Her self-care rituals: Our first interview from the Her Self-care Rituals series is all about Self-Care connoisseur, entrepreneur and IOB founder, Dixie Lincoln-Nichols, who admittedly was not always self, first. These days, however, Dixie is unapologetically full of herself, and as her cup runs over, she supports others with the overflow.
Weekdays I rise to grind at 5:30 am, a practice my alarm clock helps me maintain. And though I rise, I can’t say that every, single day I grind. There are days I’ve said, F it. I’m hanging out today or I’m not doing diddly squat. On the weekend, I sleep in until the sun rises. My bedroom windows face the east and, my drapes are deliberately sheer, so there’s no such thing as sleep when sister sun slides out. I like it like that. Yes. Our bodies are meant to be in sync with nature. On cloudy or rainy weekends, my internal clock beeps around 7ish.
I lay in bed for about 10 to 15 minutes, sometimes taking deep, diaphragmatic breaths, which calms any anxiety I feel about the pending day. Other times I honor whatever feelings need to be acknowledged. These days I’ve been experiencing lots of sadness. I get off the bed, head over to my prayer table and meditate into prayer for approximately 10 minutes. Truth be told, sometimes I’m too tired to get off the bed, so I stay in bed and pray. I also do 3 different weight lifts with 6lbs dumbells, and 3 sets of 20 squats. Trying to keep the bootie and muscles at their best.
Then it’s bathroom time. I brush my teeth with an organic toothpaste, brush my body with a natural bristle hair brush for 5 minutes, shower, cleanse my face, tone and moisturize. Breakfast is usually a juice or smoothie prepared by me or my husband along with some whole grain toast and avocado or something delish on the top. When that gets boring, I dive into a new recipe. My most recent new try was blueberry and Tiff porridge. It’s delicious. A multivitamin a day, along with Vit D, Iron and B12 helps me keep the doctor away. I get my daughter up and the day proceeds. I must say, whenever I’m away from home, I find it hard to settle into a sensible routine. Things can go buck wild.
In the PM. I shower, wash my face, tone and moisturize. This ritual goes down 365 days a year. I exfoliate my face and body three times per week. At 45, cell activity is slowing down so I have to give my cells the extra love and care they need for a luscious and long life. I love feeling calm when I go to bed so I put a drop of lavender essential oil in the nape of my neck and that lulls me to sleep. Sweet dreams. Wake up. Repeat.
Once a week I do Yoga and Tai Chi: Qi Gong. For a long time, Yoga was not on my to-do or want to do list. After taking a Bikram class and barely being able to stand afterward, I chickened out and never returned. Now that I’m older, wiser and practice more patience, I appreciate that they give my body the calm and restoration it needs. For the time I’m in each class, I forget about the world and all that is a part of it. I totally focus on the now, on what my body is doing and how it’s responding and feeling. My energy is entirely mine and not wasted on anything else but me.
Believe it or not, I only learned to ride a bike three years ago. And now it’s one of my fave things to do. I’m working on getting my motorbike license next. My 13 year old says, no.
I talk to my older daughter and parents either via text or phone, weekly. My daughter does not live with us, so I feel at ease when we communicate frequently. Some weeks we talk more than others. But at least 3 to four times per week.
My husband and I have a date night once a month. Other dates may happen randomly. It depends. We also go to movies by ourselves or with our youngest daughter and her friend (s). I love going to the movies. Occasionally, if there are two movies I want to see that’s debuting within the month, we’ll go to the movies twice. I like to remove myself from the realities of the world sometimes.
Foreign and historical movies are among my favorite, so I make some time to watch one each month: African, French, Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese and Bollywood are my favorites.
Connecting with my sisters is crucial. Usually, it’s several times per month, but never less than twice. We all live in different places, a rather far distance from each other. So, we chat it up by phone a lot. When it comes to grounding, I turn to girlfriends, via phone or a get-together. We connect when we can. A recent addition has been an accountability partner who helps me take action.
Giving is gorgeous. So I give of my time and resources to one or more of my favorite not-for-profit or charity organizations. In addition, books are back in my life. My hour plus commute’s given me ample time to listen to books on Aubidle. At home, I’ll snuggle with a blanket on a couch and read a physical book.
Every year I spend tons of quality time with my grandmother during the summer months. She spends her summer months in the USA and the cold months back in Trinidad. I take her to the doctor to get all of her checkups and all that’s needed to make sure she’s well. Being able to help her brings me immense joy.
I go on a vacation by myself, with my hubby or family somewhere far away. Sometimes that may be to places unknown, where nobody knows my name or sometimes that may be back to my home country, where everyone in my small village knows my name. Getting away, either exploring or reconnecting is sweet sauce for my soul. I feel unhinged and free, wonderful and wild like the world is really my oyster. I return home feeling like, this world is mine and I’m experiencing it, fully.
My husband, ( who loves to drive ) takes us on a driving trip somewhere. It’s random. We decide when he’s ready to go. It must be at least 5 hours away. We love getting into our car and simply driving far away. We just go with the flow.
My extended family is enormous and spread out all over. I get to see some of them during any annual get-togethers. We gather from near and far for several hours and have a helluva time.
In addition, annual non-negotiables include physical checkups. I mean the whole shebang; mammogram, gyn, blood work including HIV and STI, eyes, dentist. Coming soon, Colonoscopy. I do not play! An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a wife, mama, science educator, author, certified health coach and entrepreneur. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Redbook, Natural Health, Instyle, Working Woman, Huffington Post, Essence Online, Tampa Tribune and more. She is currently the Chief Self-care Connoisseur and founder of I. O. Beauty Market, where she curates products that are free of toxic, harmful ingredients.