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A Little Chat with We Are Triibe - Christina Symes and Jessica Stewart

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Jessica D’Abadie and Christina Symes are the supremely stylish duo behind interior design studio, We Are Triibe. Based in Sydney, the close-knit team work their magic on residential and commercial projects projects nationwide. Their aesthetic is considered but welcoming — with a fondness for natural materials and abundant greenery, they design the kinds of spaces that we all want to spend our days in.

Being enamoured of their work, we caught up with them during a Melbourne visit to talk about their rituals of self-care and their endless pursuit of delicious, nourishing meals.

Take us through your morning skincare ritual

C: I wash my face with warm water, my Moku face washer and Dermalogica ‘Special Cleansing Gel’, followed by a Vitamin B serum that helps hydrate my skin and I finish off with Dermalogica ‘Active Moist’ moisturiser which is oil free.

J: I wash my face with Sodashi Clay Clenser or Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser using a Moku face washer which helps to exfoliate my skin gently. I then use Sans Ceuticals Activator 7 body oil on my face. Twice a week, I will dry body brush and use Sans Ceuticals Activator 7 body oil on my body as well. I like to keep it pretty simple most days.

What do you do before bed to feel grounded and restful?

C: I love having a bath with Epsom salts and coconut oil whilst reading a book and listening to music, it’s so important for me to wind down before bed.

J: I diffuse essential oils in my diffuser almost every night before I go to bed which really helps me to sleep & relax. If I’ve had a stressful day at work or have sore muscles, I give myself a little massage with lavender oil on the balls of my feet or put a muscle relaxing blend on my neck and shoulders to help me to unwind.

Can you share with us any other rituals of self-care?

C: I start the day with oil pulling organic coconut oil for 20mins as soon as I get out of bed — one of my close friends got me into it and although I was skeptical at first, I’ve noticed a huge improvement in gum health, my teeth are whiter, and my breath stays fresh throughout the day. I also dry body brush before having a bath most days.

J: I love to dry body brush, I do it once or twice a week after a warm shower and then rub my skin in body oil after. Body brushing is great to stimulate the lymphatic system and helps to invigorate your skin. Other self-care rituals I have are to spend time creating something, whether that’s pottery or painting, I think of that as self-care as well, just to be able to spend some time in silence creating things for myself.

On a day when you are considering your health and have time to prepare your meals, what do you make for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

C: My usual breakfast is either coconut yoghurt with fruit and buckinis or turmeric fried eggs with sautéed greens, avocado and a side of hummus and sauerkraut. For lunch I will usually have a brown rice and sautéed greens salad from my local café or brown rice sushi. For dinner I love having roast vegetables with salmon.

J: I eat mostly a plant-based diet, and on a day where I’m feeling like I need a boost of nutrients I try to make each meal really colourful. For breakfast, I usually start my morning with some grated fresh ginger and turmeric tea and ideally, a vegetable juice (I love red juices packed with beets, carrot, ginger and lemon). For lunch I like to make Buddha bowls with loads of colourful veggies from the markets & herbs from the garden, together with either hardboiled eggs or some sort of protein like chickpeas, and for dinner I love sweet potato dishes that feel hearty & warm without making me feel over-full.

Self-care is a process of discovery, a learning by trial and error of what works for you. Can you share a valuable lesson you have learned so far?

C: It’s so important to pair your self-care with healthy & nutritious food, I notice such a big difference with how I feel, look and sleep if I am being diligent with my diet. Also ensure you take time out for yourself, as stress & anxiety play a huge toll on your health.

J: I have learnt over the years after some not so great health issues to really listen to my body. I think it’s so important to understand how your body reacts to certain foods, stress, situations & people. Bodies have a relentless way of telling us when something is wrong — sometimes even before we know it ourselves, so it’s important to listen to it and give it what it needs, whether that be a good meal, meditation, a self-care day or exercise.

I’ve also learnt to put my happiness first. If that means sometimes eating a large pizza when I’m supposed to be detoxing while watching a movie instead of going for a run, I have come to understand that it’s important to be okay with letting a self-care day be eating pizza while watching a film in your pyjamas.

How do you achieve balance in the everyday?

C: I try to ensure I switch off as soon as I get home from work in the evenings, I like to put on some nice jazz music while cooking dinner to help me wind down. Also going for walks along the ocean on the weekend and doing hot yoga regularly helps me stay in the best mindset.

J: Achieving balance in the everyday has always been a bit of a struggle for me, running our business means that some days I work really long hours under quite a lot of stress while other days can be really balanced with work & play. I have found the most important way for me to find balance when the work day has taken over is to switch off from work. For me, that could mean leaving the laptop in the office, leaving my phone in another room, and going for a long walk. I have also learnt to book things in such as yoga classes, or lately — pottery classes. Scheduling me-time has been an important step to creating balance in my life so I learn to switch off from work and focus on filling myself up.

Photo's by Bobby Clark