Dominique Baker talks about how she maintains her health and wellness with a set morning and night routine.
Do you have a morning and night routine?
I do. About a year ago, I committed to waking up and going to bed at the same time every day. So, I wake up at 8 am, shower, put on a little makeup and a cute, comfortable outfit. I then head down to the kitchen and make myself a tall glass of lukewarm lemon water to jumpstart my digestion and metabolism. After that, I make a healthy breakfast and write down ten things I’m grateful for and 10 things I appreciate about myself. I also get outside and walk my dog first thing too. We both love to get out in the fresh air to start the day on the right note.
For my night routine, I start by tucking away my phone about an hour before bed. Scrolling away would feed into me ruminating and affect my sleep. Before I tuck my phone away though, I review my calendar for the following day and create a little to-do list. That gives me a little comfort knowing what I need to focus on for the following day. Reading before bed makes me sleepy as well, so I look forward to reading a few chapters before retiring for the night. Skincare is a huge part of my nighttime routine too. I take my time enjoying each step of my skincare routine and that helps me feel calm before bedtime.
How has sleep health contributed to your overall health and wellness?
It has contributed in such a positive way. In the past, I have suffered from insomnia and it really affected every part of my life. I decided to take control and speak to my doctor. He suggested melatonin which helped me get a good night’s rest. With this, I was better able to tackle my day, create better content as I was more focused and less exhausted. A great night’s sleep also improved my mood, memory and overall well-being. I no longer have that “brain fog”. My anxiety lessened as well. Upgrading our pillows, sheets, mattress and creating a calm and restful environment in our bedroom really helped too.
How do you find time to be active with a busy schedule?
I work out three times a week with my personal trainer. I schedule that time into my calendar like a non-negotiable appointment. That is my “me time” and I work my other meetings and appointments around that. My current gym is a friendly place with a great sense of community. Looking forward to working out is half the battle. So far, so good!
During lockdowns, I was forced to start working out at home. We invested in a treadmill, Peloton bike, weights, resistance bands…you name it. This allowed me to work out in between meetings, first thing in the morning – whenever I felt like really. Working from home made it so much easier. I also reduced the length of my home workouts. YouTube and various apps offer great workouts of any length that really get a good sweat going. I found it much easier to commit to a 20-minute workout in my basement than a gruelling hour-long workout by myself that I would never really look forward to and would leave me feeling “beaten up”.
How do you incorporate mindful practices into your daily routine?
Great question and this is something I am really working on. I try to be very intentional with the social media I consume. I only follow accounts that make me feel good and that I learn from. As I mentioned before, I start the day by writing 10 things I am grateful for and 10 things I appreciate about myself. Doing that was a game-changer for me and really helped me focus on all of the great things in my life.
Meditation is something that I have started doing recently also. It’s hard, but I do cherish that time to just be still and focus on my breathing. It’s so calming when I finally get my brain to stop racing. I also practice mindful eating. I have started eating without my phone, focusing on how great the food tastes and not gobbling my food quickly either. I tend to eat less and feel better afterwards. It helped my digestion too.
Do you have any tips for someone who wants to be more mindful but doesn’t know where to start?
Yes! It is as simple as googling mindfulness practices and implementing those that resonate with you. I also started following accounts on social media focusing on mindfulness practices and incorporated those into my daily routines. Easy ones that someone can start with are stretching routines, guided meditations, breathing exercises and journaling. All of these are really easy to do at home, by yourself, yet have such great benefits.