Focus on self-love this month of February! How making small changes to implement self-care into your daily routine can do wonders to uplift your mental health. We are so busy taking care of others through work and family that we often put ourselves last. Through thuis, we become exhausted and it affects our mental health. We owe it to ourselves to do better! Use this handy self-care checklist to get some ideas on how to nourish your body and soul.
The most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves.
Fill Your Own Bucket
The reason I started this blog? After having kids, I forgot about myself. I forgot about taking care of myself in the midst of taking care of my family every day. I was so busy filling everyone else’s bucket that I forgot about filling my own with the things that made my soul happy. In turn, stopped taking care of my physical and mental health. When I finally got out of my mom rut, I wanted to inspire other women to do the same.
The biggest excuse we all make is that we don’t have enough TIME for self-care. Making a commitment to small chunks of time is the first step. Maybe you wake a half-hour before your kids to enjoy thirty minutes of yoga or a warm coffee and a book. Maybe you tell yourself that you’ll take 1-2 hours every Sunday for a bath, a massage, or a long walk. Once you get into the routine and remember how much you NEED and enjoy this time for yourself, it will become easier.
Use this handy checklist to recharge when you need it! Here are some of my favourite examples on how to incorporate self-love for both your mind and body.
Invest in Your Body
Establish a sleep routine
Set yourself sleep parameters for when you go to bed at night. Again, bad habits can be broken and good routines are possible. Aim for 7-8 hours of beauty sleep per night. Use your phone or smartwatch to set reminders for bedtime.
Take a bubble bath
My favourite Self-Care Sunday activity. I love to lock the bedroom door and soak in the tub until my skin is completely pruned. This bamboo bath tray is one of my favourite purchases from Amazon. It holds a book or tablet, candle, soap, bubble bath, coffee cup or wine glass! My bath indulgence also always includes products from Alberta-based, Rocky Mountain Soap Co. I love their toxin-free and all-natural ingredients plus their aromatherapy scents are a heavenly addition to any bath and shower routine.
Get a massage
A massage might just be the ultimate technique in relaxation. Release tension in sore muscles and increase blood flow and circulation. And it’s an excuse to lay and do absolutely nothing for an hour. Heavenly!
Reconnecting with nature is just want we need some days. Whether it be a walk in your neighbourhood or a planned hike in the mountains, you’ll come home feeling refreshed. Fresh air and perspective.
Invest in a skincare routine
Since the pandemic, there has been an upswing in people investing more in their daily skincare routine. We are incorporating more time and more products into washing, toning and moisturizing our faces. Routines now have multi-steps and we are taking greater care and consideration. I started using ZO Skin Health products from Beauty Call and I love how my skin feels. With more time at home, I’ve also been able to use Retinol peels while giving my skin a chance to heal and rejuvenate without makeup.
Everything in moderation as my husband always says. We all know that putting good nutrients into our bodies makes us feel better. Start with a nutrient-packed smoothie every morning. Mix in more fruits and vegetables to your daily meals when possible.
Experts suggest that we should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week! I use my Fitbit smartwatch to track my progress throughout the day. If you can’t get to the gym, go for a run or a brisk walk. Circuit exercises can be done just about anywhere too!
Drink more water
Health experts recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 litres, or half a gallon a day. I fill a water bottle in the morning and take it everywhere I go during the day so that I always have access.
Get a manicure or pedicure
My favourite new things to do once a month! I recently was inspired by a fellow hockey mom to get gel nails and now I’m totally obsessed. It’s a special treat for myself and I’m reminded of that every time I look at my hands throughout the day. They are so pretty! Pedicures are also a really relaxing way to unwind. Bring a girlfriend with you and make it a fun date!
Go for a walk
I started walking my dogs every morning when the temperature is bearable. At first, it felt a bit like a chore but now it’s something I really look forward to. It’s a great way to get some fresh air, exercise, and sort through your thoughts. Pop in a podcast or audiobook and listen on your headphones. It’s also a great way to get in your daily step count! Invite a friend and turn it into a visit.
Yoga can be done from home and you only need about thirty minutes to feel centred. There are many great, free routines on Youtube that will guide you through the process. Roll out your yoga mat and go!
Do Your Make-Up
Did you know that putting your makeup on every morning actually increases creativity and productivity for the day? A makeup routine can take 10-20 minutes, which isn’t much in a 12-hour day of 740 minutes! If you feel like you have no time, set your alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier or invest in a simple routine of foundation, mascara, lipgloss and blush.
Get Dressed Up
I can’t really have a fashion blog and not include getting dressed up! I promise you, on the days that you take the time to get out of your sweatpants and dress well, you will feel better. Don’t let working from home be the excuse not to. Do it for yourself! It’s all part of the “look good, feel good” mantra. Dressing well makes you feel more put-together, confident.
Invest in Your Mind
Read a book
There’s nothing quite as relaxing as sitting down with a good book. It’s a luxury that I appreciate more and more now that time seems more limited. If you don’t have the opportunity to do so regularly, try switching to audiobooks. It’s been an absolute game-changer for me and I’m able to multi-task so many daily items while listening to someone read to me. Check out Audible for a subscription.
If you’re looking for some new titles to read, check out this post: The Best Books to Read in 2021!
Listen to a podcast
Podcasts are free and can be as fulfilling as binge-watching your favourite tv shows. There are so many topics to suit your interests: self-help, celebrity gossip, sports, news, true crime, and so many others. Listen while you are driving, grocery shopping, folding laundry, or out for a walk.
Now, this doesn’t have to be a big-ticket item. I’m talking about treating yourself to fresh-cut flowers next time you’re at Costco, or your favourite over-priced latte, or a new lipstick. Just a special item to reward yourself on a normal day and for no good reason other than you deserve it.
Start a gratitude journal
Begin each morning or end each evening with a gratitude journal. It’s the perfect way to center yourself to start or end your day. Write three things that you are grateful for in your journal. You cannot repeat the same things again! The beauty of it is that you will start training your brain to recognize and remember these items as you go about your day. The positive thought process of gratitude will be present more often. If mornings are too busy, then do them at night before bed.
Spend time with friends
One of my favourite ways to fill my bucket is to get together with girlfriends. I find chatting and opening up about how I’m feeling can be the best medicine, especially when my mental health is weighing on me. My friends always seem to relate and make me feel like I’m not alone. There is positive validation in that!
Try a new hobby
Have you always wanted to learn photography? Or play the guitar? Or plant a vegetable garden? There is no time like the present! Stop putting it off and take the first step. It’s important to fill your soul with things that make you happy.
Unplug from electronics
If work emails and social media is consuming your evenings and weekends, then unplug. Set yourself boundaries and time restrictions. Don’t bring your work home with you and focus on being present with your family instead of with your technology.
Wishing you lots of self-love this month,
(Dress rental from @albertagowns)