'I run once a week, which really gives me a rush': Monica Valrani
My favourite music is from the 80s
Born in Ghana, Indian national Monica Valrani spent her early years in West Africa before going to boarding school at the prestigious Badminton School in the United Kingdom. In 1998, Monica qualified as a Montessori teacher and began her career as an educationist.After successfully running two nurseries for seven years and amalgamating her nursery chain under the Ladybird brand name, in 2014, Monica launched the Ladybird Early Learning Centre in Jumeirah Village Circle. The entrepreneur is also a mother to two wonderful boys.
One of my favourite ways to de-stress is by hitting the gym. I try and make it there three times a week and I have a personal trainer who helps tailor a programme suitable to my needs. I run once a week, which really gives me a rush especially while I'm listening to good music, which is usually music from the 80s! My favourite time is when we workout as a family on weekends. When we are doing sit-ups and push-ups together, it's a fun way for me to bond with my teenage boys. Exercise definitely gives me an energy boost and clears my mind. At the beginning of the New Year, I would like to add yoga into my routine for some relaxation and flexibility.
Nothing like listening to the 80s
Listening to music is another favourite pastime of mine. I could be anywhere in the world but if I want to switch off, all I have to do is listen to music. My favourite music is from the 80s although I listen to pop, rock, jazz and even some rap thanks to my boys! I enjoy going to concerts and have seen some great artistes over the years in Dubai including Lionel Richie, George Michael, Prince, and Enrique Iglesias.
Read, Read, Read
Books! My New Year's resolution is to set myself a realistic goal to read a book a month. I love being engrossed in a good fiction book as it takes me into a different world. I am part of a book club, which is great as we discuss the book jointly and I get a different perspective on the book. I can spend hours in a bookshop buying books that I hope to read and they end up in a collection by my bedside. My favourite genres are thriller, drama, and children's books. I had the opportunity to meet up with one of my favourite authors, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, at the Dubai Literary Festival - an annual Dubai event that I recommend highly to all the readers out there.
Movies and Nutella!
I love to unwind at the movies with a nutella crepe, especially a treat at the Theatre by Rhodes at VOX Cinemas. I enjoy watching all kinds of movies including animated and foreign movies. I look forward to the Dubai Film Festival every year, which hosts the best of cinema from around the world including famous personalities in the industry.
My favourite is the crossword puzzle in the newspaper, which I try to do a few times a week. It is a great way to de-stress and the level is just right and challenging. I often work at it in the evenings and ask my husband to help me finish it if I am stuck! I like the idea of learning new vocabulary as well as being engrossed in it with a cup of tea by my side. I recently bought a mini book of crosswords for my long travels which I hope to use in the New Year!