It’s International Self-Care Day, which sounds like just the excuse we all need to take a little Time Out for ourselves. Summer by definition, should be relaxing, but with the kids home from school, road trips and long flights, summer can be more exhausting that the school year. So in honour of the true meaning of summer, here are a few ways to commit to self-care this summer.
Run or walk with a view
There’s nothing like a run or brisk walk to purge toxins, paired with a stunning vista to renew spirits. Head to your favourite seawall or trail, Jericho Beach, Stanely Park, Steveston Dyke, Burnaby Central Park, Mundy Park—we’re spoiled for choices! Burn off anxiety, boost endorphins, and enjoy the sights—you’ll be reminded of how good you have it, raising a family in this beautiful city.
Daily meditation allows you to access calm, awareness, clarity, and a mental break from daily challenges and distractions. Try free guided meditation apps like Stop, Breathe & Think, and Smiling Mind (for adults and kids 7+). To join a free class, Vancouver Shambhala Meditation Centre; Kadampa Meditation Centre Vancouver offers drop-in classes.
Get a massage
The benefits of a massage outweigh your mom-guilt about booking one: it lowers your blood pressure, increases happy neurotransmitters, improves mood, relieves physical pain, and sends you back to your family a happier woman. These spots won’t let you down: Footworks Relaxology and Smile Thai Wellness.
Go for a workout
It sounds counter intuitive but working out while tough in the moment can really get those feel good endorphins going. If go somewhere WITH childcare. Here are five local gyms and studios that work well for moms.
Do it yourself pampering
Taking time to care for yourself is not just a luxury, it’s essential. As they say in airplane safety, always put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others! Whether you have 15 minutes, an hour or a whole day, taking care of yourself means you’ll be better able to continue caring for your family.
Acupuncture is a safe, relaxing, and effective way to treat a myriad of conditions, from headaches, muscle pain, and arthritis to anxiety, stress, and depression. Kitsilano Community Acupuncture, Poke Community Acupuncture, and The Village Community Acupuncture are great, affordable places to start.
Go for a float
A water and Epsom salt solution allows you to feel weightlessness in a flotation pod, where you are free from all stimuli. In a rare hour of sensory deprivation, you get a reprieve from mental and physical stress, and your mind learns to rest.
Take evening family walks
It sounds counterintuitive, but taking the whole family out for a walk after dinner gets everyone to unplug, digest, relax, and spend some time together without the need for Netflix. There might be complaints at first, but the pre-bedtime connection with your kids and more restful sleeps make it all worth it.
Ianne Sy is a freelance writer and editor. Born and raised in the Philippines, she studied creative writing at UBC and worked in Manila’s magazine publishing industry for 14 years. She now lives in Vancouver with her family, where they eat a lot of sushi, enjoy evening walks, and can’t get enough of this beautiful city. You can find her on Instagram at @ianne_s, and soon at iannesy.com.