How I Thrive: COCOTIQUE Founder Dana Hill Robinson

How I Thrive takes an inside look at founders, entrepreneurs and leaders and the behind-the-scenes self-care work they do to in order to live balanced, happy lives. Today's edition is with COCOTIQUE founder and CEO Dana Hill Robinson, who has a full-blown morning spa ritual and firmly believes in the healing power of hydration.

Name: Dana Hill Robinson

Age: 55

City: Cliffside Park, NJ

Company: COCOTIQUE, a beauty and self-care subscription box for women of color.

Role: Founder and CEO 
Beyond the role: Wife (married late in life at 53), bonus mom, sister, aunt, friend and entrepreneur. 
 

Morning routine:

I typically wake up between 6 and 6:30 a.m., and the first thing I do is check my Sleep Score on my FitBit app to see how long I've slept. I'm working on getting more quality sleep in, because I tend to have trouble staying asleep. I had my thyroid removed in 2008, so the second thing I do every morning is take my Synthroid.

I then spend 10-20 minutes meditating to clear my mind and prepare for the day. I don't like to jump out of bed right away, so I'll typically switch back and forth between "Good Morning America" and the "The Today Show" between 7 and 8 a.m. as I go over my schedule and list of priorities for the day.

I'm intentional about not checking emails until 8 a.m. I like to give myself this time to ease into my day while I sip on a glass of warm water with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to start my day. I usually start working from my bed from 8 to 10 a.m. answering emails and following up on anything outstanding on my to-do list from the day before. I then have my breakfast at 10, which is usually a smoothie with spinach, sea moss, berries, bananas, avocado, various adaptogens, flax seed, and a vanilla plant-based protein powder.

By 10:30 I take my shower and slather my body with a mixture organic coconut and grapeseed oil, and then a coconut body cream to seal it in. I like to give myself a mini self-massage as I do this. I treat my morning bathroom routine as a mini spa self-care experience. I savor this time and enjoy layering my body care and skincare. I have a variety of skincare serums that I alternate with and put on my face as a first layer followed by a moisturizer, eye cream, and then finally a sunscreen. After my morning spa ritual, I then head to my home office to continue my work day.

The first thing I do after work:  

If I finish work early, I go downstairs to my husband's office to see how his day is going and to find out what he'd like to eat for dinner. Sometimes we're both working late and we can't eat together, but we usually try to make sure we set aside this time to connect and decompress from our hectic days.

Dinner ritual: 

We like to eat around 7 p.m. I'm lucky to have a husband who also cooks and loves to grill. We usually take turns cooking or we'll prepare meals together. We eat pretty clean and everything organic — grilled fish or chicken, veggies, brown rice, and some sort of bean are our usual go to meals. But we do love to snack guacamole and chips. I also have a huge sweet tooth and usually have some sort of dessert. We used to go out a lot before the pandemic to eat: Thai, Korean, Cuban, Italian are some of our favorites. Sometimes we order in, but it's just not the same.

Nighttime routine: 

I like to start with a thorough body brushing before taking a hot shower. At least three times a week, I follow up my shower with a soak in an epsom salt bath. I then jump back in the shower for a short rinse before applying my multiple layers of oils and body cream. My nighttime skincare routine for my face is similar to my daytime routine but I don't put on sunscreen. I have several essential oil blends that I place on the soles of my feet, my temples and the back of my neck to help relax me. If I'm feeling extra stressed, I'll take some CBD oil and put some lavender and frankincense essential oils in my diffuser and turn it on for an hour or so while I watch TV. This usually calms me and helps me drift off to sleep.

Self-care guilty pleasure:

Having bathroom stocked with a ridiculous amount of beauty products. I receive a lot of products from brands to test out for my beauty/self-care subscription box but I still buy products. I'm completely and utterly obsessed! My favorite thing to do is to open up a new product and try it out.

Workday self-care hack:

Hydrate! I drink a minimum of 80 ounces of alkaline water every day and two cups of herbal tea. I also like to drink infused filtered water with watermelon, cucumber and fresh mint. Hydration is key for having glowing skin and cleansing your body inside and out.

How do you define self-care?

Whatever you do for yourself that makes you happy mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.

Favorite childhood toy or hobby:

My favorite hobby was reading. It was my time to escape and to also learn about new things. I was a very inquisitive child who asked a lot of questions. I would read encyclopedias for fun. And if you ask my husband, I'm still the same way. It's definitely influenced how I am today. I'll spend hours researching various topics of interest.

State of your (email) inbox: 

I'm usually not able to respond to every email so I'll flag unanswered emails as a to-do item for the next day. Each morning I'll go through and answer any emails from the previous day. I also create folders to keep my emails organized.

Want to kick your self-care game up a notch? Subscribe to Silk + Sonder today.

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