Our Mindful Mamas series spotlights other amazing mindful mamas from all over! The interviews focus on mindfulness and self-care and what it means and looks like for each mama. The goal of this series is to showcase the different ways we mamas get our self-care and mindfulness in and show how it can look/feel/be different for everyone, as well as the creative tips we mamas use to fit it in! We hope this series educates, informs and inspires you on self-care and to take some time for yourself, mama!
Meet Cecilia Pagkalinawan
I'm loving this series so far, and I hope you are too! Our next mama is up and I feel very inspired by what she's doing for our planet as a climate activist and entrepreneur - mamas, please meet Cecilia. Cecilia is a mom of a 20-year old boy (now in college!), and lives in New York City. She is the Co-Founder of 3 businesses, all of which positively impact the planet and people, which you can learn more about here. Check out my full interview with Cecilia below!
What is your definition of self-care? Has this changed since becoming a mom?
I have more time for self-care now that my son is in college and I have plenty of free time. Self-care is actually putting yourself first. I had a health scare which helped alleviate that feeling us moms tend to have when we make time to take care of ourselves and put our needs first. Sleep and quiet time are luxuries for moms and now I have plenty of both. By quiet time, I mean time for yoga, meditation, listening to or reading books, and creative time from creating art to playing music.
What does your self-care routine look like? Feel free to share small practices you do regularly and/or a set routine (morning, evening).
I make sure I sleep 8 hours a night. I pay attention to my circadian rhythm. If I'm tired I rest and sleep instead of taking caffeine or meds to force me to stay up. I wake up at sunrise, meditate, do yoga all before I do any Zoom calls or answer any emails or texts. I cook my own food which is healthier in terms of ingredients I choose and portion control.
Do you practice mindfulness? If so, how?
Yes. I meditate and have a daily gratitude practice. I also unplug my phone. I have a device that plays sound healing and ambient music that I listen to that doesn't need wifi or internet so I can leave my phone behind and turn it off.
What's a "mindful mama" tip you have?
When my son was young, I did a lot of exercise at home in the evenings while he was sleeping. I got really good at mat workouts with pilates and also free weights and ankle weights in my own living room. It helped me during the pandemic that I was able to adjust to doing my workouts at home, no problem.
What is your favorite self-care activity for when you have… 5 minutes, 30 minutes, 60+ minutes?
Walking is a great exercise that clears my mind and gets my heart pumping when I quicken my pace. Even when I was at the playground with my son, I'd do lunges, squats and kicks while he's with other kids in the park. Staying active and moving is so important especially if you are sitting down working all day.
What are your top 3 - 5 self-care and/or wellness products?
Dead Sea salts for hot baths. Dr. Bronner's lavender liquid soap. I use it for my hair and body and in the bath tub and it's good for the environment. It doesn't pollute drinking water aquifers like other hair and body products.
My Spotify app. I have a different playlist for different moods I want to set my mind to. I have falling asleep music and waking up music. I also have working and walking music, and of course dance music. I also have a small portable music device, JourneyBox, that plays sound healing music. I can turn off my phone and take JourneyBox with me outside, on the roof, or in any room and not have EMF waves interfering with my meditation and be fully relaxed in theta state.
Motherhood can be overwhelming! How do you center yourself when you’re feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed?
I listen to music. I have different playlists I've created to reset my mood. I also go outside, look at the sky or take a walk on the waterfront wherever I may be. Time in nature surrounded by trees is essential to my health.
Cecilia in Tulum!
What is a tip you have for a mom interested in self-care but unsure how to start, or she feels overwhelmed with the idea of fitting it in?
Just start with setting a time where you do nothing. Sitting still and doing nothing is part of mindfulness. Meditation can start just by listening to sounds -- from bird sounds to leaves rustling to water moving.
When do you feel your most bliss’d out?
I feel most blissed out when I'm staring at moving water -- whether the riverfront in NYC or at a lake upstate or on the ocean. When I'm not outside, taking a hot bath with the right music and sea salts help get me there.
What's a mama mantra you live by?
I am strong, capable and worth it. I can do it. Moms oftentimes don't get appreciated or get a pat on their backs. So you need to do it for yourself.
Anything else you'd like us to include?
It's important to have self-care time, even if you take yourself out on a date somewhere where you are away from your kids where you can feel rejuvenated. Sometimes it's going to a concert, or a museum or to your favorite restaurant. You can do it with friends, but you can also do it by yourself.
Thank you, Cecilia, for your thoughtful answers and insights! And I completely agree - mamas, it IS important to make time for self-care, whatever that might look like you for you (perhaps you gained some new inspiration from here!).