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Inner Piece With Model Megan Williams    

Inner Piece With Model Megan Williams

Artwork by FISK

I first met Megan Williams in 2010 while working on a modeling job together in London. Ten years later, she has become one of my closest friends. From a small island in the UK called Guernsey to New York City, Williams has traveled all over the world for the past 12 years. From walking Victoria’s Secret (three times), starring in Guess campaigns alongside Gigi Hadid, and being featured in Sports Illustrated, she has accumulated an impressive resume. 

Being catapulted into the adult working world at the age of 14 gave Williams a broad view from an early age. Learning how to deal with her mental health and how to care for herself in an industry that only focuses on what’s on the outside has been an ongoing process. And it’s become an important part of her day-to-day life. I’ve always been impressed with her outlook on life and her openness to discussing her mental health. That’s why I thought she was a great person to speak to for Inner Piece.  

Not only does Williams maintain a successful modeling career, she also co-founded a reusable sustainable cup brand called HUNU, which is now available on Amazon. Sustainability has always been an important thing to Williams, and HUNU allowed her to create a product she actually cares about with a good cause behind it. 

Mental health plays a big part in our friendship and is a common theme in our daily conversations so I’m happy to bring her to Inner Piece to share some of her wisdom with others. 

What do you want people to know about you?

I was born in England, and home for me is a small island off the coast of the UK between England and France called Guernsey. Work brought me to New York City around seven years ago and has been home since. Family and friends give me so much joy in life as well as anything outdoors especially by the sea. If I can combine both even better! 

What have you learned about yourself during these strange times? How has it impacted your mental health? 

I have learned that my fast-paced life was working as a great distraction from how I was feeling a lot of the time. I’m used to traveling a lot and always being ready to get up and go at any minute depending on work. Like all of us, I had to put a full stop to all of that. So I had a lot more time to really sit with how I was feeling. I have been dealing with a lot of anxiety on a daily basis in this time. Not only because everything is so uncertain, but because there were a lot of things I had not taken the time to deal with from my past. For me, the silver lining of this period is the time it has given me to look inwards.

What is one of life’s smallest but greatest pleasures for you?

Something as simple as a coffee with a friend. Time spent really connecting with people is my greatest pleasure in life.

What are you most grateful for this year? 

I am grateful for my boyfriend. There was a lot of uncertainty this year about where we should be in the world, whether we should go home to family, and what our lives were going to look like. But one certainty was that we knew we were making the choices together. I am so grateful for that, and it gives me a feeling of security.

Can you remember a time when someone showed you gratitude? 

I think me and my friends show gratitude to each other all the time for things as simple as truly listening to each other. My closest few girlfriends are dotted all over the world, but they always know when they need someone to talk to that they can pick up the phone, and I will listen and not judge. And vice-versa. There’s a gratitude that is felt and doesn’t even need to be shown in big ways.

When did you first become aware that mental health was something that you needed to pay more attention to? 

I took more notice of it a few years ago when I was in a bad relationship that I had every capacity to change myself but couldn’t seem to get myself out of. That's when I realized we all have our own mental health journey and patterns that we need to recognize and learn about ourselves. 

Who do you turn to when you need to talk about issues related to mental health? 

Your very own Inner Piece creator, Sadie. We have known each other since we were 16 and both have very similar backgrounds so I think she is a person who just gets it. We have been there for each other in a lot of big life changes, and we have grown to be so comfortable around each other that no thought too big or too small feels awkward to talk about. She’s an amazing listener with a big heart and I think we have grown closer by both being vulnerable about our own mental health battles.

How do you know when you are in a good place with your mental health? Are there specific things that you do to help you reach that place?

At the beginning of this year when a slightly uncomfortable situation would arise I could quickly spiral into a place where I felt anxious and unable to deal with the situation at hand. I now don’t feel like that, I feel able to calmly deal with even a challenging situation. A big change that helped me was noticing what made me feel good and what didn’t. For example, I noticed that going on my phone first thing in the morning was negatively affecting me, so I put structure in place for a morning routine: movement, meditation, and journaling before I start my day.

What is something that you wish you’d known sooner about mental health?

That every person has their own stuff to deal with. Sometimes I used to think that I’m lucky. I have a privileged life. I don’t have the right to struggle. But truthfully we all have our own battles and our feelings are justified and important to understand. Also that it takes time to find what works for you. There is no quick fix to mental health but stay curious about it and keep learning!

Keep the conversation going by commenting on this story below. You can also connect with us about whatever’s on your mind by texting The Local Optimist Hotline at 310.299.9414.