Taking care of our mental health has never been more important and as we close in on the end of 2020, there is at least one thing it has shown us. The strength in community. From bush fires to a global pandemic, coming together in support of each other will make a world of a difference, no matter how far apart we are. We spoke to a friend of Kind Curations and Melbourne-based creative, Cedar Purchase, about finding creativity during a pandemic, food that brings her joy and her latest project bringing together some of Melbourne’s creatives to raise awareness and start conversations around mental health.
Who are you, where are you from?
Who am I?…. I wonder this myself everyday! I think everyday it changes slightly, always trying to be the best version of myself. But to put the answer to the question simply I’d say I’m someone who loves dipping their toes into many little ponds, I’m creative, I get bored quickly and love learning new things. I am originally from Northern NSW and grew up in a cute valley in the back of Tweed Heads called Cobaki. I now live in Melbourne.
What do you do?
I’m trying to figure that out haha! I find it hard to focus on one thing as I love chopping and changing depending on how I feel and what’s inspiring me. Finding a balance between my Makeup artistry, photography and studying Psychology keeps my mind busy and keeps me inspired. I am also working on a community based platform called Together which I guess is a mix of all things I am passionate about!
How has your mental health been this year since the pandemic?
This year has been really difficult! My mental health has probably been the worst it’s been in years. I haven’t worked since March and having spent 6 months in lockdown in Melbourne has definitely taken its toll. I started seeing a psych again and she really helped me get through the toughest months mid lockdown, and when the window opened for me to head back home to Lennox Heads for a bit I jumped on a flight the next day, spent 2 weeks in quarantine on my own and stepped into what felt like freedom in NSW. I ended up spending 2 months back home and I have to say my mental health was immediately so much better. I feel bad for my friends and everyone else in Melbourne who endured those last 2 months! I was very lucky to escape to my folks for some sun, beach and socialising!
How do you find balance?
I constantly struggle with this! I try to practice mindfulness throughout my day. Stopping and taking a step back to observe my surroundings and presence helps remind me that where I am in this moment is exactly where I’m meant to be! Pre-covid I loved hot yoga and found that helped me find more energy, clarity and balance. I’m waiting eagerly for yoga studios to open back up down here!
What are some tips for keeping balance?
Balance for me may be completely different for someone else so I guess it’s important for everyone to try find what balance is to them. But I think taking time to reflect and have some introspection of what it is that makes you happy, what drives you, what is important to you… and try to eliminate things that bring you little purpose or positivity.
What is Together?
Together is something I’ve been working on through lockdown in the hopes to bring the Melbourne creative community back together again, and raise awareness/start a conversation around mental health. It’s still early days as it’d been difficult to juggle Together with full time uni through lockdown but now with restrictions easing and my semester finished I hope to dive right into it! Together interviews different local creatives on their creative processes, their journey through creating their brands/art/music etc and their connection and experience with their own mental health.
Why it is important to bring Together into the world?
I think mental health, anxiety, stress, depression and many other mental illnesses are kept hidden yet most of us struggle with at least some form of mental illness if not directly, our friends or family do. The taboo around mental illness and seeking help, talking about it or seeing a therapist has been a burden on our generation, our parents and beyond.
How have you coped being away from loved ones?
Being away from loved ones has been so hard! It’s felt like this whole year most of us have been separated form the most important people in our lives. I spent the majority of the year away form my family, then was finally able to spend 2 months with them- the longest I’ve spent with them since I moved out of home probably almost 7 years ago! For those two months I loved being with my amazing fam, but I had also just left my Melbourne family behind. My beautiful friends and boyfriend. Thank god we live in a time where we can text, call and FaceTime anyone in the world. We’re super lucky to have that, otherwise I’d be lost waiting months for that letter in the mail.
What is something we don’t know about you?
For those who know me I’m sure you’ve been acquainted, for those who don’t here’s something you don’t know about me: After a couple drinks I love to rap haha I can’t stop myself but to make up random on the spot lyrics that usually are of complete nonsense. I totally suck, but I really don’t care.
What is something that makes you laugh?
My boyfriend's Dad jokes.
What have you been loving to cook lately?
I’m a huge sucker for Italian. Food brings me so much joy, I love cooking and love cooking for friends and family to all enjoy together. There are so many amazing Italian meals.. like everything is frikken amazing. During lockdown I went pretty crazy for homemade ravioli, pasta, pesto…. But my ultimate fav is my focaccia!!! You can chuck anything on top of it you like and its so good with dips or accompanying your dinner.
Can you give us a recipe?
I made a few adjustments to my focaccia over time but I started with Samin Nosrat’s focaccia recipe. She is the food God.
And if you want to perfect this focaccia so you don’t end up with a “fuckedcaccia" watch this vid. Samin and Brad are my fav chefs to watch :)