“When you are honest about who you are, what you want and stop people-pleasing, your business can be part of your self care.” Emotional wellbeing coach Tamu Thomas on looking after herself while running her wellbeing brand…
Tamu Thomas is an emotional wellbeing coach, writer, workshop facilitator, podcaster and Non-Linear Movement practitioner who helps over-functioning, overworking, high-achieving women fall in love with themselves so they can make powerful choices about how they live, love and work.
Tell us about your morning routine…
My morning routine has changed. I used to try and do self care stuff like journal, meditate and move my body mindfully. However my truth is my brain doesn’t work very well when I do that I end up procrastinating terribly.
I wake up just before 6am and start my day with an affirmational prayer I recorded on my voice-notes. Then I have to get out of bed immediately. I drink a glass of water on and make a cup of coffee then I start working. If I don’t, the day runs away and I don’t know where the time went.
I finish work at about 2pm. I close my day with journaling then go for a walk or to the gym.
Do you dress up for work?
No, unless I’m in a funk and want to lift my mood. If I am doing a speaking gig or corporate workshop I put more thought into what I wear.
Where do you spend the working day?
It depends. I work from home, the gym, the park or Birch members club. It depends on what I’m doing and what stimulus I need or need to avoid. My favourite place to work is the peace garden in my local park, it’s beautiful, peaceful and inspiring.
Yes I schedule my lunch break as if I’m wrapped up in work it’s easy for me to forget and then realise I’m hungry because it’s after 2pm and I’m looking for biscuits. I actually have a lunch alarm set on my phone. On Friday’s I make a nice lunch and eat it mindfully.
What do you do when your energy is dipping?
My energy bounces up and down throughout the day and depending on the time of the moment so I try to plan my day to work with my energy levels.
I try my best to stay hydrated as that helps with fatigue. To boost my energy I pat my body starting at my feet and working my way up or dancing. But honestly when I feel my energy dipping I honour myself with a nap! I work for myself so I try to treat myself like a highly valued team member!
How important is movement, during the working day?
It’s essential. We were not made to be stagnant, this leads to overthinking and trapped energy/ emotions. Moving helps our bodies process our experience as well as contributing to us being healthy.
I have a high threshold for stress and anxiety which means my tolerance level is high. This is unhealthy as I don’t always recognise when I’m beginning to get overwhelmed. Moving my body mindfully helps me connect to how I feel and what is going on for me.
It’s also a good way to discharge excess energy. That’s one of the reasons why I love strength training.
Where do you go for ideas and inspiration?
Inwards! My body is full of ideas and inspiration, too much at times. I’m quite playful so I see awe and wonder all around. If I feel stuck I listen to Agape church services with Michael Bernard Beckwith and go for a walk or do some Non Linear Movement. Generally speaking, if I need to go somewhere for inspiration it means I’m tired and need to unplug.
What drives you?
On a bad day, a fear of failure – keeping it real. I am terrified of ending life with regret – but this is a terrible driver. It’s desperate, forceful and makes rash decisions.
I am mainly driven because I know I’m chosen (we all are but we don’t all know it). I believe I’m a conduit for God’s love and prosperity. I’m also driven by the idea of creating a just world. Social justice is very important to me and I that begins by helping people learn how to cultivate emotional safety and befriend their nervous system.
What does ‘success’ mean to you?
I’m smiling – success is like the scene in the Sound of Music where Julie Andrews is singing, “the hills are alive with the sound of music”. Success feels like my cells are alive with the sound of life’s music. I have space to be free to play, rest, be present, spend time with people I love.
Success feels like owning my time and being able to be generous with it, starting with me. Success means making money in a manner that is smart enough for me to make money without depleting myself and feeling safe enough to enjoy it.
It means people feeling cherished by my energy and inspired by my actions. Success means creating a life and work that lives beyond my life time.
It also means creating intergenerational wealth that can be enjoyed by my daughter and her children if she chooses to have them.
Ultimately success means learning to be satisfied in this moment and expanding it by being present. Everything I have referred to is above is created in the here and now.
Top three values?
Funnily I did a values assessment the other day and they are always the same top three:
Do you have a book, podcast or social media account you’d recommend for other women in business?
The Law of Divine compensation by Marianne Williamson.
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Hello Seven – Rachel Rodgers
Money Makers – Ray Dodd
Diary of a CEO – Steven Bartlett
Social media –
Who makes up your support network?
I have a lot of support. My mum is my biggest supporter. My brother, sister and my daughter too. The most intimate support I’ve had for the last two years is from my therapist, Dawn Estefan – she is incredible. I have business support and lols with awesome humans I met via Instagram. Also the people I am in community with on Instagram are incredibly supportive. I also have to mention my two Leahs and Nicola Rae Wickham – they have a knack of saying what I need to hear at the right time.
How do you end your day?
A lovely brand called Made by Coopers gave me a pillow spray as a gift, I spray it at the end of my work day now my body knows what that means.
I have some reflection questions I use as journal prompts at the end of the day. If my brain is full I’ll do a brain dump and write everything down.
I brush the energy of the day off with my Selenite wand and if the day has been heavy I’ll go to the gym and have a long shower.
Sleep: do you need lots or a little?
LOTS! So much! Im perimenopausal so I have to be diligent about sleep. I don’t do well on a lack of sleep and I can’t push through so I set myself up for good sleep and nap when I need to.
Perimenopause means that my sleep can be very disturbed so I don’t play when it comes to sleep.
How about holiday: how many weeks off a year?
I don’t know? I talk about toxic productivity a lot as toxic levels of productivity is my addiction. I think this year is the first year since starting my business in 2018 where I have had the systems and income stream in place to be able to take proper time off.
So far I’ve had three proper weeks off and days off as and when. I’m trying to take breaks before I feel like the wheels are coming off… trying!
Any other tips/thoughts/ideas?
We start businesses to give ourselves more freedom. We need to get honest about who we are, what we want, what we need to thrive and go for it. There is no point starting a business and then acting like an uncaring boss towards yourself.
When you are honest about who you are, what you want and stop people-pleasing, your business can be part of your self care.
We must remember that we work to live and plan our work accordingly. It is possible to do this without compromising the impact you can have and your earning potential.