While it seems a little frivolous to be writing about self-care during a time of total disruption in our world today, some would say this is the exact moment we should be worrying about it the most. Anxiety and other mental health struggles tend to rear their ugly heads during times like these. Times of uncertainty, where media and social media seem to only be breeding more judgement than love and support.
This was meant to be a light and breezy blog discussing all different sorts of self-care and finding what works for you, and in many ways it still will be, because some version of our “normal” will return, but I’ve also included a section on making sure you prioritize your self-care during these COVID times and what that might look like.
I will be sharing on three topics:
- What I did: My experience with being fully immersed in a week of self-care
- What I learned: Some big and small self-care ideas and what it takes to make them a priority
- COVID-19 self-care: I have to pause to give credit to my Instagram community as well because a good chunk of the ideas shared here are thanks to you all answering my question of “What is your favourite self-care?”. So thank you for your input throughout this little adventure.
In this blog article, we will be chatting through topic one above. Stay tuned for more blog articles from me to hear about topic two and three.
What I Did – My self-care week experiment
If you follow me on Instagram, you can also find some more detail on my self-care week in my highlight reel under IWD Giveaways. Some quick background on my relationship with self-care – I tend to work full-tilt until I either crash or realize I’m about to crash, which is when self-care becomes a focus of mine. Over the past couple years, I have been working hard to make self-care a part of my daily life in smaller but more sustainable ways, but I am definitely still a work in progress!
I made and enjoyed a tea (before starting into the coffee) while doing my daily practice, which is somewhere between a gratitude journal and a to do list. I unfortunately didn’t go to bed early or sleep in like I’d hoped because of my baby not sleeping well – Mom life, right?! I took my kids to my parents’ house for the morning so I could get some work done because my oldest was home from school (PD day, this was before COVID hit). I tried listening to music while getting my work done, and it put me in the best mood! For dinner, I made @skipabeet meal service freezer meals, which is becoming one of my best life hacks because I don’t have to worry about prepping a healthy meal on busy nights. That evening, both of my boys had swimming lessons. After lessons, we decided to stay for family swim time at Lakewood Civic Centre with Abuelita and Papa. We got the best mix of fun/PLAY time and family time, even if staying meant missing bedtime by about 45 minutes. Thank goodness we did because this ended up being our last opportunity to swim/go to swimming lessons before everything closed!
I started my day again with a morning tea, missed my daily practice, but added some multivitamins to my morning routine. I took my kiddos to my parents’ again for the morning so I could go to work and get some things done around the house. I work as a Postpartum Doula and work for me is self-care because I’m so passionate about it. In a quick poll I did on Instagram, 67% of you also agreed that your work is self-care for you too! I thought this was both so interesting and impressive. In the evening, I got distracted and binged a Netflix show, which ended off being a tradeoff of bad self-care by missing out on sleep, but I really enjoyed the “me time”. It’s all about balance, or so I’m told! After my Netflix binge, I took a relaxing bath with some bath salts by @1968soapco_soap_and_pottery. This was a treat for sure!
Day 3 again started with tea and vitamins, followed by my first ever facial at @jfyspa which offered a super relaxing atmosphere with highly knowledgeable staff! My daily practice didn’t happen until much later in the day, but better late than never! The afternoon brought with it a deep conditioning hair treatment and blow out at @hairtechdesign, and in the evening I made the call to put the kids to bed early (best idea ever, FYI). This was definitely one of the more luxurious days, and one I typically wouldn’t have the chance to do too often, but these types of treatments are so nice as a treat every now and then (or more frequently if you’re able!).
It was my husband’s birthday and was generally just busy, so I typically wouldn’t have had any self-care on a day like that. But since I had committed to an experiment of getting some self-care in every day, I made a point to do what I could (which ended up being quite a lot) even if it was busy. I think we all have days that self-care is an afterthought. The trick might just be making sure those days don’t turn into weeks, months, and years! So my day started with tea and vitamins again, followed by Coffee + Connection at @thewellcollab. A big part of my self-care is community and being around and cheering on other women (especially women in business), so events like these are almost like therapy for me. My husband and I then went for his birthday lunch at @revolveyxe with NO KIDS!! This was amazing – great food, sunshine, yummy coffee, played some of the fun games they had there, and just enjoyed each other’s company. In the afternoon, I had a massage at 2nd Ave Family Chiropractic, which was so needed with the lack of sleep that I’d been getting used to in the weeks prior. I decided to do some reading right before bed, which helped me relax and fall asleep (81% of you agreed in another poll i did).
Then there was day 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3 where I had to keep myself away from people as my family and I had come down with a cold (not COVID, we were assured many, many, many times). This meant I needed some “getting well” self-care. This looked like: lots of rest, fluids, stepping away from as many responsibilities as possible, then alllll the cleaning so the family wouldn’t get sick again. That type of self-care is definitely not as glamorous… but boy is it ever necessary!
Again the day started with tea and vitamins with a dose of daily practice as well (I was starting to get the hang of this!). I had a pedicure at @glambeautyspa_sk with massage chairs!!! As this was at the beginning of things shutting down, it was encouraging to see such a beautiful brand new business take cleanliness and relaxation so seriously. Masks and distancing were already in place, even though they were far from mandated at that time. My husband and I did a virtual @wemovesk work out from home, which was a really fun thing to do together. We rarely work out together, and if I’m being honest, it takes a lot to get me to work out, period. So this was a fun option for sure!
This was meant to be the last day of the self-care week, but my anxiety was seeping in with the school closing announcement that came on this day, gas prices dropping, and the COVID-19 reality starting to set in. I decided not to do my float at @thetawavefloat even though I was so looking forward to it. Theta Wave’s owner, Jon, and I both agreed it was best to postpone the visit but I will definitely be going for a float there when we’re all up and running again! I have floated before, but @thetawavefloat is much different than anywhere I’ve been before (open room floats, not in a pod, and big enough for 2 ppl for prenatal couples if you want, and it’s a full multi-step relaxation experience, not just a float) and I can’t wait to try it. By chance, some oils I had ordered from @theolfactoryshop came in the mail that day. Their oils come in scents that are lovely and always make me feel relaxed/happy even if I use them just to make a room smell nicer!
Side note – I had full intentions to de-clutter during the week of self-care, but it ended up happening the following week, which is totally okay! Some things get pushed aside, but for most things to get done was a win for me for sure!
That’s my “self-care” week, folks!
Stay tuned to see what I learned, and for more great tips + tricks!
Meet Kayla Madder
Kayla is a Mama to two boys, and owns Crocus Doula & Wellness Services, as well as Kids Closet YXE here in Saskatoon. She loves connecting with Moms and is an incredible asset to our team! She left a career in the Sciences to be able to stay home with her boys while chasing other dreams and passions.
She is a great listener, connector and force of nature.
Kayla not only plans and hosts our events in Saskatoon, she is also part of many strategic business decisions and plays a huge role operationally as our on-the-ground Ask Mum Saskatoon representative.
Follow Kayla on Instagram: @prairie_girl_enjoying_life