Dani Lombard, Managing Director at Soda Communications, a boutique-sized PR consultancy with offices in Sydney and Melbourne.
What does self-care mean to you?
Self care to me means putting yourself first, whatever that means. I think too often we think of “self care” as lying in a bath with candles lit and soft music playing. Or getting a facial. The reality is, that’s not really going to happen for most people. For me, self care means choosing yourself and what you need, at any given time, over and above the demands of everyday life.
How do you know when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out?
I’m fairly well attuned to my body. Stress and burnout will present as a general feeling of running on adrenaline and cortisol, when it’s difficult to turn my mind off. It’s the feeling that my mind is awake, even when I’m technically asleep. When I start to feel like that I know I’m a bit cooked!
Do you have a regular self-care routine? If so, what does it look like?
For me, self-care is just looking after myself in practical ways. Sleep, nutrition, time with my family, the occasional social plan, making sure my work is rewarding and fun. That’s self-care right there. Exercise is a pretty big part of my life too though I’m hesitant to call it self-care because sometimes it feels like the opposite of dragging yourself out the door for a run!
I do a lot of training programs with a charity called Can Too that trains everyday folks like me to run and swim in endurance events, and in return we raise money for cancer research. Can Too ticks a lot of self-care boxes for me.
Scheduled training twice a week with a group, a coach, a goal to work towards, a way to give back to something more meaningful than silly ol’ me and the chance to do something really challenging and feel proud of myself afterwards! It’s also pretty social – which is a huge part of self care for me.
I’m a grade A extrovert and without reasonably regular social plans I wither on the vine! We always have breakfast after our Saturday runs as a group, which I’m not going to lie, is the best part of training. :
What bumps you off your self-care routine and how do you get back on course?
Not getting enough sleep is at the root of ALL EVIL for me. I actually recently did a DNA test that said I had a gene that means I suffer more from sleep deprivation. It was funny to see that it was a real thing as I’ve always had to prioritise sleep in a huge way or everything falls apart.
If I skimp on sleep, I get run down, I end up getting sick, and then both work and family life suffer. If I’m feeling run down, or overworked and my sleep is suffering during the week, I’ll make sure I get to nap on the weekends to pop some sleep in the bank and fill up my reserves. Even if that means cancelling plans.
Where do you go for inspiration, ideas or tools for self-care?
I listen to a lot of podcasts and read books and follow some interesting people on social media. But I think at the age of 43 I’m pretty clear on what works for me and what doesn’t!
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.