“Self-care is not a waste of time; self-care makes your use of time more sustainable” – Jackie Viramontez
I want those words to resonate with you. We all get busy and it’s easy to consider self-care less of a priority that it should be.
We met with the phenomenal Uju Obi, fitness phreak and she tells us how she practices mindful breathing whenever she needs to relax. With self-care, the little things count. They are the difference between a healthy balance between your mind and body and an imbalance.
Take a ride with me for a peak into how she maintains her balance.
SPAH: Tell us a bit about yourself; let’s get to know you better.
I’m Uju, also known as Fitness Phreek. I work a full time job as a Food Technologist, then all the time, as a Fitness Enthusiast and Content Creator on YouTube.
SPAH: When did you start to build your craft?
At an early age of 14, I discovered my passion for fitness. My dad used to exercise by running outdoors and whenever I was home for holidays from boarding school, I would join him in his workouts. Over the years, I developed this deep love for fitness and I continued to incorporate it into my daily school life and now work life.
SPAH: How long has it taken you to come this far?
I’ve been a fitness freak for over 15 years but I started my YouTube channel just over a year ago in November 2018, where I help people who are busy working full time jobs, to build a disciplined and consistent fitness lifestyle, by inspiring them through online videos. I post anything that has to do with fitness, personal development and travel.
SPAH: What was your first major challenge in your career/journey and how did you overcome it?
Uju: Procrastination and lack of clarity of purpose. I fixed it by determining what my goals were, writing them down daily and working towards them.
SPAH: What has been your most rewarding moment/experience?
Uju: My most rewarding moments are when someone from my Fitness Phreek community tells me that they started working out because I inspired them.
SPAH: What do you love most about what you do?
Uju: I love that I can get in front of the camera and create content to share with my online community to help them lead healthier lives. It’s a very fulfilling feeling.
SPAH: As a creative entrepreneur, tell us more about your creative process
I draw inspiration for my online videos at any given time and I believe the mind is a very powerful tool when harnessed.
SPAH: Which part of your creative process do you find most challenging?
Uju: Right now, I’ll say it’s the research aspect, where I have to plan my video titles, descriptions, tags and thumbnails, in a way that the algorithm optimizes my content in search.
SPAH: How did you establish your creative process and why?
Uju: I have developed a system of batch producing my YouTube videos and it works in an efficient manner. From researching, to recording, to editing, to uploading and then finally optimizing.
SPAH: How do you define success with your creative process?
Uju: Success would be defined by all the times I’ve had new videos uploaded to my channel every single week. These small wins for me make all the difference.
WAIT…STOP…BREATHE…You needed that, now continue.
SPAH: Tell us an AHA moment that you have had recently?
Uju: Realizing that success is GOALS and all else is commentary. This is now what I live by.
SPAH: How do you balance your wants and needs with your creativity?
Uju: By developing my time management and organization skills, I have learned to effectively create down time, where I can just be myself, to chill out, relax and take a break from always being ON. This helps keep me refreshed with new ideas and concepts.
SPAH: Which self-care routine do you practice regularly? Yoga, Meditation, Spa Pamper Day, Journaling, Cooking, Playing Dressing up. Anything goes.
Uju: 60 min Yoga weekly
SPAH: What do you do to relax?
Uju: Whenever I feel tense, I take long deep long breaths or just lie down for about 30 minutes.
SPAH: We all evolve and grow what has been your biggest growth sprout?
Uju: Learning how to write down my goals, every single day.
SPAH: How do you start your day?
Uju: First, I read, pray, write down my goals, then exercise. Then after I shower, I get on with my most important tasks for the day.
SPAH: What are your stress triggers and how do you manage them?
Uju: Close deadlines stress me a lot, so I try not being in that situation by avoiding procrastination and getting things done, when I should.
SPAH: How would you define living your best life?
Uju: Progress, which truly brings happiness. Whenever I make progress, even in the little things, I can say I’m living my best life.
SPAH: When are you most productive?
Uju: In the mornings and whenever I’m away from the distractions of my phone.
SPAH: If your life is a soup bowl, what are the ingredients that make it unique?
Uju: Love and happiness
SPAH: How would you want to be remembered?
Uju: I would love to be remembered as one who inspired more people to live their best life by working out consistently and enjoying the numerous benefits that go with it.
SPAH: What are you doing today that is preparing you for tomorrow?
Uju: Personal development, it never stops!
SPAH: Share a Life Lesson
Uju: Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour.
A day at the spa doesn’t sound so tempting when there’s a ton of work to be done. However, treat self-care as an investment. Know that self-care is the difference between a busy person and a productive person. Take time out for yourself, breathe, consider spa treatments at home, consider aromatherapy, sleep. Take a few minutes off work to recharge even when work seems like fun. It makes all the difference.
Would you rather be busy or productive?