As the world finds its way through a global pandemic and adjusts to a new normal, frontline healthcare workers pull double duty taking care of patients and balancing their own self-care habits and mental health. It hasn’t been easy, and these heroes have sacrificed an incomprehensible amount in order to keep us safe. We sat down with Janine Llamzon, Director of Nursing in the Emergency Room Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital in New Jersey, to learn more about her experiences in the last year.
Llamzon shares her self-care habits and her hair care routine and how both have helped her stay centered, healthy, and able to keep saving lives. Read on:
Self-Care and Hair Care on the Frontlines
As the Director of Nursing in the Emergency Room Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital, the fifth busiest ER in the United States, a centering morning routine is key for Llamzon.
“I put my AirPods on and then listen to the vibe of the day, whether it’s R&B or jazz or country music,” she says. “Then I go out and hit the coffee machine so it starts brewing and then I start my yoga practice… I go outside and start my meditation practice. I sit in a cross-legged position and then I listen to a meditation playlist. If I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed, I listen to something that will center myself and get me ready for the day.”
Llamzon had been in and out of yoga studios for the past four years before finally finding a studio she loves. “There’s music and there’s laughter and joy and craziness and silliness,” she shares, as she explains why she loves the practice.
Hair Care as Self-Care
“Two times a week, I exfoliate my scalp,” Llamzon shares. She finds that Nexxus Clean & Pure Invigorating Detox Scalp Scrub helps with her eczema and psoriasis that tend to act up due to stress. “This really helps reduce it and it’s invigorating and I feel like my scalp is so clean,” she says.
“After this, I do skincare and clean my face with a tea tree cleanser and then I tone my face and I put a little bit of sunscreen… I put vitamin C around my eyes. As a nurse, you will have major eye bags!
“I am really very good now with moisturizing my face and my body, and then I put makeup on. I usually do a tinted moisturizer and a brightening concealer around my eyes.”
Mental Health on the Frontlines
We will rise and we will overcome.
When asked what message she would like to share with the world, Llamzon says, “We will rise and we will overcome. There were many times when I felt like giving up, but I have surrounded myself with people at work, my yoga tribe, and my family who have supported me and loved me and carried, and have been there behind me through the difficult circumstances of this crisis. They reminded me that it’s going to be okay and that we will get through this and that we will be okay… because history says we will.”
When it comes to self-care habits that directly affect her mental health, Llamzon is a huge advocate for therapy. “After the first wave [of Covid-19], I went to therapy… I’ve been talking to a professional for the past few months now. Every week we speak, and it has been a breakthrough experience for me. I look forward to our appointments every week. It gives me a chance to decompress and have a healthier mind and heart.”
“If you are going through a challenging time right now, seek support, find love and laughter, and self-love,” she says. “Seek help—there is no stigma around it. I hope you will find something that will bring you joy. Know that you are capable and amazing.”
All Things Hair extends its gratitude to all frontline and essential workers. Thank you for your selfless service.