve managed to keep a daily meditation practice although I’ve got two small children and run a business. When life gets busy, personal wellness tends to move down the priority list, but I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that keeping my wellness practices are just as important. It is what keeps me focused and grounded.
What is your idea of balanced healthy happiness?
Happiness is accepting life as it comes and flowing with it rather than creating resistance. We humans tend to categorize life in likes and dislikes, and that brings about a lot of mental disturbance. Life will have its ups and downs, but if you can become the observer and remain curious instead of getting caught in the disturbances, I believe you can achieve real happiness.
What is your favorite place for a healthy vacation or escape?
I’m currently living in Dominica, which is a small island in the Caribbean. The pure, raw nature of this place really is healing. I believe that it is because it’s unspoiled by tourism, and people are really down to earth, living in tune with nature.
What is your favorite self-care routine?
On my wash day, which is once every 10 days, I take the time to pamper myself properly. I’ll exfoliate, steam, and put on a face mask. I always feel so refreshed afterwards.
What is your go-to for de-stressing?
Nature is my favorite de-stressor. Just walking barefoot in my garden has a way of getting me out of the mind and into the present moment. I love spending time in nature, going for hikes, and swimming in the ocean.
What brings you joy?
Spending time with my children, taking time to see my friends, and spending quality time with my husband. I get joy out of my self-care rituals and spirit