I believe that self-care and the happiness that comes from it is a skill – it needs to built like a muscle. Like so many things, consistency is key but seems to go out the window in a society where being busy is glorified. Not only that, but taking care of yourself can be surprisingly expensive, and rarely do dollars spent = happiness achieved. Ever been on a yoga or wellness retreat? Me neither, they’re pricey. Ever been on a four week all expenses paid vacation to the Maldives? If you aren’t the Bachelorette, I doubt it (I’m waiting for your call Chris B. Harrison…)
Over the years I have put together a budget-friendly routine to help with my self-care and wellness. It’s by no means a perfect formula but I find the time I invest in keeping well pays dividends not only in productivity, but in my overall well-being, both mental and physical.
1. WRITE IN A JOURNAL
As part of my morning routine, I’ve started writing in my Five-Minute Journal (I talked about it here). It helps me zoom out, keep an eye on what’s really important, and track my wellness to know when I’m dipping or appreciate when I’m feeling balanced.
2. KEEP UP TO DATE ON WORLD EVENTS
The older I get, the more I want to be up to speed on current events . Sometimes it makes me feel sad, but I think it’s important to stay educated. I’ve mentioned before that I like to listen to podcasts, and The Daily by The New York Times is one of my favourites. It’s a free podcast and it gives you a quick (20 minute) update on the day’s news. Lately it’s been mostly about the US political climate since it’s so charged and unusual, but they talk about world events as well.
3. GET MOVING OUTSIDE
There’s something about exercising outside that cannot be replicated in a gym. It’s free (!), and being outside, rain or shine, is one of my favourite things to do. I go for runs with my fiance and am constantly walking our dog. Walking her in the morning starts my day on such a good note. I’m not telling you to get a dog (YES I AM) but making time to be outside definitely helps me feel rooted.
4. SWITCH SODA FOR WATER
It’s so easy to reach for juice or soda (this a big one for me), but drinking all that extra sugar (or empty calories with aspartame) is not good for your body. I’ve been making an effort to switch to water with meals and throughout the day, and have been carrying my Flow water with me when I go out to help resist temptation.
5. ADOPT A HEALTHY EATING LIFESTYLE
Cooking at home has long been a goal of mine… I’m not a very good cook and don’t have the motivation after a long day of work (raise your hand if you can relate). The boy and I decided to try Chef’s Plate after one of his colleagues recommended it – and it’s been so great! We are actually cooking together (which is fun) and not eating take-out every night. It’s much, much cheaper (depending on your plan, meals are about $10 each) and when you actually eat out, it’s more fun and meaningful.
So there you have it, my top 5 tips on staying well. Do I do them every day? Definitely not. But I find the days where I can are the days I feel my best.
That said, I’m happy to be working with Flow Water on the From Canada, With Love wellness campaign. The new Flow bottles have a UID number, which you submit here to be entered. There are 2 grand prize winners, plus gift cards + Flow water vouchers. The only thing that guarantees wellness more than going on vacation is being taken on vacation. That sounds like a tacky product line but it really isn’t… someone please take me on vacation.
Photos by Andrew Cameron
Shot in collaboration with Flow Water
This post originally appeared on THE AUGUST DIARIES.