The "treat yo'self" concept actually has some real credibility and is more necessary than you'd think! Too often, we neglect ourselves — sometimes we can really run our brains and bodies down — and it leaves us depleted and unhealthy and could even lead to unwanted weight gain. By taking dedicated time for a bit of self-care, we can restore balance to our body and mind in order to function at our best, improve our immune system, and make our workouts even better.
"Self-care comes from knowing and understanding your own needs and recognizing and engaging in the myriad of ways in which you can meet your needs," said Dr. Amy Chadwick, naturopathic doctor at Four Moons Spa. And it doesn't just mean spa treatments: "Whether this be food, exercise, touch, routine, rest, play, and more, when we understand ourselves, our bodies, and our needs as they adjust day by day, we can engage in activities which nourish, feed, and heal ourselves and allow us to be fully present not only for ourselves, but for everyone with whom we interact."
So you want to treat yourself well and carve out time for self-care — but where do you start? Here are our favourite easy ways to give your mind, body, and soul a little TLC whenever, wherever.
- Eat dessert. "Sometimes, you should eat a little more dessert," said registered dietitian Lori Zanini, RD, CDE. "So much advice we see is about not caving to cravings, but no one food should always be off limits. I've found that when we have this 'all foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle' mentality, we are actually less like to overeat and we end up enjoying our meals so much more!".
- Book a luxe fitness class. Maybe it's a pricey Pilates class or a trendy exercise you haven't tried yet; take the time (and extra dough) to take care of your body and mind with an experience that's entirely yours.
- Draw a hot bath. Use your favorite bath bomb, salts, bubble bath, or other body treatment.
- Don't make plans; stay home in PJs. Do a face mask, put on those white strips, go through a skincare routine, make whatever food you want (or order in!), maybe get some chores done — and don't answer to any obligations or plans for a whole day (you have the rest of the week for that!).
- Turn off your phone for a day. If it's impossible to do this during the week, try to do it for one day on the weekend. Disconnect from technology and turn off all work-related business. If that's also impossible, try deleting all your social media apps just for a day — see how you feel when there's no pressure from the outside world.
- Treat yourself to a mani-pedi. Do you have a favourite salon service? Go get it done! Whether it's a mani-pedi, getting a facial or eyebrow treatment, or maybe getting a fresh new haircut you've been putting off, now's the time.
- Give your muscles some TLC. Do some trigger-point self-massaging using a therapy ball or lacrosse ball. Use the foam roller while you're at it!
- Fill your room with essential oils. Perfume your house with relaxing lavender, energizing citrus, or soothing eucalyptus. Take advantage of the extra hours at home and do some aromatherapy.
- Go for a long walk outside. Nature can be incredibly calming, and a quiet walk in the sun can do wonders for your mood. Get moving, get the blood flowing, and take some time to find peace.
- Dry brush. Try this at home for a calming skincare (and possibly detox!) routine.
- Cook a nourishing meal. Eating right is one of the best ways you can treat your body and mind. Opt for anti-inflammatory foods (think spices like cinnamon and turmeric) and look for micronutrients that will help you achieve optimal health.
- Schedule an appointment. Get a massage, try reiki or acupuncture, do some cupping, or visit a healer or therapist. Sometimes you just need someone else to do the work, right?