A Dermatologist’s (& Mom’s) Self-Care Routine

Being a working mom is a juggling act — with no end! I love how it fills me up, but it can make self-care seem nearly impossible. I know I’m not alone. Whether you work in the home or outside the home, it can be immensely challenging to find time for yourself when you’re running around after your little (and big!) ones. So as summer winds down, and we approach fresh beginnings and new routines with the upcoming school year, I thought I’d share how I squeeze in a little “me” time between full clinic days and kid duty.

MORNING
Wake Up and Move: Ideally, I wake up at 5am to work out, but most days, I rise at 6am to get myself ready for work and the kids ready for school. If I do manage a workout, Pilates and a run on the Peloton Tread for 30 minutes get me going most mornings, but I love a good swim at the YMCA 2-3 times a week. Swimming has always been a great escape for me, my mind wandering in a state of blissful relaxation during freestyle laps!

Clean Up: After I shower, I splash my face with water, pat dry, and apply ISDIN’s new Vitamin C serum to help brighten my skin over the course of the day and give it an antioxidant boost. I layer on Neocutis Biocream if I need extra nourishment, then Neocutis Journee for SPF. Yes, I wear sunscreen everyday! For makeup, I keep it light. I use a little Chantecaille powder, Chanel mascara and “Boy” nude lipstick, and a spritz of IS Clinical Copper Firming Mist to help set it all into place as I never have time for touch-ups!

Breakfast: I wish I could say I drank a green tea and a banana/ginger/almond butter smoothie every day as that’s a favorite combo of mine. But we haven’t mastered the art of a calm morning routine yet. Lately, breakfast has been a few bites of the kids’ pancakes…which inevitably leads to maple syrup drips on my work clothes, which inevitably leads to me changing, and rushing out the door — hopefully by 7:30am!

AFTERNOON
Lunch: I’m a total avocado girl…any way I can get it. I know the healthy fats are good for my skin, but they also keep me full longer during busy clinic days. For a taste of home, I spread vegemite on toast then layer on the avocado. Try it — it will change your world! And I ALWAYS follow with a peppermint tea and a generous bit of dark chocolate for a pick-me-up. I’m currently obsessed with Jelina’s 72% Dark Chocolate Noir bar

After Work: After a long day of patients, I’m back to mom mode. Our little routines are so important to me to stay connected with my kids, especially since they’re growing up so fast! I keep ballet class with my daughter Valentina sacred each week, and I try to pick up the boys from school to take them to hockey as often as I can. The little car conversations with them at this age are hilarious, and I learn a lot from them!

EVENING
Family Dinner: Our schedules are way too all over the place for a proper family dinner during the week, but we try to eat together as a family on Saturdays and Sundays. The kids typically eat before us as I love relaxing at dinner and a glass of wine with my husband, catching up on our days after the kids go to bed. It’s often the only time we get a moment to truly connect during the day.

Kids’ Bedtime: We aim for 8pm, but I’m not strict about bedtimes. My boys’ hockey schedule often makes it later than I’d like.

Night Time Routine: I’m always working to start my bedtime routine earlier, but I’m a work in progress! To unwind, I cleanse with GPD Clear Wash, apply Neocutis Bio Cream, Restorsea 10x Lotion, Alastin Eye Cream and Neck Complex, and every other night GPD Face Tret, which is a retinol-based cream. A few pages of reading and then I’m out by 10:30pm — on a good night!

Because the days can sometimes feel like a blur, I certainly try to set aside “me” time for other things that are important to me. During the week, it means a hair blow out and Omnilux LED sessions at the office. Every month, I try to squeeze in a mani/pedi at Warren Tricomi here in Greenwich and give myself a little Clear + Brilliant touch-up.

I’m a big believer that staying connected with friends is key to aging well and living a long, healthy life. I’d love to make time to play golf more often with my husband or start a book club with friends, but text chats, phone calls, and girlfriend date nights fill me up, too. Right now, it’s finding the little things that bring me joy and keep me feeling my best. I know that as my kids get older, I’ll certainly have more time for golf afternoons and book clubs!

It certainly feels like a circus at times, but it’s a circus that I wouldn’t change for the world. 

Stay bright,

Dr. Dolder

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