Self Love is the Best Love; Creating a Self Care Checklist
February is known as the month of love, particularly when it comes to showing appreciation for our friends, family and partners. While we strongly support this notion, we also believe that it’s a great time to show some love and appreciation for ourselves, too! After a long and particularly difficult year, there’s no better time to create a self care checklist that you can come back to whenever you’re feeling low or in need of some me-time.
We’ve put together a list of 17 ideas as a starting point for your own personal self care checklist. We encourage you to find what works for you, leave what doesn’t, and create your own unique ways of showing self love.
1. Create a Hair Care Ritual (aka self care for your hair!)
Many of us spend time, money and energy on our skincare routine, while few do the same for their hair. Enter Voir’s Complete Haircare Ritual: a package of four products to cleanse, condition, strengthen and restore your hair and scalp. After all, we see and touch our hair all day everyday… doesn’t it deserve some love too?
2. Check off a long-term item on your to-do list
We all have an item that has been seemingly forever on our to-do list. Let today be the day that you finally take the time to get it done, no matter how long it takes! You will feel a huge sense of accomplishment.
3. Create an at-home spa
One of our favourite self nurturing activities is creating our own self care haven with an at-home spa ritual. We recommend lighting some candles, burning incense or diffusing your favourite essential oil, (lavender is a great one) while you run a hot bath and put on a facial mask. Soak in the tub for as long as desired and let the water wash your cares away.
4. Wrap yourself in something cozy
Practice self care in the form of coziness with the Encircled Comfy Puff Sleeve Cardigan. Made from a luxuriously-soft and sustainable fabric, this cardigan feels like giving yourself a big hug. It can be worn open or cinched at the waist with a belt to suit any mood or outfit… there’s a reason it’s earned its reputation as A Better Sweater. You may also be surprised by how good you feel wearing clothing made in Canada!
5. Binge a TV show with your favourite snacks
Spend an evening (or entire weekend!) lounging with your favourite snacks and TV shows or movies. Whether you’re catching up on a documentary you’ve been trying to find the time to watch for two years, or watching a series you’ve seen a million times (Friends, anyone?), this is a good opportunity to take a break from the hustle and let both your mind and body rest.
Journaling can be an incredible tool for stress management and checking in with your emotions. Take fifteen minutes at the beginning or end of your day to sit down and write out any thoughts that come to your mind. This is just for you, so don’t feel pressured to write anything specific, or even for it to make sense. Think of it as an opportunity to look at what’s sitting at the forefront of your mind in that moment.
7. Invest in a piece of jewelry that makes you smile
On even the dullest of days, a piece of jewelry that you love, (not like, looove), has the power to lift your spirit. Finding that favourite accessory that you want to wear every day is no small feat, but we recommend the timeless polymer clay designs from Simply Made by Bekah. When Bekah’s body changed during pregnancy she found that earrings were the one part of her look that she could always depend on. Since then, she’s made it her goal to provide simple, classic and fun statement pieces for all occasions.
Throw on your favourite song and dance like nobody’s watching! We’ve all heard this advice before, and for good reason; not only does dancing keep the body active by using different muscles than we’re used to, but it’s also a great activity for easing anxiety and lifting your mood. This is a simple and short activity to add to your daily self care checklist. When in doubt, dance it out!
9. Plan a social call/Cancel a social call
Some people are energized by social activity while others find it draining, and for many of us it simply depends on the day. Wherever you fall on that scale, check in with what you need. If you’re yearning for connection, give your best friend or closest family member a call and chat your heart out. If peace and quiet is what you desire, it’s okay to give yourself permission to take a rain-check on a scheduled social video or phone call.
10. Practice mindful energy with crystals
For centuries, many cultures have looked to crystals for their potential healing properties, with each one thought to promote the flow of certain positive energies. With mindfulness and an open heart, try holding a crystal while you reflect on your current energy and how to take care of yourself emotionally. I AM Energy Collective has a wide range of crystals available in different sizes, with detailed information about the properties of each. Each purchase also receives complimentary access to their Intro to Crystals workshop.
We spend so much time sitting in front of our various screens that sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to move our bodies. Going for a run, doing some yoga, or even just stretching are all great ways to expel excess energy after sitting in front of a computer all day. Healthy body, healthy mind.
12. Chat up a neighbour
There is no doubt that many of us are feeling socially deprived right now. The next time you pass your neighbour in the hallway or are both putting out your garbage bins at the same time, take a moment to say hello and chat at a distance. Chances are they might also be feeling socially deprived, and a small but meaningful interaction could make their day, (and yours).
13. Find your signature scent
A signature scent is another way of expressing your unique style. If you’re still searching for yours, we highly recommend Bailly's perfume oils. Made in Halifax, Bailly’s six scents are paraben free and have been created with strong women in mind, (‘Brilliance’, ‘Excellence’ and ‘Resilience’ are a few of our favourite scent names). Sample sets are available so that you can try each fragrance before choosing the scent that makes you feel your absolute best. To quote Bailly’s Instagram, “Perfume is the new power suit”.
The incessant ringing and buzzing of our phones throughout the day means our attention is often diverted from the task at hand. Cutting down on our screen time, particularly with our phones, is proven not only to help improve sleep habits, but is also a great way to bring our awareness back to the present moment. Take an hour during your day to turn off all of your screens while you meditate, read a book or spend some time with a loved one (pets included).
15. Sit in the sun for 15 minutes
According to Statistics Canada, about 40% of Canadians do not have sufficient levels of vitamin D during the winter months. Vitamin D has many benefits, including strengthening bones and muscles and supporting the immune system. Our bodies produce vitamin D naturally when we’re exposed to sunlight, so bundle up and head outside to spend 15 minutes sitting in the sun. Not only will it help with your body’s natural vitamin D production, but those sun rays could also help boost your mental health.
16. Take a day off from your responsibilities
Every day we are constantly inundated with life and work responsibilities. From time to time, it’s okay to put those responsibilities on hold and focus on doing whatever it is that makes you happiest and fills your cup. If it can wait, let it wait. Take the day for yourself.
17. Treat yourself
Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with a loved one, with yourself or not at all, you deserve a treat. The Self Love Valentine's Luxury Gift from The Girl Floral has everything you need to show yourself some appreciation: a body scrub, floral bundle and chocolate truffles, all sourced from Canadian companies and wrapped with a satin bow. Paul McCartney and The Beatles clearly weren’t aware of this box while writing Can’t Buy Me Love.
We are so excited to be partnering with these incredible brands to give you a chance to win some self love essentials. Because love comes in all shapes and sizes and self love is a special kind of love. Celebrate it this year! Check out our Instagram post for more details.
For more Health and Wellness tips, check out these posts:
Keep Cozy and Carry On: How Team Encircled Manages Holiday Stress
Building a Healthy Relationship with Food with Kiki Athanas
20+ Things to Do While You’re Social Distancing
10 Easy Eco-Friendly Swaps
5 Easy Ways to Boost your Energy
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