November always feels like a transitional month – from autumn to winter, from fallen leaves to snow, from Halloween to Christmas. Maybe it’s this feeling of transition and renewal that I’ve been focusing more on wellness this month. I’ve been exercising about five times a week, either going to the gym or attending a fitness class, reading more news articles, booking RMTs, listening to podcasts. There’s a lot of chatter about wellness nowadays – but really, in an age where you often don’t feel productive unless your calendar is booked from morning to night, it really is important to regularly take a step back to re-assess your own well-being.
Here are some of the things that I’ve been doing in the theme of wellness
There is something about doing yoga in a sauna-like studio that I find calming – almost as though I’m sweating away all my stress and responsibilities.
Lavender (or other pleasant-smelling) creams
I recently bought a new cream from Lush called Sleepy, which is made of fresh ingredients including oatmeal infusion, almond oil, lavender water, and cocoa butter. I find the lavender smell extremely soothing, and the oatmeal components particularly beneficial for my dryer skin during this cold weather.
I’m a firm believer that people should eat whatever makes them feel good without restriction, but at the same time, understanding and being aware of how their diet make them feel. For instance, I know that my body can’t take too much oil – if I eat too many fried foods in one day, I’ll become really tired or even nauseous. Focus your diet on foods that make you feel good and provide sustainable energy for the day.
I started drinking peppermint tea because it was complimentary at my yoga studio, and found that the minty taste had a rather soothing effect on my state of mind and body. This is especially nice now that the weather has gotten much colder.
I believe that feeling good stems from both the inside and the outside. If you feel good about the way you look, that in turn helps boost self-confidence, morale, and well-being. Spend time re-organizing your wardrobe, playing with different outfits, and shaping your personal style. I recently bought some fleece heat-tech turtlenecks at Uniqlo for $20 that are quite versatile (and warm!), as well as really good pair of high-waisted jeans (surprisingly, to be honest) at Brandy Melville for $50.
Massages tend to be rather expensive, so I never did any until this year when I started working and was provided with insurance coverage for RMT. If your workplace has RMT coverage, USE IT! I know way too many people who don’t utilize their benefits enough. My favourite places in Toronto so far are H20 Float and Hot Stone at Step Up clinic. I like booking massages on Friday evenings as a way to de-stress at the end of a long week, or on Sunday evenings as a refresher for the week ahead.
I never used to like running. When I was at school, I always found going to the gym a chore rather than something I actually wanted to do. However, now that I’ve started working and am sitting in a chair most of the day, I find myself wanting to go for a run after (or before) work. Even after a long day when I feel mentally exhausted, I find it surprisingly de-stressing to go for a run while jamming to some vigorous music.