Hi again, pals!
So, this is a little bit different than my usual recipe posts. BUT the blog is currently undergoing some pretty major changes (starting with this post!)
Let's talk self-care.
In periods of major change or major stress (like, for example, going into a lockdown and now starting to re-emerge), self-care is something that all too often is pushed to the side and overwhelm can all too easily sneak up on a person. Myself included.
Because of this, I wanted to share my list of 4 little BIG things that can help you incorporate self-care into your life even in times of craziness. They're little in the sense that they don't take a whole lot of time and you can probably do them with things you already have laying around the house, and they're BIG in terms of the positive impact they can have! We'll start from the smallest and work our way up.
1. Take Your Vitamins!
It’s something so small and so simple, but remembering to take our vitamins can be one of the most basic acts of self care. I’m a huge advocate for eating whole, plant-foods wherever possible and providing the vitamins and minerals your body needs that way, but especially in a time like this where people may not have access to that abundance of fresh fruit and veggies, vitamins are really invaluable. And even with access to those foods, things like B12, magnesium, D3, and more are often deficient in vegans and non-vegans alike. Plus, I don’t think it’s ever a bad thing to incorporate some extra adaptogenic herbs and antioxidants!
My favourite vitamins:
They make it easy to remember to take vitamins because they’re so darn tasty! Their B12 and D3 gummy, Immune Plus, and Vegan Collagen are my favourites. They also have a Sleep Plus one that's great for before bed! (The jasmine passionfruit flavour is low-key my favourite ever).
These are great for adding some super herbs and bio-available nutrients to your day! They’ve got a ton of different blends for everything from gut health to cognitive function to relaxation and peace of mind! Their Ashwagandha has been my saviour with packed, busy days and their Your Flora Soothe is incredible for digestion.
2. Don't Skip the Skincare!
I am guilty of this one. When things start to get busy or stressful, my skincare is almost ALWAYS the first to go. Goodbye face masks and moisturizer, hello makeup wipes and leftover day-old mascara. The good side of this is it helps me to tell when my plate is getting too full and let’s me know that I actually need to prioritize things like my skincare routine MORE.
I know, shocker.
My yoga teacher always said: “On the days where you feel you don’t have time to meditate for 5 minutes, you should meditate for 10.”
That stuck with me.
When our world feels like it’s moving so fast and everything becomes so hectic and busy, it becomes even more important that we find the time to slow down.
For me, my skincare routine has always been more of a moving meditation. Doing each step intentionally. Visualizing washing the day from my face and restoring it with warm golden light and good vibes.
That might just be the hippie woo-woo in me, but it does the trick!
This company is a new addition to my skincare routine but oh my GOSH is it already an essential! Natural ingredients, made locally here in Vancouver, vegan and cruelty free (of course), and just FEELS luxurious. Their Vitamin Facial is my Friday night ritual and Afterglow Serum is always the last step of my routine. The serum absorbs into your skin super fast, smells amazing, is super moisturizing, and a little goes a long way! Big win from me!
A long-time favourite of mine. High vibe (and sometimes even crystal infused!!!) vegan, cruelty free skincare that I feel speaks to my soul. Their face wash and miscellar water are my go-to. They also have some incredible makeup and hair products too!
3. Get Moving!
You’re probably sick of hearing this one, yeah? I know it’s cliche, and I know that for a lot of people out there the idea of “exercise” is SO intimidating! Especially if you haven’t done it in a long time (haven't worked out since high school PE? You're not alone!)
But even if you’ve read this a million times before, I want to let you know that it doesn’t have to be scary getting back into it! And hear me out.
You may notice I titled this “get moving” and not “workout” because to me there is a difference! Movement is not the part that’s scary. It’s the expectations we put around it that can be.
When I say get moving, I don’t mean go do a 30 minute HIIT workout or forcing yourself to go for a run (unless that’s your jam, in which case, GO FOR IT!), I mean find something you enjoy doing and make time in your day to do it. And before you start to object, there’s always time❤️ Like with any of these, the time you take to do them is time you’re investing in yourself and your wellbeing. It’s always worth it, I promise.
Whether it’s a 15 minute walk to the park, putting on your favourite song and dancing in your underwear by yourself, doing some morning stretches to start the day, or even learning a TikTok dance, there’s a million ways to get moving! So, give yourself permission to play and find one that you love.
4. Reflect + Connect
This last one is the simplest while also being the most challenging. Connecting and reflecting.
Self reflection can be tricky and uncomfortable, but it's self connection that can be a catalyst for some of the most difficult and most beautiful discoveries you’ll ever have.
This, to me, is the root of self care. Beneath the surface level vitamins and skincare and moving the flesh suit you were given for this life, this is the nitty gritty. This is the SOUL work!
And starting off, it can feel dizzying. You might feel lost or discouraged or frustrated or all three at once. But pushing past that, pushing outside of your comfort zone, is where the magic happens!
I might do a whole separate post on this topic (since it's one I'm SUPER passionate about, can you tell?), but for now I’ll list off a few of my favourite methods of self reflection and connection.
Whether you're giving yourself a prompt, writing about your day, or doing a full on brain dump where you let your thoughts flow, journaling is a great way to get in touch with yourself.
Invest in books and courses based on topics that you’re passionate about. Whether it’s something that caught your attention in school, or some deep-seeded desire to learn about something random that you never pursued (hint: these are often soul whisperings waiting to be heard and acted on). Let yourself go wild! There are no limits! You want to learn about hieroglyphs and Ancient Egypt? Do it! Maybe you’re fascinated by marine life? Look it up! Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn some graphic design? There’s a course for that! Whatever it is that lights you up inside, go forth and LEARN! The connection you form with yourself along the way may just be your greatest teacher.
For me, going outside always helps me get a better look inside.
Inside of myself, that is!
A two-in-one challenge I have for you is to take yourself out for a walk, have no destination in particular (yes, you can bring your phone in case you get lost. I’ve been there!), and just let yourself go. No headphones. No music. Just you.
Listen to the sounds of the world around you, breathe in the fresh air and feel how it changes, let your eyes really see your surroundings. Let your thoughts go. Whatever needs to come up always has a way of emerging.
The first 15 minutes or so, you may be thinking of a list of things that need to be done, of work, of home life, of the current state of the world. That’s your human-ness reflecting. But pay attention to what comes up after that. That’s when the connection happens.
Pick a card
If you’re drawn to this kind of thing (like me), you can also draw a tarot or oracle card at the beginning and/or end of each day. I find it helps me to ground, focus my energy, and connect.
In essence, let it all go. All of these methods are merely pathways to allow you to let go of your stresses and worries, peel back the layers of things like ego and low vibrations, and get to the core of your being. Connect to your personal light. Connect with your peace. So whatever allows you to feel most yourself (your highest self), there is no greater value than the connection in that.
I think that’ll be it for today! But let me know what your favourite ways to keep up self-care are down below or on my Instagram.
Love and light to you all!