Get tips on self-care from the doula in training

Christine Santos moved to Columbus more than five years ago from northeastern New Jersey and her grinds are self- and community-care. She is now a certified yoga instructor, a doula of color in training with Restoring Our Own Through Transformation (ROOTT) and a youth mentor with Voices of the Unheard — and, as her friends will randomly remind you, she's also a scientist.

Replenish: The Spa Co-Op

This haven is synonymous to self-care for me. It's a family-owned, women-owned, black-owned and family-oriented spa with a yoga co-op. It is a space for all people to engage in their self-care. The Downtown location has donation-based yoga and meditation, which means it's meant to be accessible. I don't know of another business that offers a full schedule of donation-based practices. It's pretty revolutionary, and it's one of the things that helped me engage with my personal healing.


Saturday nights we often get to Granero, a newer spot for Latin dancing. Brothers Drake recently had salseros perform, so we finally had live salsa to dance to. Stop over to Two Truths for Lush Life on the first Friday of the month. The tracks are good and they also serve bomb Old Fashioneds and duck confit fries — I'm about this spot. Get your dance on to fresh DJs and check out the local art displayed on its walls.

The Scioto Audubon

Any season, I love the Audubon. In the warmer months, I bring my yoga mat and practice on the little boardwalks, sit in the wildflowers or just check out the moon. I like to ride my bike from there through Downtown and up north to Worthington — or just to make a pit stop in Franklinton on a Friday to hit up Aromaku in the Land-Grant lot.


The decolonized way to eat as a Filipinx is to drop that spoon and fork and eat with your hands! It's basically family- or community-style dinner, but with the table covered in a spread of toasted banana leaves and topped with rice, lots of meats, lumpia and some veggies. You can enjoy kamayan at Bonifacio on King Avenue in Grandview and at Kuya Ian's Bistro in Westerville. Both are great, unique spots, so make sure you hit up both!

Yerba mate

As part of my morning routine, I drink mate cocido, or brewed yerba mate — this is basically just the abridged version of the real, communal tradition, which is passing the mate (a dried gourd, which is full of loose tea, or yerba) to share among a group of people. I get my yerba from Saraga, but my gourd and bombilla (straw) I brought from Argentina.