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wellbeing

How do these two pro’s find time to self-care and have multiple careers?

Bianca and Marian are the prime examples of ‘multi-hyphen’ professionals and creatives that manage to tackle different projects and deadlines while adding doses of self-care into their daily lives. That’s why this whole topic is interesting as self-care means something different to everyone.

Self-care for you it might be a face mask and a bath, for others it may be reading and meditating, or eating well. Any form of self-care is important though, it’s essential and helps us recharge and keep going. As the saying goes ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’, so taking time for ourselves is vital, especially now when the past two years have scrapped the balance between ‘home life’ and ‘work life’ and merged them into one.

Journalist Fani Mari spoke to Bianca-Francesca Foley, who is a content creator and one-half of the Sustainably Influenced podcast, as well as stylist, creative consultant and editor, Marian Kwei to find out what self-care means to them.

Bianca

As a creative, podcaster, content creator and working full-time you must have your hands full! How do you take time for yourself? 

Ha! This question made me giggle. If I’m honest, I go through bursts of working endlessly and then prolonged stretches of downtime which is lovely. It all depends on what I have going on. I try my best to take a little time for myself everyday though, whether that be working out, reading, lounging on the sofa with my dogs or getting a cheeky 30-minute nap in!

Self-care has become so important over the past two years, but I think it’s important to recognise that it doesn’t have to be a lengthy process, it can come in the form of a 5-minute screen break or having a cup of tea without any interruptions. 

What’s your ultimate self-care evening? 

Good food and a TV boxset. I love to use masks and often do a hot oil treatment on my hair and use the Faace Tired mask to help brighten my tired skin after a busy week.

Do you practice yoga, meditation or anything related to that, that helps you? And if so, where does it fit in your schedule? 

I have always been quite spiritual, so normally do my meditation before bed.  Recently I’ve started trying to incorporate Yoga into my exercise regime at least 3 times a week. If I do a workout online, I immediately add it on after so that I don’t lose momentum. I also use the Calm app at bedtime to help me drift off.

Can you take us through your typical day including how you add doses of self-care within it? 

A typical day for me at the moment involves getting up and doing a workout, followed by yoga, then sitting at my laptop for 9am for my full-time job. During my lunch break I normally have a bit of lunch, check on my freelancer work and schedule any content I have to shoot that coming weekend. I sometimes go for a walk and spend some time outside, which is hard during lockdown! Then it’s back to work for the rest of the day and I normally finish around 5.30pm before prepping dinner and doing all the boring house stuff that needs to be done. I spend a lot of time on my own during the day which is lovely, so I try my best to take 5 minutes here and there away from any screens to de-stress.

Is there something you’d like to add in your routine (eg. journaling, a walk) or something you want to do more of in 2022? 

The biggest thing for me in 2021 was to get moving more every day as my workouts completely stopped towards the end of last year.  So, I’m glad to say that I am on top of that. I’d say that as the days get longer, I want to get in the habit of getting up a little earlier during the working week. The one thing I need to remember is to go outside daily and stretch my legs, as during busy periods, I can spend hours sitting at my laptop without getting any fresh air!

Marian

As a creative, personal stylist, consultant and blogger, you must have your hands full! How do you take time for yourself? 

I think it is important to take time for oneself. I also think it is important to pamper oneself. To add lots of self-care to your daily routine and to take time out to do things like having a facial or massage (post-Coronavirus pandemic!). We need to look after ourselves. But, we must remember that self-care entails looking after our physical, mental, spiritual and emotional wellbeing. We only live once so be intentional about looking after yourself!

What’s your ultimate self-care evening?

My ultimate self-care evening would be applying a face mask and deep conditioning my hair while I take a luxurious long soak in the bath tub with Epsom salts. This would be followed by rubbing body oils into my skin.

Do you practice yoga, meditation or anything related to that, that helps you? And if so, where does it fit in your schedule? 

I don’t practice meditation or yoga, but I am a practicing Christian, so I have a prayer and worship life. I start my day with prayer and studying a daily devotional and Bible study. This helps centre me for my day.

Can you take us through your typical day including how you add doses of self-care within it?

I usually start my day with prayer, devotion and Bible study. This is then followed by drinking cups of lukewarm water with a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice. I see this as self-care.

This is then followed by 40 minutes of dance which I do as a form of self-care. Exercise is an important way of looking after our bodies. I usually dance to HipHop or R&B playlists. It is a fun way to work up a sweat.

After this I have a shower and have some breakfast. I am vegan and this is a form of self-care in that it is a healthier lifestyle. I also say it is looking after myself because meat and dairy do not agree with me and cause me inflammation and pain.

I then start my workday, working on emails and tasks. This carries on till midday where I stop to get some fresh air and stretch my legs. I then have lunch. I follow this with sort session of prayer and worship which I do with some Christian worship music, YouTube is great for this!

I find that this refreshes me and helps anchor the rest of my day in the right direction.

I keep busy for the rest of the day till the end of my day where I usually have a fruit and veg smoothie. I try to use up to eight or nine fresh fruits and vegetables like kale, celery and spinach. I have found that this is a great way to ensure I’m getting enough fibre. I end my day with a hot shower, some Netflix (as I don’t have a TV) and some me time.

Is there something you’d like to add in your routine (eg. journaling, a walk) or something you want to do more of in 2022?

Great question. I think I would like to start gratitude journaling again. I bought one last year but only used it a few times. It is great for the spirit.

I also want to add a walk to my daily routine. One of best friends, Fatou, goes walking a couple of times a week and she always makes me feel inspired to do the same! 

Whatever you do to self-care, just make sure you’re taking some time for yourself in 2022.

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