Self-care is an integral part of my life. I am cut from a cloth that needs to be conscious about my mental health and well-being, as well as, what actions I can take to improve it. I’ve gotten to know myself quite well through this process and have learned what works to keep me in balance.

Here are my 6 favourite self-care practices that help keep me sane:

YOGA– It’s my drug. It’s the one thing I can guarantee will make me feel better no matter what my mood or emotion. The sweat, the breath, the stretch, the connection to self – I need it all. I walk out of there in complete bliss. Lately, I’ve been really into the challenging power classes, but at times, I also need a restorative one. Isn’t that the beauty of the practice? Yoga has something for everyone and meets you where you are.

SLEEP! OMG this is SO important to me. Sleep is essential to me functioning my best. It does wonders. When I don’t get enough, I really pay for it the next day, and sometimes, even the next two days. When I say ‘pay for it’, I mean mentally, physically, emotionally, my level of alertness and ability to connect with people, etc., etc., etc! Sleep is when our body does the real work of repairing and regenerating. Neural pathways are paved and hormones are replenished. Everyone is different on the length of time that they function best on, but I would say I like about 8-10 hours of horizontal time a night.

GOOD FOOD! So this includes everything from a healthy green juice to the dark chocolate and red wine I love indulging in on the weekends. This past Friday I got so many sweet goodies for my night in and it is actually amazing what that did for my overall satisfaction. On the flip side, it was so comforting to enjoy a warm, healthy and nutritious soup today and sometimes when I don’t get enough greens in I crave them and need a big salad stat. Whatever my body is telling me when it comes to what is on my plate is what I follow and it works for my well-being.

A CLEAN SPACE – This seems so simple and like it would have no relation to how loco I am that week, but I find when my space is mess or there are dishes in my sink, I can’t focus. The accumulation of stuff on my floor has a real correlation with how I feel upstairs that day. I usually start my morning with a quick sweep of my place. That makes me sound super nerdy, but hey, anything that makes me feel better I am all for.

JOURNALING AND/OR READING– Getting stuff on paper really helps me. Finding a quote I like and writing it at the end of my entry really helps my mental state. I know this isn’t for everyone, but I get a lot from this. I also love a good book I can get lost in. It really takes me out of my current reality and transports me to somewhere else. There are times I am out and about, and in the back of my head, I keep thinking: ‘I can’t wait to get home to finish my book!’. Man, I’m really revealing my inner nerd in this post eh? Oh well – I love her! Lol. The feeling of getting my cozy blanket, putting on a candle or my diffuser and getting into a good book really soothes the soul and makes nerdy Steph real happy. Side note- Any good book recommendations? Comment below and tell me!

SOCIALIZING– I consider myself a smart lady and in theory, I’ve known friendships were important part of living a full life given all that the research that is out there on the importance of socialization. That being said, it wasn’t until more recently, that the link between socializing and my mental health really clicked for me. For a while, I found meeting up with friends satisfying for different reasons, like for a fun time, de-stressing or letting loose. Now, I consider it a weekly practice that is a necessity to my health and happiness.

The more people I talk to it seems the consensus is that most really value their alone time. Perhaps it is the society we live in and how hectic and high stress it has become. I’m most definitely one of these people, however, my independence can at times be to fault and I act a bit like a recluse. I certainly need my alone time to recharge and I value this greatly. I could actually add “ME TIME” to this list as well. This is true, but there is also something to be said about feeling a part of something, feeling loved and debriefing this crazy thing called life with friends. It squashes loneliness and enacts a feeling of belonging that helps you feel like you aren’t alone in all the bad, good and ugly.

There you have it. If my personal self-care was a course, I know I’d ace the test due to my first hand experience. I must say, I have become well-versed in this area of learning how to maintain a balanced mind. I could go on and on and list other things that keep me sane, such as getting into nature, travel, a healthy sex life, herbs and tea/coffee, but I’ll stop there. Enough about me! I want to hear from you now! What keeps you sane? What do you love doing? I want to hear it all. The weird ones, the ones you’re embarrassed about or the ones you can’t wait to tell everyone about too. Maybe I can adopt some of yours! Comment below and let me know!

Enough about me! I want to hear from you now! What keeps you sane? What do you love doing? I want to hear it all. The weird ones, the ones you’re embarrassed about or the ones you can’t wait to tell everyone about too. Maybe I can adopt some of yours! Comment below and let me know!