Many of our Alchemy Members are busy moms. Finding a balance between having a career and being a mom can be challenging. We asked Christina Sandok to give us a glimpse into one of her week days and how she maintains balance.
Mornings are critical for me. If I just rolled out of bed and started my day without sticking to a healthy morning routine, I wouldn’t be nearly as productive or feel as energized and balanced throughout the day. In other words, I’d be one ole hot mess!
First, Caffeine (and reflection).
6:30/7:00am – Wake up. Lay in bed and meditate on the tone that I’d like to set for the day. Thoughts of coffee or a matcha latte are also on my mind. Thankfully my husband Craig wakes up much earlier than I do and usually has my liquid gusto waiting for me when I get downstairs. Before caffeine, I down a big glass of lemon water. Today, my matcha latte is made with Vital Protein collagen, coconut oil, a little honey and a dash of cinnamon (all tossed into a VitaMix and blended).
While I sip, I take a look at my schedule for the day to see if I need to reconfirm or reschedule anything and simply make sure the day is set up to flow smoothly.
7:30am – Amelia (aka Mila) calls for me. “Mommy…I’m awake!” I set my matcha down and head back upstairs. As she usually does, Amelia asks me to snuggle with her in bed and talk about what we have on deck for the day. This is my favorite time. We then head to the kitchen for breakfast. Craig is our breakfast chef and makes amazing eggs. Today he whipped up avocado toast topped with a poached egg on Ezekiel sprouted grain bread (we are spoiled, I know). After we finish eating, we all take a spoonful of SFH fish oil, a probiotic and Vitamin D3. We add in a dose of greens powder in our smoothies on some mornings as well. ‘Tis the season for amping up our immune systems!
8:00am – Everyone gets ready. Amelia is at the age where she loves picking out her clothes. Today her ensemble included a dress paired with pants…a few necklaces, a handful of hair barrettes and bold socks. Hilariously adorable. Once she’s dressed, I start my routine. My routine is simple as I don’t have much time – brush teeth, moisturizer, mascara, lipgloss and a ponytail. Currently I am loving Tata Harper moisturizer, Beautycounter mascara and KORRES lip butter in wild rose.
9:00am – February is the month of kindness at school and the kids are asked to bring a heart-shaped note describing something they’ve done to make someone else happy. We finish Amelia’s note and head out the door. Somehow we managed to get to school just as the bell rang. After giving a hug goodbye to my little lady, I sit in my car and check email. Nothing urgent, thankfully.
Workout and work.
9:30am – An A10 at Alchemy Edina with my business partner and fellow Alchemy member. We love setting the tone for the day by sweating and getting our blood flowing. I swear it gets the creative juices flowing too!
10:30am – We hunker down at a coffee shop to get work done (The Lynhall, French Meadow or People’s Organic are our go-to venues). We are in the midst of planning an upcoming photo shoot, wrapping up a PR project and working with key influencers on social media on behalf of our clients. We grab lunch and continue to crank away (with an occasional break to catch up, of course). I was friends with my business partner before she joined the Style-Architects team, so working together is so much fun.
1:00pm – I pick Mila up from preschool and bring her home. On our drive home, she fills me in on her day. Today she told me that she was the class “weather watcher” and that her “favorite kind of Doctors are the ones that cut hair.” Too funny! I love this age.
2:00pm – I’m back on email and working from home while Amelia naps. I am working on reviewing the documents the accountant sent over. Quickbooks and I aren’t dear friends, so thank goodness for turmeric ginger tea and a piece of dark chocolate to get me through it.
3:30pm – I return two phone calls and then sneak in a quick 15 minute meditation before Amelia wakes up.
Dinner & family time.
5:30pm – We start prepping dinner. Cell phones and computers are stored away for the day. Amelia loves to cook so we prep our meals together. We started involving her in the process when she was 18 months old. Now she loves to chop, stir, suggest seasoning (of course she thinks we need to add honey to everything) and can even crack eggs (a little shell in your food never hurt anyone, right?)! In summer months, we have a small garden where we pick vegetables and herbs that we incorporate into our meals.
6:30pm – Family time. Tonight we played Blink and danced to Justin Timberlake.
7:30pm – Time to tuck Amelia into bed. Craig reads a few books, then I head in to kiss Amelia good night and take a moment with her to reflect on what we are thankful for. Afterwards, I’m back downstairs to prep her lunch for school the next day. Weelicous is my to go for healthy school lunch ideas.
Relax & snooze.
8:00/8:30pm – Craig and I relax together. This is our time to connect, chat about our day and daydream about the future over a glass of wine or cup of tea.
9:30pm – Bedtime. I love me some sleep, so an early bedtime is a must!
Christina’s wellness tips:
1. We cook a lot, so I like to plan a rough menu for the whole week and get the food on Sunday. We use Thrive Market, Linden Hills Co-op & Trader Joes for pantry staples and Instacart when we’d rather stay home in our pajamas (it happens….a lot). Keep healthy snacks on hand for when you are in a hurry. I like to keep brazil nuts/cashews or GoMacro bars in the car/purse.
2. I try to prep everything for the next day the prior evening. This makes for a more relaxed morning. Lunches, work/school projects, cleaning, etc. are typically done before we go to bed.
3. Mix up your breakfast! We often do soup or leftovers for breakfast. Especially in the winter months, we have found it more nourishing to have a warm meal first thing in the morning. This is a great tip for someone fighting a cold too.
4. Plan time to go without phones and computers. I have found that I am more present in conversations with my friends and family if I stick to this rule. We both briefly check our email after tucking Amelia into bed; however, we generally try to leave our phones in another room. Out of sight…out of mind!
5. Make sleep a priority. It’s easy to get caught up on your computer or doing little projects at night, but a good night’s sleep is truly a game-changer. Your body heals when you sleep – this means your digestive system rests, your skin replenishes, your immune system is working to fight off any potential illness, your muscles are repairing after workouts…serious stuff, people!
6. Make time to sweat. Setting aside time to exercise not only keeps you in shape but also helps you sleep better (see tip #5). Starting with an A10 class is the perfect introduction.
Christina is the founder of Style-Architects, a content creation & public relations agency. She was recently named “Business Owner of the Year Under the Age of 40” by the National Association of Women Business Owners – Minnesota Chapter. She is also the mother of Amelia, a spirited sweet 4 year old girl and a regular in Alchemy Edina’s A10, A20 and AStrong classes.