With a new year starting, we look to the future and make new goals for ourselves, such as taking time to slow down and focus on self-care. We've put together some ways to help you if this is one of this year's ambitions, while also supporting local downtown businesses. It's a win-win!

Self-care is important

 

Modern life moves so fast that it can be hard to catch up, but we all need to take a break and slow down sometimes. Taking a break is great for our physical, emotional, and mental health, and is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

We can do much to reduce our stress levels if we take some time to take care of ourselves, with techniques such as sleeping more, drinking more water, and eating well. Whether that means getting a new mattress, buying a reusable water bottle, or shopping for local farm fruits and veggies, the little things help us in big ways!

We’ve also put together a list of activities that can help you relax, unwind, and recharge!

 

Relax in the tub

This is a wonderful activity to help you relax and take some time for yourself. Whether you like bubble bath, bath salts, or bath bombs, downtown businesses have what you need to soak away the stress. Nezza Naturals, Saltspring Soapworks, and Hudson’s Bay have all got lots of options for scents, colours, and holistic effects. The Body Shop has a large selection of bubble bath and bath bombs in delicious fruity scents. Lush has Bath Bombs, Bubble Bars, and Bath Oils. They also all sell other great beauty and self-care products!

 

Go for a walk/watch wildlife

Fresh air, sunshine, and being active help reduce stress and contribute to healthy living. With a beautiful waterfront walkway from Laurel Point to the Johnson Street Bridge, downtown has no shortage of places to walk and try to spot seals, birds, and maybe even whales! Different tides, times of day, and weather will bring new things to the Inner Harbour and waterfront. Come down and see what you’ll discover!

 

Create Paper Art

Paper Art comes in many different forms, from collage to Origami and beyond. If you enjoy working with your hands to make beautiful creations, this is a great way for you to unplug and be creative! You can find Origami paper at The Papery and Opus Art Supplies. If collage is more your thing, you can find inspiration and materials just about anywhere. Check thrift stores, like WIN and Value Village, or even the library, for old magazines. Thrift/Craft Alternative Art Supply in Market Square has a huge magazine and paper section, as well as pre-made adult collage kits! The Regional Assembly of Text sells paper, stationery, and cards too!

 

Do some colouring

Whether you like colouring with pencils, pencil crayons, or pens, adult colouring books can be a great way to relax and do something artistic. They come in so many different and unique designs, including fairy tales, pop culture, animals, mandalas and so much more! Some downtown stores that sell adult colouring books, as well as for kids, are Munro Books, Russell Books, The Papery, and Opus Art Supplies. There is a colouring book for everyone!

 

Practice mindfulness

Deep breathing is one of the best and easiest ways to calm ourselves and to feel centred. Another great way to help ourselves relax is to meditate. We are lucky to have many yoga studios downtown, including Ashtanga Yoga, MA Yoga, MokSana Yoga, Oxygen Yoga & Fitness, and Quantum Yoga Club. They all have classes that will help you stay active, feel connected, and breathe deeply. Bodhichitta Buddhist Centre on Blanshard Street also has online courses in meditation and freeing your mind from worries.

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Have a spa day

Sometimes you just need to take a day and pamper yourself. Thankfully, the businesses in downtown Victoria have got you covered! Atlas Health Therapy offers acupuncture, massage therapy, and wellness counselling. Faye’s Spa has services including reflexology, massage therapy, and crystal gel foot bath. At Manscape Spa, you have lots of choices like nail care, waxing, and tanning, as well as massage. Manicures, pedicures, and facials are available at Sapphire Day Spa, among other wonderful services.

 

Puzzle!

Clear the table. Put a little music on. And you’re ready to do a puzzle! The Papery, Munro Books and Oscar & Libby’s all have beautiful choices of designs, from flowers to scenery to people and more! If you’re looking for a puzzle to share with kids, Kaboodles Toy Store sells lots of great ones with pictures like construction trucks, dinosaurs, and outer space! Paboom Home Imports has some lovely smaller puzzles if you don’t want to make a big time commitment. If you’re looking for puzzles themed after video games, movies, and comic books, check out the selection at EB Games!

 

Regardless of which activities you choose, taking time to unplug and focus on you is vital to staying happy and healthy. With life moving so fast, taking a break allows us to breathe and keep things in perspective. Have fun and enjoy the moments as they come!

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