Christina Sok is the founder & CEO of ClassBubs, a platform helping parents discover, book and review kids’ extracurricular classes.
What does self-care mean to you?
It means filling your cup first before anyone else’s. You can’t pour from an empty cup. So you have to figure out how to fill your cup.
How do you know when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out?
For me I shut down and feel unmotivated to do any work. I let emails pile up and end up procrastinating on small tasks. The only way to get out of this is for me to self-regulate, and intrinsic motivation has to kick in to lift myself out of the rut. It’s not a good place to be on a regular basis when you run your own business – so mitigating stress is key. Nowadays burn out isn’t a thing for me as I don’t let stress accumulate over a period of time.
Do you have a regular self-care routine? If so, what does it look like?
A little bit of ‘me’ time daily is important so stress is released little by little. If you get to the point of over-stress and burn out, it is just harder to come back from.
My morning routine of quiet time or meditation and exercise is a critical part of my self-care routine. On top of that I ensure I schedule regular dates with myself whether it’s a pedicure, massage, facial or a haircut. Doing this every week is really important so you don’t neglect yourself. Remember to fill your cup first.
It’s important to find an outlet for yourself and know how to let off steam. I take the definition of ‘self-care’ literally and care for my body and soul by doing something physical like exercise or grooming, and something rejuvenating for the soul by meditating or listening to a podcast and unplugging mentally.
What bumps you off your self-care routine and how do you get back on course?
Now that travel is back, I have to say travel does bump me off of my routine. But travel in itself is a break and mental reset from your usual day-to-day and that is a good opportunity to recalibrate.
Sometimes having a lack of routine is also good for the soul. I think being kind to yourself is important so you don’t beat yourself up about not keeping to your usual routines. The only way to get back on course is to jump right back on that routine horse as soon as you’re back home – that’s part of the discipline.
What do you think you need to improve in terms of your self-care practice?
I think when it gets really hectic as it often does with startup life, it’s easy to bump yourself off your schedule for other ‘more important’ priorities. But I find that this can backfire because this is a sure way to lead yourself to burn out.
Instead, prioritising even just 1 hour a week for a spa session for yourself will rejuvenate you and yield much better results in terms of productivity and everything else. Even the daily exercise routine can seem like a burden when everything gets so busy but over the years I’ve realised that not doing the exercise is even worse for me in the long run.
I need to remind myself to consistently take care of myself first and not let the whirlwind of life suck everything out of me. Sometimes it helps to say no more often, which is also a learned practice – that way you get back some time for yourself.
Before you go…
Self-Care is our new interview series exploring the different self-care routines and habits of people from all walks of life. Get in touch with us today if you’d like to talk about your self-care routine.