Happy Winter Solstice: 5 Tips for Healthy Habit Building for 2018

As a busy mom, it's not always easy to put yourself first. Add to the mix beginning a new business and the fact that I love going outdoors to get sunshine on my skin and wind in my hair. However, Calgary is a bit cold for getting out for any length of time at least half the year. It can be easy to find excuses to let self-care practices fall by the wayside.

In an effort to welcome more light into our lives as the days also begin to lighten here are five easy tips to take a time out and take care of ourselves. Taking care of ourselves means we can better take care of those that depend on us without becoming worn down.

1. Get Outside

Enjoy some fresh air of some sort, even if it's just a walk to the mailbox. I usually look for excuses such as running errands to the grocery store, walking to the bank machine or picking up a few specialty ingredients at the local Italian market for our pizza night. I try to think of errands as a fun reason to wrap one of my babies in a cushy wrap, spend some one on one time together and get a few things done. I flip the script from thinking of it as yet another chore to thinking of it as more of an opportunity. Sometimes, after a particularly tough day, I'll wait for my husband to come home and then I'll make a run to the health food store and pick up a little something nice for myself at the same time.

2. Build Small Healthy Habits Around other Parts of your Day

Create a habit or habits that aid your body in detoxification or promote health, and/or relaxation that you look forward to each day and that you can do at home. If you do it at around the same time each day or place it in your day in proximity to a meal (because generally, meals are the ultimate daily habit that occur at approximately the same time each day) it won't be long before it becomes something that you just do. Here are some of my ideas:

  • juicing (aim for veggies instead of fruits to avoid blood sugar imbalances)

  • green coffee enema (detoxifies the liver and produces huge amounts of natural glutathione)

  • red light therapy

  • dry brushing

  • Arvigo Technique (also known as Mayan Belly Massage)

  • steaming face with essential oils

  • almond oil massage after shower

  • diffusing essential oils

  • alternating hot and cold within the shower (hydrotherapy)

  • far infrared sauna treatment (I won't get into whether a near or far infrared sauna is better - I have no idea. I bought a far infrared, therefore, that is what I use)

  • stillness of some sort, whether it's a meditation, breath work or just a quiet moment to look out the window (I sometimes work this into my shower time)

  • bathe (lately I've been combining large amounts of Epsom salts with a high concentration of food grade hydrogen peroxide for an extremely relaxing, sort of bubbly bath once a week)

3. Beauty Habits

It may be superficial, but when we make an effort to look good, it goes toward feeling good too. Here are some of my ideas and I usually try to keep the tools I need close by and handy so that I can quickly assess what needs to be done and either do it immediately or plan ahead to do it within the next few days:

  • simple make up (five minutes or less)

  • curl/straighten hair

  • cute outfit

  • pluck eyebrows

  • trim nails

  • exfoliate (sugar mixed with your favorite moisturizer or even almond oil is all you need as you head into the shower)

  • henna for my ever-greying hair (an unpleasant mud pie on my head, but better than chemicals I figure. I will make a future post about how I select and use henna)

  • haircut (So, I've recently began cutting my own hair and either I am completely delusional or my haircut looks better than the one I get at a salon! I'm may do a post on the technique that has been working for me in the future as well)

4. Connecting with Loved ones

This is so important and can get overlooked. In our day to day, we sometimes forget to take time for the ones that matter most in our lives. I recommend scheduling daily events around mealtimes or making a certain day of the week, the day we always take time and connect by:

  • yoga with kids

  • three nutritious meals a day (It sort of goes without saying, but...)

  • game, story time or craft with kids

  • time alone for you and your partner

5. Emergency or Bi-Annual Self Care

And then there are those times that warrant the "big guns" to help hit the reset button. It might be a family vacation for some. For us, a family vacation with four young children isn't always a relaxing prospect, but here are some ideas that we look forward to from a local perspective. Not every weekend, but once in a while:

  • a visit to Banff for a day trip to do one or several of the following:

  • walk in a pine forest

  • roam the amazingly beautiful Banff Springs Hotel

  • soak in the hot springs

  • a visit to Riverside Spa (they are the only place I've found that uses non-harmful ingredients and I like the staff)

  • urban hike to Nosehill, Big Hill Springs, Prince's Island Park, St. Patrick's Island and the local bird sanctuary

  • road trip to do something fun like a u-pick, Devonian Gardens, visit a museum, forage, Radium hot springs

  • Outside therapies such as:

  • BodyTalk therapy

  • acupuncture

  • maintenance visit to naturopath

  • bike ride by myself through Calgary's bike paths

  • taking some time for a passion project

Wishing you all that is good for 2018! May you and your loved ones be blessed with good health and abundance.


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