Christy Tennery-Spalding is a self-care mentor, healer, and activist. She is the author of Real Self-Care, and the creator of Sacred Focus. Here, she shares a little bit about her life with her sweetie and two kitties as well as the routines and rituals that support deep wellness in her own life! 


I have very regular biorhythms, in that I sleep during roughly the same time every day, regardless of weekends. I’ve always been a morning person, and I get up between 6:15am and 6:45am pretty much every morning. In the evenings, I start powering down between 9:00pm and 9:30pm. This is how I refer to the ways that my body and mind start to move in the direction of sleep, whether I like it or not! I’m usually in bed by 9:45pm and asleep by 10pm.

My evening routine is pretty simple. A little yarrow oil on my face, brushing teeth, drinking a glass of water, cuddling with the cats, and off to sleep. I try to limit my exposure to bright screens (like cellphones and laptops) after 9pm or 9:15pm. 

My morning routine involves a little gentle yoga, usually just on the floor of my bedroom (or in bed before I get up), a brief meditation, and generally some form of tarot, animal, or oracle card time. I like to work with divination cards to see what I should keep an eye out for in the course of my day. Then I have breakfast and coffee with my husband. Our morning coffee time is sacred, and it’s my very ritual in my life.

Once that’s done, I usually get to work. I work from home and my most generative time is from 7:30am to 10am, so I try to honor that by getting into the meat of my work.


I’m a mostly-vegetarian pescetarian. I would say most of my diet is made up of vegetables, grains, tofu, fish, beans, and chocolate. Staples you’ll always find in my kitchen are avocados, green apples, almond butter, kale or chard, butter, ginger kombucha, tofu, miso, and lemons. Breakfast: Breakfast varies wildly. Sometimes, my husband makes waffles (I know!), or miso soup. His family is from Japan, and we both love Japanese-style breakfast. If I’m eating breakfast after he leaves for work, it’s usually avocado on (gluten-free) toast or an apple with almond butter. Lunch: Some sort of salad is a predictable choice for lunches. I make a lemon-miso dressing that’s out of this world! I’ll usually add some leftover baked tofu or cook up a Tofurkey sausage.I also like pasta with greens, like chard, peas, herbs, and lemon. Pasta is one of my favorite foods, and I could never get sick of it. Leftovers are also a standard, especially if we’ve had something tasty the night before like fried rice or cornmeal-crust pizza. Snacks: I love to snack. I usually go for a piece of fruit, or some berries. Greek yogurt with a little raw honey. Green smoothies with blueberries, chocolate protein powder and spinach. I also like to walk to the coffeeshop (about 10 minutes from my house) and get a decaf mocha, if I feel the need to move. Dinner: Dinners tend to be fairly simple. I love to make tacos with black beans and veggies. In the winter, my sweetie and I love to make big pots of vegetable soups from scratch and bake bread. We also make something called a Buddha bowl or dragon bowl pretty often: either rice or quinoa with either baked tofu or baked salmon, greens (either kale or chard), pickled vegetables (like kimchee), and some of the aforementioned miso dressing. I also make a pretty mean quiche, and I’ll make that and serve it with a big green salad. Drink: To drink I make sure that I get lots of water. I also love ginger kombucha and drink plenty of nettle tea. I’ll indulge in the occasional glass of wine or a beer. Splurge: I don’t really deprive myself, and if I’m craving something, I eat it. That being said, I love Three Twins organic mint confetti ice cream. It’s amazing. Supplements: I take a fish oil supplement and a probiotic. I’m keeping supplements pretty simple these days.


I’m pretty much a solo-activity kind of gal. I’m a certified yoga teacher, so I practice yoga at home on my own. I also love walking and hiking. I have scoliosis and a number of past joint issues, so gentle exercise works best for me. I also love to ski. I don’t live in the mountains, but I dream about it. That’s probably my all-time favorite form of both “exercise” and meditation.


I’ve been with my sweetie for nearly 9 years, and most of my closest friends I’ve known for 8-10 years. I value empathy, transparency, accountability, and loyalty very highly. A great sense of humor is also fairly essential. I describe what I have here in the Bay Area not just as a series of friendships, but as a real community. I value people who truly want to contribute to this community: both the place and the group of people.


My vibe is pretty eclectic in terms of my home: minimal in some ways and lush in others. My home is decorated with pieces that have a lot of meaning: treasures from our travels, art made by friends, an altar for meditation, and loads of books. My favorite features of my home however are our two cats, Dorothy and Harriet. They pretty much rule the roost and have hiding spots and places they like to sleep all over the place. You wouldn’t mistake this for a pet-free home. My favorite places in my home are my shower (which gets super-hot and is so therapeutic) and my bed. We invested in an eco-friendly mattress that also happens to be the most comfortable ever. 

Stress-Release and Centering Tools

For grounding and centering, I use a whole range of tools. Tarot and animal cards. Hanging out with my cats. A long, delicious dinner with my sweetie. Soaking in a hot tub. A cup of tea. Comfortable clothes. Lots of quiet time. A long, hot shower. Meditation. Binge-watching crime procedural TV shows where I already know what’s going to happen. Probably a long walk. I believe in self-care that's really individualized, so I use a broad range of tools and try not to rank them hierarchically. Whatever works!


What feeds my soul is creativity and adventure. I’m always spinning out my next project or book, and always planning my next trip — even if it’s just a hike 10 minutes from my house. What lights me up is being in enthusiastic dialogue with others who are doing transformative work in the world. What replenishes me is unplugging and shifting my perspective, either through travel or on spiritual retreat (like a yoga or meditation retreat). I’m probably happiest at the end of every day, laying in bed with my sweetie, and Dorothy & Harriet. Our whole family is together and quiet in those moments. It’s so ordinary and so incredibly precious.  

What gives me a sense of purpose is knowing that I’m here on this planet to offer healing. Whether that’s through my books or courses, or whether it’s through my activist practice, it’s all about healing. I definitely have a spiritual practice, but it looks like something new every day. Some days, it’s being in nature. Other days, it’s being on my meditation cushion or yoga mat. Sometimes, it’s laughing around the dinner table or fire pit with my friends. The sacred is in everything and I just try to notice it as often as possible.

I’m most excited about my free workshop series. It’s a new way of teaching for me, but one that I’m so excited about. It lets me share on a new topic every month, which means that I’m never bored. It also allows me to share from the comfort of my own home — and my students to learn from the comfort of theirs — which means that the teachings happen (and can be applied) in the midst of everyday life.