What a Wellness Founder is Eating and Drinking Right Now

Sajani Amarasiri uses her Sri Lankan roots to find the best ingredients and wellness methods.

Sundays are a day to recharge and reset by hanging with friends, turning off your phone, bathing for hours on end, or doing whatever else works for you. In this column (in conjunction with our Instagram Self-Care Sunday series), we ask editors, experts, influencers, writers, and more what a perfect self-care Sunday means to them, from tending to their mental and physical health to connecting with their community to indulging in personal joys. We want to know why Sundays are important and how people enjoy them, from morning to night.

Ever since San Francisco’s shelter-in-place order began at the end of February, Sajani Amarasiri, the founder of superfood wellness line Kola Goodies, has been intentional with how she uses her weekend time. “I do not open my laptop for work-related things. I sit and drink my coffee slowly, and go for walks with no plan,” the 29-year-old tells HelloGiggles. “I make my morning Super Green Latte slowly—on a stovetop, with coconut milk and cooked rice and blend it—so it’s closer to the original recipe. All of these things help me to create an artificial separation from work and weekdays while at home.”

But for this wellness entrepreneur, taking it slow doesn’t just mean hanging out at home watching TV all weekend long—it also means exploring her own backyard. “Travel gives me a lot of joy because I get to explore, learn, and immerse myself in new cultures. With that not being an option during these times, I have had to find other ways to quench that thirst for exploration,” Amarasiri says. “My husband and I have really enjoyed taking advantage of this time to go on city walks and get lost in streets and neighborhoods we haven’t been to before.”

For this week’s Self-Care Sunday, we spoke with Amarasiri to learn more about her current weekend routine. Here, in her own words, are her go-to Sunday activities, plus advice for people who are looking to add superfoods and herbal ingredients into their routines.

Mental Health

I would give my mental health a 6.5/10. Some days and weeks are awesome, and some days it’s been a total shitshow (for real). A pandemic alone is a lot to grapple with. Now, we’re also seeing an incredible social justice revolution, and doing the learning/unlearning that comes with it.

On top of that, launching and growing a company while sheltering in place, which means having to change and adapt all your strategies, is just a whole other level. I have had to learn to be much, much kinder with myself (which truth be told, I am still working on) and not push myself too hard.

Go-to mental health practices

Well, speaking of “go-to” practices, our GO-TU Power Move powder has been something that helps with mental clarity. I alternate days between the GO-TU Power Move or our Ashwa-WOW, ashwagandha powder—or sometimes, I mix them together! My favorite way to have it is with sparkling grapefruit water. I pretend like I’m drinking a cocktail in the middle of a workday.

Morning meditation, walking, and moving, video calling family daily (especially my cute baby nephew) have also been good ways to zone out and center myself. For entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get sucked into our own world. It’s important for us to step back and realize we are a part of a universe that’s so much bigger than the task at hand.

Wind-down practices to combat Sunday scaries

I usually make a to-do list for the week. It helps me not get overwhelmed and plan things out for the week ahead. Drinking a little cocktail, cooking something new at home, and watching TV also helps me to wind down.

ancient herbal medicine, SAJAni amarasiri, mental health

Physical Practices

Ways to stay active

Cleaning and tidying things up has oddly been satisfying at this time. Looking up new recipes and trying them has been a new ritual as well. I have had recipe books that I hadn’t even opened before and I am finally putting them to use. It also satisfies my exploration thirst, since the days can feel monotonous.

Mid-pandemic move

We moved! We realized we really wanted to be closer to more greenery, which absolutely makes our surroundings be more serene. We also needed more space since work and life were all happening in a small box. That was a big change.

Community Care

Staying connected

I like day-to-day connections. My family lives all over the world—my parents are in Sri Lanka, my sister is in Dubai, my brother is in New Jersey—so we are always in contact through WhatsApp and know what’s going on in each other’s lives. Calling my nieces (more like following their TikToks these days) and talking to my nephew are the highlights of my week.

Pre-quarantine activities with loved ones

Brunch, group exercise classes and sipping wine in an outdoor bar.

Supporting her community as an entrepreneur

Since day one [of Kola Goodies’ launch], we’ve been donating 10% of proceeds to farmer families in Sri Lanka impacted by COVID-19. For the first few weeks in June, we also donated 100% of our proceeds to racial justice organizations in the U.S. and Sri Lanka, including Black Future Labs and Amnesty International Sri Lanka.

ancient herbal medicine, SAJAni amarasiri, mental health

Personal Joy

Self-care routine

I’ve been playing with an immunity blend from Sri Lanka made with coriander seed that may become part of the Kola Goodies product family. I’ve been giving it to my friends, too. I also recently purchased this beautiful diffuser. A beautiful scent, with some music playing and a book to read, has been a wonderful way to relax.

Quarantine silver livings

Not going out to eat—it’s been really good for my wallet!

Advice for people who want to focus more on wellness

Take our quiz! We created it just for newbies, to make it easy to get started and incorporate herbal wellness into your daily life. I also advise starting small; don’t try to make huge changes overnight. All good habits are built with intention and consistency.

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