Where do you live, where are you from & what do you do?
I’m Lina, I live in the Midwest, but originally I am from Washington, DC and am first generation Nigerian. I work in clinical research by day, but at night and in my spare time I am studying acupuncture/Chinese medicine, as well as aromatherapy and herbalism.
I come from a big family and am a busy mom of two, so I must be honest in saying that having a self-care ritual is somewhat new to me – I would say prior to motherhood, any beauty routines I performed were in haste for a special event, or a matter of survival!
Now that I am a mom and am seeking to fully implement what i encourage others to do as a wellness consultant and future health practitioner, I find that simpler rituals done consistently really sustain and refuel me.
Your Self-care Rituals:
a) Goal #1 is to wake up before everyone else. This helps me corral my energy and plan my mornings well. I list the top three work goals and the top three mom/family goals to accomplish for the day. Those are my priorities. Everything else is an added blessing.
b) I do an abbreviated version of the infamous miracle morning session: I lock myself in the bathroom once the alarm goes off. I meditate for two minutes, I do squats for two minutes, and I listen to affirmations spoken in my own voice thru the ThinkUp app. I wash my face, brush my teeth, and then prep a hot cup of tea, usually green tea, raspberry leaf, or a matcha blend.
c) I wake up the kids and do 1 min of meditation and check-in with them. Prep breakfast, bag lunch, milk for baby, etc. Getting them ready for their day, and transition smoothly into my day after their dropoffs.
d) I try to take breaks every three hours at work to exercise or stretch. Lately I have been doing push-ups, kettlebell swings and a yoga sequence in circuit fashion for 10-20 minutes. Other times I go for a walk to meditate and clear out.
e) I prep some of the days’ dinner menu at lunchtime when working from home, especially the carbs or the entree, if its a complex dish. When I have a tough day, I pickup a meal for dinner or go to the plant section of a local store before the family gets home.
f) Most afternoons I listen to a podcast during work, instead of eating sweets and snacks. It has given me so much more energy. I also have a tumeric latte or dandelion root tea for more alertness and calm.
g) Checking my goals in the afternoon is key as well. I have a new system I am using to organize myself and I am excited about implementing that soon.
h) After work I switch hats to pick up the kids, and take them to any extracurriculars, review homework and reading, and complete dinner and supervise other tasks. Once the kids are bathed and in bed, I can start my self care. Ideally I dry brush and take a warm shower, cleanse my face and apply a sheet mask and my favourite body butters and creams. At other times I look for a good yoga routine on youtube and go to bed early. Sometimes I perform a full-face ritual, and include jade rolling and gua-sha massage into my routine.
Recently I started listening to meditation using the Calm app and along with a foot massage and some Chinese herbs, I have been getting improved sleep, which has been wonderful.
a) I attend two Pilates classes a week as a goal, if i can’t make two, I supplement this with Yoga at home guided by Youtube videos, such as Yoga with Faith Hunter or Adrienne.
2) Plan quality time with self, family, and hubby. I aim to try for 4hrs of alone time, split across Saturday and Sunday. My quality time includes my self-care at home, acupuncture treatments, meditation, reading, walks and alternative medicine studies.
I’m not very consistent with this yet, but I try to have a professional massage, facial, or pedicure every month. I typically write a monthly evaluation in my journal and review my monthly goals.
Also every two months or quarterly, I perform a juice cleanse or eat vegan for a way to help reset my body.
I also look over my vision book goals and add any notes or clarifications.
With my new blog (http://zplanewellness.com), I just recently established planning my content monthly in order to reduce overwhelm. This is self care for me because it allows me be accountable and accessible on my wellness journey. I will also be sharing my progress and practice with a monthly newsletter.
I aim to have a weekend alone to recharge and develop myself, and the past two years I have been doing this through conferences such as WellSummit.
My new goal is to solidify an annual family vacation and a sweetheart weekend with hubby, as these events are not consistently done. I’m really interested in getting more experiences with my family, and break up the work schedule a bit.
I would also LOVE to have a girls’ vacay on a regular schedule with my siblings and female friends, in a place that we enjoy or that challenges us.