You’re about to feel sooooo good!
DAY 1: Meditate for 10 min
Sit in a quiet space on a mat or pillow with your back to the wall, nice and straight. Make yourself comfortable so that you don’t need to re-adjust mid-meditation. Set your phone on a 10 minute timer (or more!), or enjoy either a musical meditation using the Insight Timer app or a guided one with Headspace (both free!). A trusted monk I learned from in Thailand at a silent meditation retreat gave me this winning formula for beginners: Start with a body scan: how do you feel today? Physically & emotionally. Scan your body for mild discomforts, uneasiness, warmth…anything noticeable to you in this very moment. Breathe and let go. Inhale deeply, exhale deeply and imagine your thoughts floating just above your head, then dissipating. Don’t get frustrated! Meditation takes a lifetime to perfect, but revel in the ommmmm vibes you’ll be left with nonetheless. Know that there is no such thing as an unsuccessful meditation practice 😉
DAY 2: Enjoy a mug of chamomile tea before bed. Sweeten it with honey of you like. Chamomile is known to induce a restful sleep if you let it do it’s thing. Have it just before bed, screens off, while reading a great book or *skip to day 3* while reading a poem. Ahhhhhh.
DAY 3: Read this poem by Judy Brown.
FIRE ~ Judy Brown
What makes a fire burn is space between the logs, a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing, too many logs packed in too tight can douse the flames almost as surely as a pail of water would.
So building fires requires attention to the spaces in between, as much as to the wood.
When we are able to build open spaces in the same way we have learned to pile on the logs, then we can come to see how it is fuel, and absence of the fuel together, that make fire possible.
We only need to lay a log lightly from time to time.
A fire grows simply because the space is there, with openings in which the flame that knows just how it wants to burn can find its way.
DAY 4: Give yourself a facial
- Double Cleanse with Étymologie’s Active Clay Cleanser – once to remove makeup, and again to actually clean your face!
- Follow with a mask of your choice. Here are a few DIY recipes.
- Remove mask and apply a few drops of Hydrating Floral Elixir.
- Finish with a generous touch of Antioxidant Daily Defense Serum – rub 5-9 drops of the serum in palms of your hands,then gently pat the product into the skin. Take the time to give yourself a gentle facial massage or use a jade roll or GuaSha to increase circulation and repair the skin.
DAY 6: Bake yourself a guilt-free treat.
If you’ve only got 10 minutes to spare, treat yourself to these decadent fudge bites by This Rawsome Vegan Life. (psssst! I often use almond butter for this recipe and it is THAT good) Alternately, if you are keen to get your hands dirty, try this Vancouver blogger’s avocado chocolate mousse cake, you’ll love yourself for it!
DAY 7: Learn something new
Teach yourself a few guitar strings, attend a portrait painting night, take a cooking course, or watch a documentary. Whatever it is, add to your mental inventory and feel a tad smarter when you get to sleep tonight!
DAY 8: Screens off 2 hours before bed
Stay away from screens (TV, phone, internet, tablet) 2 hours before bedtime, and thank yourself later for some deep and restful ZZZZZs. Hint: set your phone on automatic night mode if you have an Iphone or get the Twilight app for Android – this will reduce eye strain for those nights when screen time is essential.
DAY 9: Make yourself a golden latte
I recommend using a plant-based milk (oat, rice, nut milk) and for BEST results, make your own! Follow my simple recipe for a yummy, warming drink.
1 cup milk
1 tsp freshly grated turmeric
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp honey
A pinch of pepper (makes the turmeric more bioavailable)
Heat all ingredients in a pot on the stove at medium heat, then strain the drink and top with a touch of cinnamon. YUM!
Ginger and turmeric have incredible anti-inflammatory and detoxing qualities which will do your body much good during these frigid winter days!
DAY 10: Write down how you feel today
Start a journal entry, and jot down how you feel upon waking. This includes your emotional, physical and mental state. Don’t try to psychoanalyze yourself – just take note, observe and accept. Then, take mental notes throughout the day, and try to observe how those feelings may change. You are one step closer to being in-tune with your body and mind. I encourage you to listen to yourself every morning – make it a part of your daily ritual.
DAY 11: Stretch your body for 15 minutes
Grab a mat, or use a carpet. Put on some comfy yoga or lounging clothes. Stretch. Everything. Hold each pose for a minimum of 30 seconds and notice the difference it makes to your physical state.
DAY 12: Call an old friend
I know you don’t have time. I know it’s been on your to-do list for weeks, months maybe. DO IT. NOW.
DAY 13: Compliment a stranger
The rules of the game are simple: at any moment in your day, find a stranger (your bus driver, barista, new work colleague, the person behind you at the cash register…) and give them a compliment. And MEAN it. Bask in the pleasure it will create, for the receiver and for yourself!
DAY 14: Do something you love, and make enough time for it.
Whether that means taking a bath, watching your favourite corny romantic comedy, having brunch with your best friend or spending a morning in bed reading cookbooks. Whatever tickles your fancy, allow yourself this special treat and enjoy every minute of it!
DAY 15: Take a mindful walk.
Feel your feet touching the ground, slow down, speed up. If you’re in Montreal, feel the cold on your toes, on your fingertips…enjoy the fresh, revitalising Winter air. Try to stay in the present moment while you walk and notice all the little things that surround you: the sounds, the smells, the sights, the people, the Sun…
DAY 16: Listen to this song: Nocturnal Waltz by Johannes Bornlöf
DAY 17: Don’t sit for more than one hour consecutively
If you work in an office, this may be a challenge – you got this! Make it a point to get up for a few minutes every hour, this will allow proper blood flow and give you a little mental break too! Ideally, you should do this every day. Sitting for long periods has been proven to have negative effects on your health, so try to avoid it whenever possible! Ever thought of asking your boss for standing work desk? It’s more common than you think!
DAY 18: Tell a friend or family member you love them
If you already do this every day, wonderful! Otherwise, try it today and feel the warm fuzzy feelings of looooooove.
DAY 19: Take a yoga class
Whether you’re a curious beginner or experienced yogi, the benefits to taking a guided yoga class are grand! Try a different style, new studio or new teacher – you may be surprised by what you learn! If this is a first for you, I recommend taking a free trial class at Belem Yoga in Montreal’s plateau. (Psst! Check out their range of Étymologie Skincare products)
DAY 20: Help someone in need
Helping someone does not necessarily require you to pull out your wallet. Though donating money can go a long way, sometimes the most meaningful acts of kindness require only good intentions and a little bit of time. Volunteer at an animal shelter, have a chat with a homeless person, help a stranger carry their heavy bags up the staircase. Small acts go a long way, and inspire others to do the same. So go on! Do good!
DAY 21: Set yourself three goals for the year
AND STICK TO THEM. 3 is small, do-able, realistic. Write them down in your journal, or on a post-it you keep on your bathroom mirror – make yourself a visual reminder of these three goals to hold yourself accountable for them.
DAY 22: Tell yourself you love yourself and truly mean it
This is not as simple as it seems. Say the words out loud, then ask yourself: do I mean it? Repeat it until you do. And if this seems unachievable, ask yourself: Why am I not lovable? You may find the answer is not what you expected.
DAY 23: Get rid of 5 things you don’t need.
Closet clean-out tiiiiime! Don’t overthink it – we all own much much more than we need to live a comfortable, happy and healthy life. So, detach yourself from a few things and take note of the relief that washes over you as you declutter your space. Make sure you dispose of items responsibly. Recycling or upcycling, and giving or selling is the way to go if you can still get some use out of what you are getting rid of!
DAY 24: Cook all your meals from scratch for a day
That means no processed or packaged ingredients. If you’re making quiche, you’ll need to make the crust. If you’re having pasta, time to whip up a tasty pesto. Get creative, it’s so much fun, and an opportunity to discover a new interest!
DAY 25: Drink eight glasses of water (count them!)
Good skin comes from the inside out – quite literally! Drink plenty of water to compliment your daily skincare routine and you will reap the benefits!
DAY 26: Before you go to sleep, think about the best thing that happened to you that day for five minutes.
DAY 27: Do not open your wallet for a day.
Depending on where you live, this can be a real challenge. No latte on your way to school, no uber ride if you’re late for work (online purchases count!), no Indian take-out for dinner. Try it. It isn’t easy, but it may lead you to reconsider some of the purchases you make on the daily.
DAY 28: Learn how to say: “I wish you a wonderful day!” in a new language
DAY 29: Go vegan for a day
Going vegan for a day may just give you a taste of how UNlimited your choices are and how UNrestricted your diet can be! Whip up your own delicious and hearty vegan meals or follow some of the Oh She Glows recipes which I believe to be as fool-proof as they get!
DAY 30: Get yourself a plant and care for it
If you’re like me, this may be a feat. Though you’ve got only good intentions and a true belief in yourself that you CAN keep this plant alive, as well as a plethora of good reasons why your last fifteen plants didn’t make it (cold winter spell!…housemate overwatered, I swear!) you may need to set yourself a reminder to turn on the plant lamp and water your pots this time around. It’s not cheating, it’s your road to success! At last 😉
DAY 31: Write yourself a letter to read next January 1
No guidelines here. Write about anything and everything. You’ll be glad you did it this time next year. I make it a yearly tradition, and truthfully, always get a good laugh from it!
Article by Olivia St-Laurent