With Valentine’s Day tucked in the middle, February is usually associated with love. My response to that has always been, ‘let’s bring on the self love!’ Over the last couple of years, one of my priorities as an artisan and business owner has been balance. These are some of the ways that I prioritize my own self-care. I hope you find them helpful.
1. Quality Time With My Favourite Canine
I get why people have therapy dogs. I love every minute I get to spend with Ella. Anytime I feel stressed I take her for a walk or take some time out my often full days to play with her. It's the best, and has been a much needed addition to my life.
Ella is an 8.5 year-old rescue that my partner and I adopted from the BCSPCA in the summer of 2018. You may have met her! Ella routinely joins me at my outdoor markets. She’s great company. We even set up an Instagram account for her. You can follow her @thegreat_elladog.
According to PAWS for people, “interaction with a gentle, friendly pet has significant benefits.” That quality time can diminish physical pain, lower your blood pressure, and lift your spirits, plus a lot more.
2. Getting Enough Sleep
I used to pull 'all-nighters' when I was in University. I tried to do the same at the beginning of my business and I am not going to lie… I still occasionally do. But after listening to a podcast with Matthew Walker (Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, and bestselling author of ‘Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams”), I realized how important it actually is to get a full 8 hours of consistent sleep a night. I’m trying my best to follow through on this advice
3. Fresh Air
For those who have been following the story behind the Devi Arts Collective, you know how important and how influential nature is to me and my art. Of the many places I find inspiration, nature is a key and very important source for me. The pieces I’ve designed are inspired by the moon, birch bark, and the beautiful mountains which overlook Vancouver (where I’m based).
Especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed, I like to head outside. A walk around the neighborhood, a hike on a local trail or going snowboarding always makes a big difference. I’m grateful for all the beautiful places open for exploration around where I live. I definitely have my favourites, but – when it comes to the (truly great) outdoors – there’s always more to discover.
We all know I have been very open about my struggles with getting back into regular meditation practice. I even shared several private reflections on my experience trying to incorporate meditation into my life.
I know this is a great way to practice self-care, but sometimes knowing is easier than doing. An app I’ve found to be quite helpful is InsightTimer. I’ve been using it before going to bed. They have “the largest free library of guided meditations on earth, with more than 15,000 titles” and it really is amazing.
A regular meditation practice has all sorts of benefits. It can improve sleep, reduce anxiety, and contribute to your overall emotional health. Check out some more benefits on healthline.
As an entrepreneur, it is so so so easy to forget to take care of yourself. Every time I exercise those endorphins are released and I feel a million times better. Regular exercise has so many benefits including strengthening your bones and muscles, and improving your mood. Here’s some more benefits from medlineplus.gov.
6. Sitting Down for a Healthy Meal
I grew up hearing “eat a balanced diet.” I’m sure most of you did. When I was younger I could eat whatever (fast food, junk food etc) and not feel phased. But now if I am not eating well (or at least more on the healthy side) I feel the difference. I am more sluggish, tired and in and let's face it moody. I need my energy to keep up with all the moving parts of running a business, so I’m very careful to watch what I eat and make sure my meals are both nurturing and satisfying.
7. Spending Time with My Loved Ones
Sometimes its just about being around good people. I am so lucky to have group of supportive people in my life. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am. Two people who particularly mean a lot to me are Chris (my husband) and my mom. They’ve been with me right from the beginning, supporting me as I grew the Devi Arts Collective into what it is today.
My mom gave me my first introduction to jewelry design (in the form of a peyote stitch) when I was just a little girl. Chris has been my constant; a strong pillar of support for over 17 years. When I decided, in 2017, that I was going to quit my part-time job to devote my energy to jewelry design, he was my biggest cheer leader. Quality time with him is time I cherish.
8. “Me Time”
Whether it’s just me reading a book, journaling or taking a bath I try and make time just for by myself and do nothing but relax. It's important.
How do you replenish your energy, and give yourself some needed self-care? It’s worth thinking about and checking in to make sure you’re making your health a priority. You’re worth it.
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