The Floor Is Yours

What’s Meditation-Tok? Meet The Influencer Bringing Mindfulness To TikTok

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Welcome to The Floor Is Yours, where we spotlight the creators behind the meaningful content on your FYP — because it’s not just about who they are, but the message in what they’re creating.  
For the most part, slapping a #NoFilter tag on a social media post more accurately implies #LessFilterThanUsual. But for wellness advocate and digital creator Greisy Hernandez, TikTok is a place to experiment with authenticity. On her feed, she dispenses affirmations, journaling prompts, and mindfulness advice — and as she sees it, she’s working to create content that helps her close the gap between her earnest, IRL personality and her digital persona. “I love livestreaming [on TikTok] because I love to talk and share — and it’s really nice to have a platform where I can freely engage with people in real time without having to edit or add filters,” she says. “It helps me be my most authentic self online.”
That’s not to say communicating in open, candid ways has always come easy to Hernandez. In fact, it has taken a great deal of work for her to achieve that level of transparency. “I didn’t start engaging with the wellness space by choice, exactly. It was sort of an urgent need,” she says. “A few years ago, I was in a pretty dark headspace — and I found that I was coping by dissociating. I’d be in a group of people and I’d feel like I wasn’t even in my body. Like I was totally isolating myself emotionally.”
At the time, in search of ways to heal, Hernandez turned to peer-to-peer counseling — and she found it to be wildly impactful. “It was all about conversation and vulnerability and hearing one another without judgment,” she says. “It helped me create this belief in building an ecosystem of care — a whole community of people who help to build you up while you do the same for them.” For her, that’s certainly what TikTok can look like: an ever-building collective of people looking to connect, overcome isolation, and foster community based on their interests, their hang-ups, their hardships — and, well, anything at all, really. 
When Hernandez first joined TikTok, she wasn’t looking to *influence,* though. Instead, she was merely participating in a “challenge” with a handful of friends, each of whom agreed to create a TikTok account and post every day, without fail, for 30 days. “The idea was that we’d have to post without fear or self-doubt, since we were posting so frequently,” she says. “There’d be no time to second-guess, so it’d help us get over some of our anxieties around the ways we present ourselves on social media.” The project was about candor — and as the days passed, while speaking freely and without pretense, Hernandez found that she enjoyed having a digital soapbox. It became a place for her to work through — and discuss — some of her own mental health concerns out loud. 
“Naturally, when I started making videos, I was talking about topics that mattered most to me — like finding the right therapist or using journaling prompts to help work through a tough time,” she says. “Then, people started to be really responsive to my content.” 
Right now, the majority of Hernandez’s profile consists of affirmation-based content. She says her love language is “Words of Affirmation,” so she’s always looking for ways to bolster herself through language — be it a matter of repeating certain motivational isms to herself as often as possible, or sitting down to journal, or redirecting negative energy toward a more positive, creative enterprise through mindfulness. But beyond the actionable meditation tips and the clever writing prompts, Hernandez says the most important motivator behind her TikTok  presence is all about removing stigma. It’s about creating spaces where people like her can make themselves vulnerable and communicate in earnest about mental health. And while TikTok should certainly not be treated as a formal diagnostic space in any sense, it can help folks identify the kind of help they need — and where to get it. 
“I just want my generation — especially other people of color — to feel like they’re not alone in struggling with a whole array of different mental health concerns,” Hernandez says. “I want us to feel like this is an open conversation.”
Of course, operating as a TikTok personality presents its own complications when it comes to mental health. Spending an outsized amount of time on any social media forum, complete with all the requisite trolls and naysayers, can often feel counterproductive to self-care. But fortunately, Hernandez knows that boundaries are critical. “I have to be really steadfast about where I draw lines — so when I do livestreams, I stay in moderator mode so I can weed out commenters who don’t pass the vibe check,” she says. “And I do my best to put time limits on reading through DMs.”
That said, for her, the trolls have certainly not been the hardest part. Instead, the boundary she’s found most difficult to establish has pertained to her fans — loyalists who identify with her material, and in turn, want to share their own mental health struggles with her. “You get these really personal DMs about what people are going through and you just want to help everyone,” Hernandez says. “But in the end, it’s just not possible. At first, I really tried…but it was weighing on my mental health.” Eventually, she learned to take a slightly more reserved approach. Now, she makes sure to pass along contacts and resources to any followers in need — even when she lacks the emotional bandwidth to fully engage. 
At the end of the day, it’s about the ways in which TikTok can improve our lives offline. Hernandez is not just talking about clever cleaning hacks or at-home skin solves, though. She’s talking about emotional tools that help us process the three-dimensional world a little better. “Right now, I’m working on developing some guided meditations that you can listen to on your phone while you go for walks or sit outside,” she says. “So yeah, you’re online. But really, you’re just using the internet to bring you closer to the real world.”  

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