In 2019, we saw a lot of social media and newspaper articles talking about self-care; it was as though being conscious of and taking care of oneself was the latest fad diet out of Hollywood. How about we treat the idea of self-care not as a trend, but something you are mindful of all the time? It became overwhelming and stressful to wade through the different opinions and information on top of everything else we cram into a day. We live in a world of hustle and bustle that often leads to neglecting your simple needs. Be mindful of what you need; it’s true, you can't take care of anyone else until you've taken care of yourself. You can't be your best self if you are stretched too thin.
We’ve distilled Self Care into, easy to understand and manage, ideas; to help you take care of yourself. After all, your well-being is our well-being. Are we going to promote the products we sell in this blog post? Of course! It doesn't make what we are saying, any less true though.
Spending your day at AxleWorks - doing a yoga class at The Ledger Room, brunch at Laverne’s, and a little shop with us at Steel (best day ever) is not always practical; we know the time that requires, so our suggestions below require only a commitment to self and a bit of time management.
You need to take care of your body because of the strong connection between your body and your mind. When your body is healthy, you think and feel better.
Physical self-care includes, what and how you are feeding your body, and how well you're caring for your physical needs; this includes how much sleep you're getting, and how much physical activity you are doing. This doesn’t mean you have to “work out”, it could be something as simple as walking - remember, walk whenever you can and wherever you can.
Spend one hour a week at The Ledger Room if you want to try yoga, or already do yoga, but like a little guidance. I am a yoga instructor myself, but still love to be guided through a class. Yoga combines physical activity and meditation components - with relaxing movement and breath, you get clarity. The time you spend in the yoga space is all about YOU and nothing else outside of that feeling you get within those 4 walls. When you slow and deepen your breath, you breathe out toxins, like carbon dioxide, and allow fresh oxygen to flood back in. Cleanse babe. The Ledger Room here at Axleworks is a donation-based studio, it's accessible.
Check out the schedule at www.theledgerroom.com.
Relax, disconnect, sleep.
One, of our store manager Shawna's, favourite things to do when she's feeling run down is to give herself a little at-home spa day. She puts on a face mask, pours herself a cup of tea, and settles into a lavender, eucalyptus bath. Whether you like tea, water, or prefer wine in the tub, use a practical drinking device - your drink of choice will ever fall into your bath water if you relax too much (noodle necker) or if you have an animal like likes to jump up alongside you. Water? The 16oz Corkcicle canteen is where it's at. Wine? The 12oz Stemless is your go-to (we're sold out but our local Home Hardware has some!). If you're more into having a nice cup of tea than grab the Matt and Nat Glass Tea Infuser - it comes with a removable metal infuser so this can double as a water bottle! For extra relaxation, grab some CDB Tea from Nature's Tonic - our neighbour up the street.
Now that you are super chilled out, its time to get as cozy as humanly possible. Wrap up in THE BEST ROBE from Smash and Tess, snuggle up under our incredibly soft lambswool Gleam Scarf or Tofino Throw, light a delicious candle from Vancouver Candle Co, and put on your favorite movie! Pure bliss.
Banish your phone from the bedroom. Sleep is an absolute necessity and should be treated as an incredibly important priority, instead of being proud of how little of it you are getting. Take care of your physical and mental health by giving your brain a break and encouraging better sleep; look at anything other than a screen in the minutes before you fall asleep. A book, a painting, your partner, a pet, the ceiling, anything that is not part of the world you are trying to take a break from for eight hours. Do a 5-minute yoga practice/meditation.
No matter how busy you are, make it a habit to step outside for a breath of fresh air each day. Even short increments at a time, the outdoors provide you with many health benefits—both physical and mental. Research suggests spending time outside helps you sleep better at night, lowers heart rate, reduces stress levels, boosts mental health, and stimulates the immune system. PSA: Don't skip the Salt & Stone sunscreen when you do your skincare routine - just cause it's cold out, doesn't mean those sun rays aren't striking on those meditative outdoor hikes. Keep that sh*t fresh!
Your body requires fuel—a mixture of proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates—to stay healthy, and to function properly. Avoid sugary snacks, and opt for quick and healthy alternatives like veggies with hummus, bananas and peanut butter, raw food, nuts, granola, or Greek yogurt with blueberries.
Eat healthy foods. In an attempt to save time, people will often resort to fast-food, pre-packaged meals, and other quick but not-so-healthy options. The reality is that most restaurant food is overly processed and full of unhealthy ingredients; food which is the most convenient is often the least healthy. Choose restaurants that make their menu items from scratch using healthy ingredients and fresh produce; a local example is Laverne’s Eatery. Try one of their lunch bowls with Sweet potato glass noodles, pan-seared garlic tofu, red pepper, carrots, purple cabbage, sugar snap peas, toasted sesame seeds, cucumber, green onion; you get the drift - lots of raw tasty ingredients! We're gonna plug Nature's Tonic again too - vegan treats, smoothies, and salads, convenient to-go if you're on a short lunch break.
One of the most important things you can do to take care of yourself is to eat healthy foods. Drink plenty of water, and keep healthy snacks around such as fruits, yogurt, vegetables, and whole grains. In the end, eating healthy doesn’t have to be a major time commitment, and the benefits to your well-being are well worth the effort.
Remember, taking care of yourself is the best gift you could give yourself ( and your loved ones) not just during the holidays, but all year round. Self-care isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy. Assess which areas of your life need some more attention and self-care, and reassess your life often. As your situation changes, your self-care needs are likely to shift too, and your style - I change my style every six months LOL. Wear whatever is the best combination to make you feel comfortable, confident, and like yourself. These outfits exist, we can help you find them.
Walk, breathe, eat well, sleep - the simple things. I hope some of these tips helped you, and if not, let us know in the comments what your favorite self-care practices are!
PS you can grab essential oils like Lavender and Eucalyptus at our Gananoque Aveda Salon - Rapunzel.
The SSG Team