Diana Shenouda’s Self-Care Routine: “I’ve made sure to incorporate it into my daily practice.”

Diana Shenouda is the Founder of SAN LUEUR, an world first LED Light Therapy Facial mask, that captures advanced technology which was once reserved for in-office treatments.

What does self-care mean to you?

Self-care to me means prioritising and nourishing my physical and mental wellbeing in order to be the best version of myself, enabling me to have better clarity. Self-care is such a powerful and important moment of catharsis, allowing me to take time out for myself, slow my mind, decompress, become more present in the moment and realise the beauty, abundance and many blessings that life has to offer. Over time, I’ve learned that self-care allows you to radiate this beautiful energy and when your cup is full, only then are you able to better care for those around you.

How do you know when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out?

Close to a year ago, I was listening to a podcast series and it just so happened that the next one in the cue was titled “How to recover from burnout”. I thought the title was interesting enough so I decided to listen to it as I forced myself away from what I was working on in order to enjoy a coastal walk. In the podcast, they described burnout as a state of physical and mental exhaustion caused by, “excessive, prolonged stress.

It can happen to anyone who works too hard for too long without taking care of themselves”. Although I was putting in 80-hour weeks trying to juggle everything, I had no idea I was experiencing burnout at the time until the symptoms of burnout were discussed and I was able to check off so many of them.

For me particularly, it was having less motivation, less patience and feeling more overwhelmed and stressed and wanting to put everything on pause. From that moment of awareness, I decided to make a change. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I magically became completely immune to feelings of stress and burnout, but I’ve become much better at recognising them early on and practising self-care in order to combat them quickly.

Do you have a regular self-care routine? If so, what does it look like?

I’ve come to realise how important self-care is and how much more focused and efficient it’s made me, so I’ve made sure to incorporate it into my daily practice.

I start my day at 5am by going to the gym and doing a combination of strength and HIIT, followed by a 20 min sauna session. I also do Pilates at home in the evening at least once a week. And since my time is spent indoors most of the week, I crave and love being outside in the sunshine and surrounded by nature; so, on the weekend, I’ll fit in a walk, an ocean-swim or a hike. 

When you run a business and wear different hats for so many different roles, your mind is always on and there isn’t a moment of reprieve. Moving my body and going to the sauna have become so important for me because they really challenge me and force me to be completely present while I’m thinking about my form and my breathing.

I follow that with drinking freshly juiced celery and finish with my morning skincare routine. My skincare routine is such a beautiful self-care ritual for me. At night, on cleansed, dry skin, I’ll unwind from the day by using my SAN LUEUR Advanced LED Light Facial Mask for 20 min and, frequently, I’ll do this while journaling.

The red and the near-infrared lights are so calming and rejuvenating and the journaling allows me time for reflection. It allows me to structure my thoughts, gain clarity and, in the end, my mind always finds its way to writing about gratitude. 

What bumps you off your self-care routine and how do you get back on course?

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that as a business owner, founder and CEO, we all have to wear many hats throughout the day, in addition to the other roles in life we may have whether that be wife, partner, friend, mother etc., it can be difficult to prioritise self-care practices when you have a myriad of tasks you want to get completed and out of mind.

The biggest trap I’ve learnt is convincing yourself that you’ll get through the ‘more important’ tasks first then you’ll have time to work on your self-care practices, only then to realise at the end of the day you haven’t yet had a moment to yourself. Scheduling self-care practices into my routine, just like I would schedule a meeting, has ensured that I prioritise them no matter what.

If I notice I get stress-induced hormonal breakouts, I use the SAN LUEUR LED mask on the blue light for 10 minutes followed by the dual red and near-infrared lights for 20 minutes. This helps me slow down again as I enjoy that feeling of time out. And if I need a longer pause, I now listen to my body and willingly take it without feeling guilty instead of pushing through, because I know it will help me recharge and get me back on track.  

Where do you go for inspiration, ideas or tools for self-care?

Spending time with my family and close friends, being out in nature, reading, and listening to podcasts are all deep sources of inspiration and resources for self-care for me in their own way as they expand my mind and allow me to experience different perspectives. This will be different for everyone but there is inspiration everywhere; you just have to open yourself up to it.

What do you think you need to improve in terms of your self-care practice?

I’m definitely working on learning to say no at times, prioritising my self-care practices, ensuring that I stay consistent no matter how busy life gets and working on prioritising sleep. At times, it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day but in order to balance the grind, you have to remember this process is a journey that needs to be sustainable and prioritising self-care will rejuvenate you, make you more productive and see you through for the long run.

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.