14 Days of self-care for February
Day 1, Start a gratitude journal
It is such a simple thing to do; once or twice a week, or even every night, write down 2 or 3 things that you are grateful for in a journal.
It can be anything, from, "having wonderful friends", your health, or an event you are looking forward to.
As an act of self-care, this simple task can have big benefits including better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, and more happiness.
In the evening, sometimes our worries can catch up with us, but jotting down a few things that you are grateful for can change the vibration of your thoughts and help you to change your perspective on your worries.
Day 2, Light a Candle
The flickering ambient light of a burning candle can induce calm and a sense of well-being. Many practitioners of meditation will light candles to focus. You can do it too to transform your surroundings and help calm your mind.
Treat yourself to a candlelit dinner at home, or light a favourite candle while reading a book, in the bath, or even doing your homework - after all, it promotes focus!
A new candle makes a nice gift to yourself.
When choosing a candle for the purpose of health and wellness, it's best to find candles made from natural beeswax or soy, as paraffin wax is made from crude oil production and can release some toxins into the air.
Day 3, something sparkly
There are many reasons to like crystals. When we look at them, we often admire their beauty, but there's more to these sparkly rocks than that.
Crystals are used in clocks and computers for their energy powers, but the power that high technology taps into can also be helpful in your life and wellness.
Different crystals harness different healing powers - a good one for Valentine's season is Rose quartz. Rose quarts is a stone of unconditional love that helps to open and heal the energy of the heart, emitting vibrations of love, beauty and compassion.
Use crystals as jewelry, or treat yourself to a new crystal to decorate and bring the right vibrations to your home or office.
Day 4, Rework your wardrobe
Organizing any space has a positive effect on the mind - the act gives you a sense of control and reduces feelings of being overwhelmed, helping you to conquer stress.
Organizing your closet can especially be an act of self-love - any clothes that don't make you feel great don't deserve your time!
Put your best foot forward every day by limiting your options to only your best, most feel-good pieces!
This is a good time to consider adopting a minimalist wardrobe. That might mean different things to different people, but the idea is to pare down your wardrobe to only your favourite pieces instead of constantly trying to wear, "something new.".
What are the benefits of this? Not only can you save money (shopping) and time (putting together outfits), but you are also helping to make the world a better place - working conditions in factories for cheap clothes is a real concern!
One more reason for a streamlined wardrobe? It helps you to develop and discover your own real personal sense of style.
Day 5, Add colour to your life!
Colour is all around us. Nothing on this earth is here just by chance; everything in nature is here for a purpose and colour is no exception. All we need to do is to heighten our awareness of the energy of colour and how it can transform our lives.
Want to try a very simple form of colour therapy? Watch the sunrise or the sun set! During this time of day, you will be treated to a spectacle of beautiful colours, and studies show that appreciating natural beauty may increase well-being, boost generosity and enhance life satisfaction.
You can also incorporate colour therapy into what you wear, such as throwing on a scarf, or bring colour into your home with a new shade of paint, or a vibrant accent cushion.
Different colours are said to inspire different feelings; try red for motivation and energy, or lilac and lavender for soothing properties.
Day 6, Meet a friend for coffee or dessert
It's been said before, but it's worth repeating: seeing your friends is one of the very best things you can do for your health!
Some studies have linked friendship as more important than exercise and even smoking when it comes to living a long life!
Treat yourself today - get together today with a friend over a foamy cappuccino or a hot tea, some laughs, and a good catch up!
Day 7, Re-organize your pantry
Just like organizing your closet, organizing your pantry has positive effects on your health. An organized space is linked to less stress, better eating choices, better sleep, more energy, and it can even lower your risk for a heart attack!
Organizing your pantry also helps you to make better eating choices, as you can get rid of junk food and create space for fresh healthy foods.
Day 8, Buy flowers for yourself
Or a plant! Not only do real plants and flowers provide a boost of air-cleaning oxygen, but they also carry many health and wellness benefits when placed at your home or work place.
A Rutgers University study found that the link between flowers and your satisfaction with life is far more important than previously thought; having flowers in your home increases happiness, reduces depression and anxiety and can increase emotional contact with friends and family.
Why wait for someone else to buy them? You know what you like the best!
But don't stop there - you can also extend these benefits to a friend, co worker or family member, by brightening up their day with a cheerful bouquet.
Day 9, Read
Reading is more relaxing than watching television, and it also boosts many extra benefits to your health and wellness.
Besides being relaxing, reading has been shown to provide mental stimulation, increase your knowledge and your language skills, help you to feel empathy for others, and it can even help to strengthen your attention span - something that is in crisis for many people in today's instant-tech-age! There is a book for every interest - and Selkirk has an amazing library!
Day 10, Paint
Or do anything creative with your hands. Make a Valentine's themed craft. Write. Draw. Play an instrument. Build a tower for your cats.
Being creative gives us an escape from the responsibilities and problem-solving of our day to day routines.
Painting, crafting, and making things with our hands can help to encourage creativity, relieve stress, and have fun!
The local dollar stores in Selkirk sell canvases, paint and brushes and YouTube has old episodes of Bob Ross, so it's easy to get started!
Day 11, Try a new healthy recipe
Healthy eating is a good goal, but you don't have to always rely on the same healthy foods, because that could be boring!
Have fun experimenting with a new recipe.
Here's a fun one to try:
Nacho "Cheeze" Dip - Made with veggies!
This easy recipe takes less than 15 minutes to prepare, is made with diced sweet potato, water, spices and nutritional yeast, and it tastes amazing!
Here's the recipe
Day 12, Get a Massage
A massage is an ultimate self-care must do! To name just a few health benefits, massages can help ease pain, promote better sleep, increase circulation, improve the lymphatic system and help your body to detox, boost immunity, make you look younger, and reduce stress.
And it feels amazing! Book one for yourself as an investment in your health and well-being.
Day 13, Wear your favourite perfume
Scents can help to enhance our moods, and even make us feel happier!
Some perfumes have direct aromatherapy benefits, depending on their ingredients, while other perfumes and lotions can lift our spirits in a different way; scent is strongly associated with memory.
Buying a perfume or lotion that you wore during special moments of your life can help to seal that memory - if you open that same scent, years later, it can trigger these happy memories again.
Another reason? When you take the time in your routine to treat yourself with your favourite scent, or put lotion on, you are reminding yourself that you are worth caring for and spending time and energy on. Perfume has also been shown to boost confidence, so go ahead and wear a scent you love today!
Day 14, Happy Valentine's Day!