Runako Inside Out with Lauren Williams

Inside Out is our monthly profile on people and all things personal care. Our profiles will look into different aspects of personal care including physical, skin, mental and health care. We want to know how you’ve been taking care of yourself inside and out and help us share tips, tricks and advice with others.

This week we feature Lauren Williams,  a housing management representative, currently working at New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Her agency that focuses on building, preserving, and protecting affordable housing and increasing home ownership throughout New York state. In her role as representative for Mitchell-Lama housing she works to provide moderate income families affordable housing for co-ops and rentals, while also working as a point person for the agency.

Runako: How are you? Especially now with the on-going coronavirus pandemic? 

Lauren: I'm hanging in there! It's tough at times since I can't do some of the things I used to, but I try to keep myself busy.

Runako: How have you been taking care of your mental health? Have you implemented any changes to your personal routine?

Lauren: I've been working from home. I take short breaks throughout the day while working, even if it is for 5 minutes. It’s important to take a brief walk and get some air or move around to get your mind away from work. Honestly, I need to implement that more in my life, but I do make sure that I get a mental break from time to time. Also, praying helps me when I am really stressed.

Runako: How have you been taking care of your physical health? If not, why?

Lauren: I would work out from time to time. I honestly need to step up my exercise routine which I intend to do in the next few days. Luckily, healthy eating and eating snacks in moderation has helped me to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight during this time.

Runako: We can’t forget about skincare, how has your skincare routine been during the quarantine? Any significant changes?

Lauren: For my body, my skincare routine has been the same for the most part. I make sure that I have the right kind of lotion and soap that I need during certain seasons of the year especially during the winter since my skin is more sensitive to the cold and tends to get a lot drier. I now have to be more vigilant about using lotion on my hands since I wash my hands more vigorously and use hand sanitizer more frequently. I have sought less abrasive liquid hand soap and soap infused with lotion or shea butter since my hands tend to look dry.

Runako: What are some products you’ve been loving and using?

Lauren: I enjoy anything with shea butter since my skin gets very dry and natural soaps. Shea Moisture lotion, One With Nature lotion, and various types of soap from Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve.

Runako: Any natural skin care tips or products you’ve tried and are now part of your personal routine?

Lauren: I make my own hair oil mixes that can also be used for the skin. It is an even mix of different carrier oils (i.e. jojoba, olive, castor, coconut, etc.) and essential oils such as rosemary, lavender, peppermint and tea tree oil to name a few. I recommend doing research to find out what works with your type of skin.

Runako: Do you have any go-to DIY skincare recipes or combinations that you can share? 

Lauren: Cocoa butter and shea butter is a great combo for skin. Any butters can pretty much assist with dry skin during the winter. I also enjoy argan oil for my hair (especially when straightened), scalp and skin since it is a light oil that isn't heavy and easily absorbs into the skin and hair within seconds.

Runako: What’s a must in your personal care routine? (Don’t be shy)

Lauren:  Shea butter, natural soap, and carrier oils are a must for me. In general, setting aside time to pamper myself is important. I have found that when I am in a rush and do not allow for additional time to focus on self care, I see the difference.

Runako: Any advice, tips or tricks you want to share? Something you might have discovered recently that might help someone reading this? 

Lauren: I have learned not to stress too much about what is going to happen in the future. In the past I had the habit of stressing over what will happen next and if I am making the wrong decision about things in my life. While focusing and planning for the future is important, we only have the present and we can't change the past. This pandemic has taught me to appreciate the people and things that I do have and to embrace the moment that I am in.

Runako: Any New Year resolutions you may want to share?

Lauren: Getting toned for the upcoming summer. Also getting additional certifications to make myself more marketable in my career.

Runako: Lastly, not a question, but thank you for taking care of yourself and sharing with others your personal routine. 


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