Most women wear many hats and juggle many responsibilities – often at the detriment of their own health and wellbeing. Mother, licensed doctor and widow are three hats Dr. Alisha Reed currently wears. After two decades of working as a license pharmacist, with a Doctorate of Pharmacy from Xavier University of Louisiana, Reed saw first-hand how self-care and focusing on your mental health can impact a community. In 2019, Reed became a widow when her husband unexpectedly passed away. While coping with her loss, Reed focused on raising her son, wanting to normalize the grief process for other women traveling the same path. It was then that the FLY Pharmacist became the Fly Widow and created a business around the importance of self-care and the journey that comes along with it. Not only is her message and mission important to women, but it is also a particularly important subject to focus on during the month of May, mental health awareness month.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
Q: Why was becoming the “Fly Widow” and an advocate for normalizing grief an important step for you? I think so many of us grieve in silence because society has made us believe that we can’t share the hard stuff. Social media has become everyone’s highlight reel and no one is sharing real-life struggles. Prior to Dec. 2019, I shared all of life’s highs and then my life turned upside down overnight.
Q: It’s May and Mental Health Awareness Month, why is self-care important to you and an important message to share with other women? I made the decision to share my grief journey so that women could see that you can grieve and still be happy. Women are natural born nurturers, but we have to take care of ourselves if we want to be here for our families.
Q: What lead you to want to coach others, especially women, to create their own self-care plan? The most common question asked is “How do you do it all?” My response is, “I don’t.” Women really believe that they cannot make time for themselves because it’s selfish. They feel guilty. Self-care for me is non-negotiable. It makes you a better mom, spouse, business owner and friend.
Q: What other mental health and self-care messages are you trying to get out into the world? The most important message is “It’s OK to NOT be OK” Ask for help. Seek therapy. Say no. Self-care is whatever you need to do to feel like you again.
Favorite way to unwind? A spa day and rooftop pool.
Favorite place for a champagne happy hour? Effervescence.
I love beets…salads, juices, chips!