More Than Just Oats

Health & Lifestyle

Anyone who really knows me, will know that I live off of oats. Short for oatmeal, oats is a breakfast meal that I was introduced to as a child. Back then I knew it as porridge. My earliest memories of porridge was of it being cooked in milk in a pot on the stove. I remember its creamy colour and the watery consistency it had. Mainly due to the amount of milk that was added. As I got older and into my teenage years, I would go on to consume Quakers Instant Oatmeal from a small brown packet in a variety of different flavours such as apples and cinnamon, maple and brown sugar, cinnamon and spice, and sometimes the dino eggs. Thinking about it now, I can’t believe how long I have been eating oats for and the many sugary flavours that I would consume it in. Talk about a sweet tooth! Years later, I turned to cold cereal as an easy morning breakfast option that would get me quickly out the door and on my way to school. Over those years, my stomach became sensitive to dairy and cold milk in the morning. As I got busier, I needed more than just a quick bowl of cereal to sustain me through the morning. This was when I returned to my beloved oats.

About Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a classic breakfast food that has been consumed over many years. It is made from whole-grain oats, is nutritious, and has great health benefits. What I love most about it is how versatile it is, since it can be prepared in so many different ways. For the past few years, it has and continues to be the meal that I choose to start off my day with.

Its Benefits

a bowl of delicious and healthy breakfast

A significant health benefit of oatmeal is that it’s high in fiber which is an essential nutrient that supports healthy digestion, regulates blood sugar levels, and helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. The fiber in oatmeal is known as beta-glucan. It’s a soluble fiber that forms a gel-like substance in the digestive system and helps to slow down digestion, keep you feeling fuller for longer periods and prevents overeating. This is one of the main reasons why I opt for oats to get me through a busy morning and long days.

In addition, oatmeal is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is rich in vitamins that help to support the production of energy and proper metabolism. Oatmeal also contains iron, which is essential for healthy blood circulation, and magnesium, which promotes strong bones and muscles. It’s a healthy breakfast choice for those looking to manage their weight as it is also low in fat and calories.

Making It

Oatmeal is super easy to make and can be adjusted to your preference. It can be made with water, milk, or dairy-free milk such as almond, oat, or coconut milk. When I make my oatmeal, I mainly use oat milk. For those like me that may have a sweet tooth, it can be topped with fresh fruits such as apples, berries or bananas. For crunch and added flavour, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits can also be included.

Choosing It

a basket with a wooden spoon in a jar of oatmeal beside an avocado and a lime

What’s great about oatmeal is that it is an affordable and widely available food. It can be found in grocery stores and is a great choice for those on a budget.

While oatmeal is a nutritious food, it is important to choose the right type. Instant oatmeal and flavored varieties (like the kind I was having as a kid) often contain added sugars and preservatives, which can negate some of oatmeal’s health benefits. Alternatively, opt for plain, unsweetened oatmeal or steel-cut oats, which are lightly processed and contain more fiber and nutrients. The sweetness can be adjusted to your liking. Sometimes I like to add a little maple syrup to mine.

What’s JUSTproats?

While I have spent many years eating oatmeal, even until this day, I’d like to share a new way that I have been enjoying it. JUSTproats is an Ontario based company that makes a healthy plant-based breakfast blend of oats, chia seeds, plant protein, fruits, veggies and superfoods. For me, JUSTproats is so much more than just proats (protein oats). It contains a staple food item that has and continues to sustain me throughout busy days, but with the addition of so much more that is needed as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet. Made available in so many flavours such as vanilla, banana, mocha, chocolate and shortcake, with a new flavour added each month, JUSTproats is even easier to prepare and enjoy as a breakfast, mid-day snack or an evening dessert. They are even perfect to pack for road trips! I just add it to a jar with my oat milk, stir, and refrigerate it the night before. By morning it’s ready to eat or to carry with me for the day. If you’re located in Ontario or Quebec in Canada and would like to give JUSTproats a try, save 10% on me by using SMYARDE at checkout. Enter address during checkout to see eligibility. Enjoy!

Sources: Google, JustProats

10 Unconventional and Overlooked Strategies to Boost Your Mental Health

Health & Lifestyle

Shared by Hazel Bridges

Ms. Bridges is the creator of Aging Wellness, a website that aims to provide health and wellness resources for aging seniors. She’s a breast cancer survivor. She challenges herself to live life to the fullest and inspire others to do so as well.

Improving your mental health can be challenging, especially when traditional methods such as therapy and medicine fall short. But there are also many unconventional mental health strategies that you may have overlooked! These outside-the-box approaches can be very effective at boosting mental well-being. Let’s explore 10 ideas and activities to give your mental health a boost!

  1. Give Back to Your Community

Starting a local nonprofit is a great way to give back to your community and enrich your life with purpose and fulfillment. By registering as a nonprofit, you’ll be able to apply for grants and public funding. Be prepared to create bylaws that will govern how your nonprofit will operate. These bylaws will ensure your nonprofit remains effective at meeting your goals so you can feel good about the impact you’re making.

  1. Plant a Garden

Gardening can be a therapeutic and meditative activity that promotes mindfulness and reduces stress. Growing your own fruits and vegetables can also provide a sense of accomplishment and contribute to a healthy diet! Before planting a garden, consult online resources such as Home Garden Hero for gardening advice from experts.

person in brown shorts watering the plants
Photo by Karolina Grabowska
  1. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Sleep is essential for good mental health, and practicing good sleep hygiene can improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. Good sleep hygiene includes activities like sticking to a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and creating a relaxing bedroom environment.

  1. Join a Laughter Yoga Class

Laughter yoga combines deep breathing, gentle yoga stretches, and laughter exercises to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and elicit feelings of happiness. According to Healthline, laughter yoga can also increase social connectedness and strengthen relationships! Joining a laughter yoga class is a fun and unique way to improve your mental health.

charming diverse girls on rugs during yoga
Photo by Monstera
  1. Experiment with Sensory Therapy

Sensory therapy involves using different sensory stimuli to promote relaxation and reduce stress. These stimuli may include aromatherapy, sound therapy, or tactile stimulation. Experiment with different sensory therapy techniques at home to find what works best for you.

  1. Do Some Coloring

Coloring has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety by promoting mindfulness and relaxation. Coloring is a great way to exercise focus, attention to detail, creativity, decision-making, and a range of other cognitive skills. You can find adult coloring books in a range of styles and themes to fit any artistic interest.

close up shot of colored pencils
Photo by Jul Chi
  1. Commit to a Digital Detox

According to Happify, taking regular breaks from technology can go a long way toward reducing stress and improving your ability to focus. Commit to a daily or weekly digital detox by setting aside time to unplug and engage in activities offline. For example, you might use this time to read, spend time with nature, or connect with friends.

  1. Take a Guided Therapy Hike

Combining therapy with hiking or walking in nature is a great way to enjoy the whole-body benefits of exercise while chatting with a therapist about your mental health concerns. Hiking therapy can help you work through issues in a supportive and natural setting and may help you feel more comfortable about opening up.

two person wearing hiking shoes
Photo by Noel Ross
  1. Try a Sensory Deprivation Experience

Sensory deprivation involves removing external stimuli to promote relaxation and reduce stress. This can include floating in a sensory deprivation tank, which is an isolated, soundproof, dark tank filled with saltwater that suspends your body in a weightless environment. Many people find sensory deprivation experiences to promote relaxation and mindfulness.

  1. Schedule Solitary Time

Alone time is essential for self-reflection and stress reduction. Try to schedule at least 30 minutes of alone time every day and use this time to recharge and do something you enjoy. Don’t feel like you have to be productive during your solitary time. Just relish the sweet silence for a while!

woman sitting on window reading book
Photo by Thought Catalog

If you want to improve your mental health, look beyond traditional, well-known strategies. Try incorporating a few unique mental health activities into your routine, such as planting a garden or starting a local nonprofit company, to enjoy a more comprehensive approach to wellness.

What helps you to boost your mental health and well-being? Share them in the comments below!


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

Sleep & Stress Management

Health & Lifestyle

Presented by Rhiannon Lytle, RHN with Organika (source)

How Much Should I Sleep?

  • Adults should get 7-9 hours daily of quality sleep for proper repair
  • It’s important to sleep more, especially during times of stress or illness
  • Don’t hit snooze!
    • Your body re-enters a REM cycle and gets ready to sleep
    • Tip: Set alarm 1.5 hours before you want to wake up; go back to sleep for a 90-minute REM cycle (the average REM cycle for most people) 
man in crew neck t shirt lying on bed

When Should I Sleep?

  • According to the Traditional Chinese Body Clock, our body has certain hours targeted at certain organs
    • E.g., 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. is the time our liver is functioning at its highest;
    • If we’re staying up until 2 a.m., our liver is not getting the support needed to detox the things in our body which can cause inflammation, our immune system to not function at its best, and/or poor bowel movements 
  • In Western culture, we recognize the natural cortisol curve
    • Should be highest first thing in the morning and tapers off mid-day (groggy feeling we experience)
    • Can shift with your body, such as if you work nights
  • Ideally, you should be asleep by 11 p.m. and wake around 7 a.m. (at least 8 hours; can be adjusted depending on your schedule) 
  • Why?
    • Detox support
    • Works with our natural cortisol curve 

How to Practice Good Sleep Hygiene 

  • Nighttime routines are essential to prepare for bed 
    • Putting phone away 1 hour before bed 
    • Turning off notifications while sleeping 
    • Sleep with phone outside room 
      • Quality is just as important as quantity 
    • Have room as dark as possible (e.g., eye mask, blackout curtains) 
    • Try white noise or ear plugs
    • Avoid alcohol close to bed so body can digest it before you sleep
  • Supplement support:
    • Magnesium
    • Herbal teas (chamomile, passionflower, valerian root)
person pouring liquid into brown ceramic cup


  • An essential mineral for overall health 
  • Involved in hundreds of body functions 
  • Allows body tissues to relax, from the muscles to digestive tract and the nervous system
  • Commonly found types of magnesium supplements:
    • Magnesium Citrate
      • Magnesium bound to a salt, like citrate 
      • 30-40% is absorbed, relaxing muscles and nerves 
      • Used for issues with constipation
        • Helps the digestive system 
    • Magnesium Bisglycinate 
      • Magnesium combined with the amino acid glycine 
      • High absorption, less digestive side-effects
    • Magnesium L-threonate 
      • Another magnesium + amino acid combo 
      • Most effective at reaching the nervous system 

Stress & Immunity

  • Sleep and stress are linked
    • When stressed, increases in cortisol can shut down body functions that aren’t deemed “essential”, such as:
      • Digestion
      • Reproduction
      • Immune function

Short vs. Long-Term Stress

How to make stress your friend (TedTalk)

  • Short-term stress
    • Natural – we’re supposed to experience it 
    • Beneficial to our immune system and can boost inflammation response
      • E.g., Inflammatory response helps to heal wounds faster 
    • Can boost energy (fight-or-flight response)
      • In fight-or-flight mode, your body shuts down functions that aren’t deemed “essential” (digestion, reproduction, immune function)
  • Long-term stress
    • More apparent in society today
    • Can lead to:
      • Chronic inflammation
      • Poor digestion
        • We need a lot of nutrients to ensure our immune system is in shape
        • If we’re not digesting properly, we’re not absorbing properly (supplements can be helpful)
        • Develop stress management techniques before eating 
      • Imbalanced hormones
    • Adaptogens may help support chronic stress
      • Helps us to adapt and find “homeostasis” (balance)
      • Needs to be taken consistently to see the affects 
      • Powders absorb better than capsule 
    • What to look out for:
      • Feeling “wired but tired”
      • Having no energy to do anything
      • Unable to focus
      • Crashing extremely hard
      • Physically fatigued 
depressed black man touching face in frustration near window

Simple Tips to Manage Stress

woman doing cobra pose

More from Organika
More from Rhiannon Lytle, RHN


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

Five Stress Healing Solutions

Health & Lifestyle, Self-Regulation

Presented by Proven


  • Four major researched components of yoga:
    • Posture and Exercise 
    • Pranayama: breathing practices (long, slow, deep breathing)
    • Relaxation
    • Contemplative: meditative focus of attention
  • An effective way to boost mood and achieve emotional wellness
  • Yoga helps you to pay attention and become aware of your body and thoughts
  • See: The Science of Yoga

Herbs, Adaptogens & Supplements

  • Ashwagandha 
    • An adaptogens that helps the body “adapt” to stressors
    • Studies have shown:
      • Reduction in anxiety 
      • Reduction in cortisol levels
      • Helpful with weight
        • Increases feelings of satiety (feeling full)
        • Decrease in stress eating
    • See: Let’s Talk Adaptogens!

Mindfulness Practice

Jon Kabat-Zinn Teaches Mindfulness and Meditation
  • The practice of bringing full awareness to the present moment (e.g., meditation)
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
    • Consists of doing a body scan (brings you to the present) 
  • Mindfulness Self-Compassion 
    • How to be more compassionate, loving and kind towards self
    • Being a better human being starts with you!
  • See: The Foundation of Mindfulness Practice


  • An ancient Chinese exercise and healing technique
  • Qi = energy 
  • Internal & external energy work
  • Deep stances that build up quads and glutes 
  • Can increase the powerhouses of energy in the body 
  • Want more energy? Build up the big muscles in your body 
  • The coordination of eyes, mind, body, breath
    • Activates the brain 
    • Attention turns inward 
    • Awareness of what is happening inside the body
    • Can modulate and control the parasympathetic (rest & digest) nervous system

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

How to Tap – with Nick Ortner of The Tapping Solution
  • Originated by Nicolas Ortner (CEO of The Tapping Solution) 
  • Tapping on end points of meridian on the body to calm body and release stress and overwhelm (example)
    • Meridians on the body:
      • Pathways in which qi (our energy) flows 
      • When there’s pain there’s a blockage of qi
      • Meridians connect all of the organs and qi flow
  • Tapping on end points sends a calming signal to counteract fear responses from the amygdala

What are your stress healing solutions?


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

A Gratitude Exercise

Health & Lifestyle

Presented by Danielle LaPorte (Canadian author)

“Appreciation is a form of wellness. It’s also what keeps us moving through difficult times and what brings us back to love, time and again. More importantly, when we tie our gratitude to the ‘why’ of it, we develop new forms of appreciation and depths of connection for living.” (Commune)

Gratitude, Appreciation & Connection 

Photo by Created Stories
  • Consciously focusing on our blessings have emotional and interpersonal benefit
  • Appreciation is a form of wellness
  • “ I am grateful…. because.…”
    • Being specific increases the sensation of appreciation; gives you access to more positive, life affirming feelings
    • Allows you to go deeper into the meaning behind the circumstances and people in your life you are thankful for
    • Expands your awareness of gratitude; illuminating the positive feelings

5 Gratitude Life Areas

  • Livelihood + Lifestyle: career, work, money, home, possessions, fashion, travel
  • Body + Wellness: fitness, food, relaxation, healing modalities, mental health, sex, sensuality
  • Creativity + Learning: culture, creative expression, education, interests, hobbies
  • Relationships + Society: romantic relationships, partnership, friendships, family, children, community, social causes
  • Essence + Spirituality: soul, inner self, faith, devotional practices 

What are you grateful for?


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

How to Breathe! To Activate the Calm Response in Your Body


“No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or young or wise you are, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly. There is nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat 25,000 times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences.”

– James Nestor, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

How to Breathe! To Activate the Calm Response in Your Body is a video presentation by Melissa Holland Mansika. Melissa is a stay-at-home mom, homeschool teacher and career and life transition specialist from Boulder, Colorado. She has a background in teaching graduate psychology students career counselling, life transitions and positive psychology. It is a pleasure to learn from and alongside her as one of my peers in the Self-Reg Facilitator’s Program course!

As a result of her curiosity on the breath and breathing, she created and shared this video presentation about a way of breathing that can activate the calm response in the body. Upon request, after watching her presentation, Melissa kindly gave me permission to share it. In this video, she shares traps and tips of breathing, the anatomy of the breath, and the difference between nasal and mouth breathing. Thank you, Melissa, for expanding my understanding on the breath and breathing, and for allowing your knowledge on this topic to be shared with others!

“Taking some time to learn about the complexity of the breath in the human body, can result in greatly reduced hidden stressors.”

– Melissa Holland Mansika

For Career and Life Transition Coaching, connect with Melissa Holland Mansika by visiting her WayFinders website.

How to Breathe! To Activate the Calm Response in Your Body by Melissa Holland Mansika

Additional Resources on Breathing

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, by James Nestor

How to Maximize the Power of Your Breath (The Goop Podcast with James Nestor)

Conscious Breathing: Discover the Power of your Breath, by Anders Olsson

Calming Down a Stressed Brain Through Conscious Breathing with Anders Olsson

The Oxygen Advantage, by Patrick McKeown

Shut Your Mouth to Change Your Life with Patrick McKeown


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

Tips for Teachers Going Back to Work

Early Childhood, Health & Lifestyle, Self-Regulation

I still can’t believe I’ve been out of the classroom for half a year. I say half a year because it’s actually really been that long. Since going on March Break, I have not been back to my school building since. In the last 6 months, I navigated and transitioned to online learning with preschoolers and then went straight into summer break. This has been an interesting year to say the least and I’m surprised at how quickly it has flown by, despite everything that has happened. I can’t help but say that I’m excited, (but mostly nervous) to go back to work, considering it’s been such an uncertain and scary time. That being said, I decided to put together a few tips for teachers who, like myself, will be heading back to the classroom (or maybe teaching online), very soon. Writing this and sharing these resources has given me some confidence, optimism and peace of mind about however this 2020-21 school year is meant to unfold, and my hope is that after reading this you will feel the same too.

self care isn t selfish signage
Photo by Madison Inouye

Find Your Calm – Explore Self-Reg and you will come to learn about Lending Your Calm. (I’m in the process of taking a second course with them.) However, I believe that in order for teachers (or anyone) to be able to lend their calm to their students and parents during this time, they first need to be able to find it. Stop and think to yourself, what exactly does calm feel like for me? What are some things that help me to feel calm? For me, it’s doing yoga, listening to music, working out, reading a book, and other times it’s meditating or taking a few deep breaths. Through these practices and activities, I’ve learned what calm feels like. When I’m not feeling it, I know exactly what helps me to get to that state. These past few months have been stressful on us all. This is why it’s so important to practice self-care and find what brings you calm so that you can bring that with you (as best as you can!) each day to work. We’ll surely need it!

alphabet class conceptual cube
Photo by Pixabay

Lend Your Calm – Once you discover what brings you calm and what that feels like, create that in your classroom environment. Calm begets calm. Our body is an energy source, allowing us to feel the vibrations from others. This is also known as limbic resonance or emotional contagion. Children are also able to feel and feed off of the energy from the adults in their lives and from their peers. For example, have you ever noticed how sometimes it only takes one student to change the energy of the entire class? When you feel calm, you can create that same feeling in your students, simply by just feeling it yourself. The beginning of the school year is naturally always stressful for teachers, parents and students. Apart from being calm yourself, think about the many ways you can create a calm and inviting classroom, overall school environment, or virtual learning experience. Whether it’s having less things mounted on the walls, playing calming music, integrating mindfulness-based activities (by engaging your student’s senses), or simply asking your student’s how they’re doing and feeling; when kids are not stressed and feel a sense of safety and calm, they are ready and able to learn at their best. 

woman applying hand sanitizer
Photo by Anna Shvets

Practice Consistency – The beginning of this school year will certainly be like no other. With new policies, guidelines and routines put into place, I imagine it will feel very different and new for us. If you’re physically back at school, it may take time to remember all the new rules and best practices such as washing or sanitizing your hands before and after removing your mask, but with consistency, you will naturally build up the habit of doing so. I’ve already started doing this when I go out so that it won’t all feel entirely new when I go back to work. It’s also important to build these practices with your students. It’ll all be new for them too and it’s much easier to build a routine and habit at the very start of a school year rather than later or halfway through it. Keep in mind that these procedures are in place to ensure the health, safety and well-being of both the school and external community. If you’re unsure about something regarding any of the new changes, don’t hesitate to ask and find out the right answers.

woman in white long sleeve shirt holding white smartphone
Photo by cottonbro

Stay Connected – Whether it’s with your family, friends or colleagues, stay connected with the people in your life. Maybe it’s catching up with a friend over the phone or sending an email to a fellow colleague to see how they’re doing. At the end of the day, we are social beings with a desire to connect, and simply having a chat with someone important in your life may be all it takes to turn your own or someone else’s day around. Lean on your support system when needed and make opportunities for connection with others a part of your daily routine. You’ll truly notice the difference it makes in your attitude, the way you feel, the way you go about each day, and it’s also a great way to boost your immune system!

anonymous ethnic tutor helping little multiracial students with task in classroom
Photo by Katerina Holmes

Take It Slow – Regardless if you’ve been teaching for 20 years or are a new teacher starting your first year, this school year will be new for all of us. New students, families, routines, schedules, procedures, guidelines, expectations, and much more. If you’re finding that you’re already beginning to feel overwhelmed, go back to Finding Your Calm. Notice what you’re feeling and find what feels good and what brings you a sense of calm. One thing I always practice is mindfulness and living in the present moment. I can’t worry and be anxious about the first day of school because I don’t know what to expect. I’m only in control of the here and now so that’s what I choose to focus on. As each day comes and goes, take it slow, ask the questions you need answers to, build relationships and connections, and most importantly, be kind and do your best. And remember, you are the expert in pedagogy and curriculum. Be confident in your abilities, strengths and everything you already know. We got this!

Got more tips for teachers going back to school? Share them in the comments below!


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

Self-Care Begins With You


I’m grateful to share with you this inspiring “everything self-care” article, written by my best friend who I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for many years. If you haven’t begun your own self-care routine and are thinking about getting started, in this article, Kaitlin shares with you how she came to discover self-care, a complete insight into her own routine, along with suggestions and tips to get started. Thank you, Kaitlin, for taking the time to share with others your own experience on such an important topic!

Written by Kaitlin Findlay

“Honour yourself to love others.” – Paul Colaianni

Self-care is not selfish. It is a practice of self-love, respect, and appreciation for ourselves so that we can love, respect, and appreciate others. Before I began my self-love journey in March of this year, my typical morning during the week would look like this: wake up at the latest time possible, hop out of bed to get ready, pack my lunch, and off to work I went. My typical morning routine on the weekends would look like this: sleep in, grab my phone to scroll on social media for at least an hour, and then slowly get out of bed to get ready for the day. I realize now, looking back, that both routines were toxic to my mental health as I focused my attention and awareness on other people, and as a result, neglected myself.

I have found that creating and practicing self-care every morning to start my day has given me two things:

  • Motivation: My morning self-care routine has motivated me to be the best person I can be everyday. When I take the time in the morning to reflect on my feelings and thoughts and to praise myself for the beautiful human I am, it literally hypes up my soul to start my day off with positive energy. This allows me to regulate my emotions and thoughts for the remainder of the day so that I can have the best day possible.
  • Self-esteem and Self-confidence: The second thing my morning self-care routine has given me is self-esteem and self-confidence. Before this, I lacked these two things as I would self-sabotage myself throughout most of my day. Now, loving myself for the first few hours of my day has allowed me to accept that I am beautiful, worthy and therefore, I view myself differently now than before and it feels incredible.

So, what does my morning self-care routine look like?

I have tried many different things and have perfected what I do now to suit what lifts me up every morning. My routine takes me around three hours to do, but this is simply because I have the time to do it for that long.

My Morning Self-Care Routine

Drink a litre of water
Filling my body with water at the very beginning of the day helps me to rehydrate and refresh from my beauty sleep.

Listen to a podcast
I lie in bed while I listen to a podcast to help wake me up. I usually pick podcasts that will strengthen my self-love as this is something I am currently working on.

What I’m currently listening to:

Read a daily affirmation
Affirmations are powerful as they help bring truth to light. They allow us to appreciate ourselves for the beautiful humans we all are.

What I’m currently reading:

Engage in a guided meditation
This is an art that I am still practicing. My end goal is to be able to meditate on my own, but for now, I do guided meditations to help clear my thoughts and emotions.

What I’m currently practicing:

Write in a journal
I have a love for journalism as I’ve been doing it since I was 12. I have kept all of my journals and when I look back, I used to write everyday and write every small detail! In university, it started to become less frequent and I tended to only write when I was at a low. Once I started working with my life coach (shoutout to Hillary Flinn!) she suggested I journal when I was happy too and told me to get a writing-prompt journal for the days I didn’t know what to write about. I have been journaling everyday since! The art of journalism helps me to organize and clear my thoughts and emotions. It’s one thing to always be reflecting in your brain, but another to write those reflections down.

What I’m currently journaling in:

Kick my own butt with some exercise
I have recognized the benefits of working out at the start of my day rather than anytime afterwards because it gives me the energy to continue the rest of my day on a high. My current workouts entail cardio (running) and then weight training (a different muscle each day).

Here are some other suggestions of what you can add to your own morning self-care ritual:

  • Stretch
  • Make the bed
  • Clean room
  • Take an Epsom salt bath
  • Yoga
  • Morning devotion
  • Pray
  • Singing bowl
  • Skin care routine
  • Shower
  • Listen to music
  • Go outside
  • Read
  • Do a puzzle
  • Write down daily achievable goals
  • Talk to self in the mirror
  • Visualization of where you want to be

Tips to get you started:

  • Start off small
    If you’re just beginning your morning self-care routine journey, it can feel intimidating and overwhelming. I suggest you start off small! Set aside five-to-ten minutes of your time for self-care and do something simple. Become comfortable with that small routine and then you will naturally want to add to it.
  • Be consistent
    There were times in the beginning of my journey that I felt like giving up. I couldn’t stay mentally focused on the tasks and I felt like I wasn’t getting better. The famous saying, “practice makes perfect” stays true to a morning self-care routine (although perfect looks different for everyone). I’m only feeling good about it now, after six months of practicing, with way more room for growth. With time comes progress and I promise it gets easier.
  • Say no to your phone
    Do you wake up and look at your phone right away? Scroll through social media and check who messaged you? I used to! It set me back not only time wise, but mentally too. Waking up and immediately looking at my phone affected my self-esteem and self-worth as I was comparing myself to others, right at the beginning of the day. I have made it a rule to not look at anything on my phone (other than my podcasts and meditation) until I have completed my self-care routine. It allows me to focus on myself so that I have enough energy to engage with others.

I can’t even begin to explain how rewarding waking up every morning to work on myself has felt. Although Covid-19 has brought us a lot of sorrow, I appreciate the time it has given me to work on myself, as I would not be where I am right now. It takes a lot of self-discipline, time, and effort, so I am thankful this pandemic has given me the opportunity to fully engage in this process. Now that I am more comfortable with my routine, I will be able to modify it for when I do have to return back to work as I will not have as much time. I now understand that if you put yourself first and if you make your happiness a priority, then you will naturally want to make the effort to practice self-care, no matter how much earlier you have to wake up. You will want to practice self-care because you love and care for yourself and your well-being. So, ask yourself, how much do you love yourself? 

Additional Resources

Courtesy The Good Trade

How To Start A Journal (Even If You Hate Writing)

Here’s A Journal Prompt For Every Emotion You Might Be Feeling Right Now

How You Can Cultivate A Sense Of Connection During COVID

Our Editors Share Their Morning Routines

99 Ways To Add Mindfulness To Your Day

Slow Your Scroll—How To Develop A Healthier Relationship With Instagram

3 Simple Mindful Breathing Exercises To Use Anytime, Anywhere

9 Podcasts Hosting Meaningful Conversations On Mental Health

A Step-By-Step Guide To Walking Meditation

Your Guide To Writing Poetry As A Form Of Self-Care

Podcast Suggestions

The Overwhelmed Brain with Paul Colaianni

The Morning Ritual with Lilly Balch

Mindful Meditations with

Hurry Slowly with Jocelyn K. Glei

Being Well with Dr. Rick Hanson

Tara Brach

Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

Affirmation Cards Suggestions

Affirmators! 50 Affirmation Cards to Help You Help Yourself—without the Self-Helpy-Ness! by Suzi Barrett

Heart Thoughts Cards: A Deck of 64 Affirmations Cards by Louise Hay

Love Powered Littles I AM Affirmation Cards For Kids

Butterfly Affirmations: Affirmation Cards For Your Happy, Courageous, Beautiful Life by Alana Fairchild & Jimmy Manton

I Can Do Anything: Positive Affirmations, Inspirational Thoughts and Motivational Words Card Deck by Becca Anderson


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

My Wellness Kit

Health & Lifestyle

Wellness and healthy well-being is so important to me and I hope it is for you too!

Here I share with you the brands, products and items that are apart of my wellness kit.

SMOOV Superfood Blends

SMOOV is a Canadian brand of all-natural superfood blends. I have been using these blends since last winter and let me tell you, they are amazing! These blends are organic, come in a wide variety and contains the cleanest ingredients such as alfalfa grass, goji berry, maca, spirulina and many others. If you’re looking to boost energy, mood or immunity, satisfy a sweet tooth craving (as I’m always doing), detox and get your intake of greens, manage stress… there’s a blend for you. Best of all, they’re a convenient way to get your vitamins and nutrients, are easy to use and most are great for kids too. I’ve made smoothie bowls, protein balls and added it to my oats. I honestly love them all (including the berry exotic blend captured in the photo), but I have to say, my top 2 favourite SMOOV Superfood Blends are: green blend and euphoric blend. I haven’t gone a week without using one or the other. See: Kid-friendly Superfoods for Health and Immunity to learn more about the green blend and Kid-friendly Superfoods for that Sweet Tooth to learn more about the euphoric blend.

Saje Natural Wellness

Saje Natural Wellness is a Canadian brand of essential oils, skin care and household products. I have been using this brand for a few years now. The first item I owned by them was their travel-size Pocket Farmacy Remedy Kit which includes a set of roll-on oils for stress, pain, indigestion, headaches and colds. This brand carries a variety of all-natural wellness products such as essential oils and diffusers, body and skin care products, household cleaning products and more. Essential oils are extracted from plants and go through an extensive process to become an oil. They have many healing benefits such as alleviating pain, relieving stress by aiding in calm and relaxation, soothing stomach and digestion issues, improving skin conditions and so much more. Some of my many favourite Saje products are: Echinacea Throat Spray, After the Rain Diffuser Blend, Fortify Cough & Cold Nasal Inhaler, Goddess Natural Deodorant Spray, and Muscle Melt.


DAVIDsTEA is one of the largest Canadian-based specialty tea and tea accessories brand. I still remember one of the first orders of loose-leaf teas I made from them. One of their travel mugs that was gifted to me a few years ago was one of the only mugs that kept my tea hot for many hours throughout the day. I brought it everywhere – to work, morning classes and on trips out of the city. My favourite DAVIDsTEA products are: Organic North African Mint tea, lock top travel mug, perfect infuser and tea filters. Unfortunately, they have recently announced that they will be closing a number of their stores across Canada as part of a reconstructuring plan. Thankfully, they are available online!

Mind Platter by Najwa Zebian

Mind Platter is a book written by a Lebanese-Canadian author by the name of Najwa Zebian. This book is food for the soul, containing a collection of single-page reflections on topics such as love, motivation, friendship, inspiration and more. What I love about these reflections is that they are entirely up to your interpretation. I came across this book randomly while browsing around at Eaton Centre’s Indigo. I instantly fell in love with the artistic book cover and the message on the back. It reads:

“At the end of the day, no one will walk your journey for you.

You have to do that.

At the end of the day, no one will dream from you.

You have to do that.”

After reading through a few of the reflections, I knew I had to own it.


Organika is a Canadian-based company of quality vitamins, supplements and functional food products. While I’ve known of this brand for some time, I’ve only started using their products this year. This is mainly due to the informative webinars they have hosted over the past few months. In these webinars they promote many of their products such as their line of collagen, adaptogens and various other supplements. My most recent and favourite Organika products are: Enhanced Collagen, Probiotic + Prebiotic Powder and Calm – Organic Chaga Mushroom Powder.

Below you will find a collection of notes I’ve taken on a number of Organika’s free webinars:

Gut Health 101

Strengthening Your Immune System

Sleep & Stress Management

Your Mental Health Matters: Extra Brain-Love During Times of Stress

Beyond Skin Deep: Holistic Health for Glowing Skin

What are your favourite wellness and health brands, products or items? Share in the comments below!


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.