31 Ways to Gift your Mind + Body



31 Ways to Gift your Mind + Body

Kelsey Hergott |

First of all, can we even believe it’s December? 


It seems like this year has gone by faster than it took Kim K and Pete Davidson to get together. 


Through all the hustle and bustle of rejoining the world and becoming a contributing member of society again over the past few months, have you taken the time to focus on you?


I’m a strong believer that in order to best serve those around us and show up as the best version of ourselves every single day, we have to put ourselves first. 


Whether that means incorporating some meditating in your mornings, hitting up a spa every now and then, or listing out what you’re grateful for at the end of each day, focusing on your own self-care will work wonders for you (and those around you) in the long run. 


So whatever self-love looks like for you, here’s a list of 31 days and ways you can incorporate it into one of the busiest months of the year. I guarantee taking the time to do so will allow you to breeze through December feeling stronger, bolder, and more present wherever your schedule takes you this holiday season. 


Print out this list and follow along with it each day so you stay on track with putting yourself first. 


Alright, let’s get into it. 


  1. Test out a healthy, hearty meal. Let’s kick the month off with a healthy, delicious meal! Search the web, your favourite Instagram account, or our monthly newsletters for a nourishing meal that’ll fuel your mind, body and soul. Nobody ever regrets eating a healthy meal. It makes you feel more full, focused and energized than any Big Mac ever could. 

  2. Catch some real z’s. The beginning of a new month is the perfect opportunity to introduce a proper sleep regimen. If you struggle to get to bed at a decent time, try turning your phone off an hour before you want to fall asleep (I know, what a foreign concept), drinking decaffeinated tea, meditating, listening to white noise, or reading. Waking up in the morning feeling rested and refreshed can be a real game-changer for the way the rest of your day plays out.

  3. Get rid of the clutter. By now we’re all familiar with the concept of throwing away items that no longer “spark joy”, but have you actually taken the time to do a real declutter overhaul? The end of the year is the perfect time to clean your space, clear your clutter, and bring some calmness to your environment. And since it’s the season to be giving, why not donate your items to your local charity or shelter? What no longer sparks joy for you may be the perfect piece someone’s been wishing for!

  4. Drink water. Ok, ok, this one might seem fairly obvious but when you’re busy switching from dinner party, to cocktail party, to holiday luncheon, to late night snack, getting your daily dose of H20 can fall on the backburner! Consider this your reminder to drink plenty of water today, even if it means going pee 17 times. (Tip: try setting an hourly reminder on your phone!). 

  5. Get outside. If you live in Canada like me, you’ll think I’m nuts for this one. But trust me, as chilly as the great outdoors might be at this time of year, there is nothing that’ll clear your mind more than some deep inhales of that crisp, cool air. Even if it’s just a quick walk around the block, you’ll come back into your cozy condo feeling refreshed and focused. 

  6. Commit to movement. Whether you’re a SWK member or like to do your own thing at home or at the gym, make some time for movement today. When you commit to a sweat sesh, it’s that much more likely to happen. Set the scene in your space. Get your outfit on. Pop on a punchy playlist. Because just like that healthy meal, nobody ever regrets a workout. 

  7. Unplug. Just like turning off your phone before bed, completely unplugging from every device can be a foreign concept as well. But it’ll be so worth it. Stepping away from social media, logging off from your laptop, or putting a DND on your phone will do wonders for your brain. So today, test yourself and see how long you can last without checking in on a screen. I’m betting being present IRL will make you want to unplug a little more often.

  8. Have a “me” day. Such a selfless concept can come off as selfish during a time of year when everyone’s pining for your time and attention. But like I said, how can you show up for everyone else if you can’t even show up for yourself? By putting yourself first, getting a little pampering every now and then, you’ll be better equipped to be there when you’re most needed. So take today to go get your nails done, get a facial, go for a hike, take yourself out for lunch, whatever it might be that makes you feel “you”. And enjoy!

  9. Open a book. Do a little research and pick out a book that appeals to your interests. Or pick up the one that’s been collecting dust on a dog eared page for months. Then sit down and set aside the time to read a solid chapter or two. The silence in the room and peaceful surroundings of just you, the author, and the book will allow you to drift into a dreamland and away from the hectic reality outside brings. (Check out this month’s newsletter for my monthly book recommendation). 

  10. Laugh. You might find this hard to believe, but some people go through an entire day without so much as a giggle! It’s true. And I just can’t get over how hard that must be on the soul. Having a deep, genuine laugh every day can be the medicine you need to lift your spirits when life gets too real and busy. So whether you pop on your favourite sitcom or have a chat with your wanna-be comedian friend, get some laughter in your day today, and suddenly life won’t seem all that serious. 

  11. Learn. Once you finish school or get comfortable at your 9-5, it’s easy to go months without learning something new. So for today’s self-care tip, set aside some time to dive into the web (or maybe even go to the library?!) to do some research on a topic that’s always interested you. Maybe it’s politics, global affairs, sports, real estate, whatever sparks your brain and makes you want to discover more. Focusing on expanding your knowledge can do wonders for your brain power in all areas of life. 

  12. Retail therapy. Yes, studies have actually shown that shopping and picking up something special for yourself can actually improve your mood. So whether you’re hitting up the mall or your favourite local shop (I highlight a local shop in my monthly newsletters if you need ideas), or even treating yourself to a sweet snack you crave every so often, today, you deserve it! 

  13. Dance it out. Whether you’re the next Dancing With The Stars winner or not, dancing is a great way to sweat, get loose, and feel free. So turn up your favourite song, don’t think too much, and have a little dance breakout session today! By the end of the song I guarantee you’ll be smiling to yourself and wondering why you don’t do this more often. 

  14. Get grateful. Have you ever sat down and truly taken the time to think about what you’re grateful for? Even the tiniest things can have you bursting with feelings of gratitude. Take a minute today (in the morning or evening, or even when you’re starting to feel inklings of anxiety or overwhelm) to sit down and list out everything you’re grateful for. There’s nothing too big or too small that can go on your list. This will help to make you feel more grounded and appreciative for everything you have, especially the things you might tend to take for granted. 

  15. Try meditating. The mere thought of meditating can be intimidating to some people. “How can I turn my brain off?” is a popular question that floats around the practice. The thing is, you don’t have to turn your brain off. When you’re meditating, you can still be thinking about things, but you’re just bringing yourself to a calming state of peacefulness for a moment or two. Whether you practice meditating with an app, or have a personal way that works for you, it’s definitely worth incorporating into days that seem impossibly busy. 

  16. Sleep in. How nice is it when you finally come to a day in the week where you can sleep in for just a little bit longer? Well, if your schedule allows it, make today that day. Set your alarm a little bit later, close the blinds, and soak in all the comfort your cozy bed offers in these cold winter months. Why is a bed that much more comfy in December, anyways? 

  17. Do a random act of kindness. There is nothing that makes me feel better than surprising someone with a random act of kindness. Whether it’s a stranger on the street or a longtime friend, you just know you’ve made someone’s day simply by thinking about them. You can buy a coffee for the person behind you, send flowers to your bestie, or UberEats lunch to your hard working parents. The list is endless, all it takes is a little thoughtfulness from your side and your recipient will be eternally grateful. 

  18. Try a new workout class. When the holidays get busy, your regular workout regime can quickly start to slip away. Everyone’s in the same boat, don’t feel guilty. Something that might make you stay on track could be a new workout class! Sign up for a new studio in your city and try out a class or two. You might fall in love with it and find a new regime after all!

  19. Schedule a quiet night in. Honestly, sometimes it seems like the things that get scheduled are the things that get done. So if getting a night to yourself during the busiest time of year means having to literally put it in your schedule, then so be it. We all need a little downtime every now and then, especially during the holidays. By allowing yourself some peace and quiet and space to refuel, you’ll be better prepared to take on the rest of the year ahead. 

  20. Practice some breathing techniques. Ok, by this point in the month you might be feeling stressed AF. Completely understandable. And I’m right there with you. Here’s something to try when you’re feeling like everything is moving at mach speed and you can’t keep up: breathe. That’s it. Simply take a deep breath in. Pause. Deep breath out. Getting more clear oxygen to your brain can allow you to instantly feel calmer and less stressed in many scenarios. Try it out!

  21. Binge watch that new Netflix show. Or at least start to. You can even put something old and familiar on. Anything on the screen to help you drift away from the responsibilities of reality for an hour or two. And if you’re one of those people who feel guilty sitting down and watching TV when things have to be done, remind yourself that you deserve to rest too. Or, pick up a little set of weights and start some curls while you’re snuggled in. 

  22. Swap a light night into an early morning. Let’s admit it, gone are the days of shutting down EFS and after partying into the wee hours of the morning. Spare yourself the bags and bloodshot eyes and swap out your martinis for mimosas. Honestly, is anything better than waking up feeling like a real human? With a real night’s rest? And real energy? Cheers to that!

  23. Take a long, sudsy bath. Maybe you prefer salts over suds, and that’s ok. As long as you set the mood with some dim lighting, candles, and maybe music or your fav show in the background. A warm soak at the end of a long day can set you up for an incredible sleep. Give your tired bones and body a rest and let the toxins seep out as the steam rises up. 

  24. Become a part of your community. Donating your time is one of the most generous gifts you can give this time of year. Research which shelters or kitchens need volunteers this year, where you can drop off warm winter clothes to those in need, or which gifts are most needed in underprivileged homes. These are all great ways to make sure the people in your backyard have a wonderful holiday season and feel the love they deserve. 

  25. Enjoy time spent with family and those you’re closest with. Unplug from your devices, sit back, and relax. Above and beyond all the hectic weeks that lead up to the true holiday season is your inner-circle. Take the time to be grateful for them today, soak in their love, and really enjoy being surrounded by those who mean the most to you. 

  26. Try a new podcast. I often mention some of my podcast discoveries in my monthly newsletter because I just can’t stick to one! There are so many incredible resources within these podcasts that I tend to dive into more than I can keep up with. Check out a podcast chart or find out what your friends are listening to to broaden your horizons and get a new perspective. Podcasts can be the perfect pairing to go alongside dreaded tasks like cleaning the floors and laundry.  

  27. Moisturize. I’m serious about this one. Our skin is the biggest organ in our body and so take this as your reminder to protect the skin you’re in! Here’s a little tip: apply your moisturizer as soon as you get out of the shower, when your skin is still a little damp. This helps to lock in the moisture even more than dry skin. It’s harsh out there my friend, keep that skin hydrated. 

  28. Plan a getaway. If you can, planning a getaway is the perfect way to get yourself excited for the coming months. Trying to make it through the winter without anything to look forward to can really take a toll on your mental health. Understandably so considering the general icy environment. Even if you can’t escape to a sunny destination, picking a weekend to explore in your own backyard is enough to lift your spirits and give you something to get excited about. 

  29. Filter through your inbox. This one will make your workspace so much less stressful. Nobody needs to see a massive number looming at the bottom of their inbox, unread or not. Take some time to delete what you no longer need, file what you need to keep, and unsubscribe to those annoying emails you don’t even remember subscribing to. If there’s one thing that triggers anxiety, it’s that annoying red badge above your email app. Clean inbox = clear mind. 

  30. Create a personal mantra. These could look like “I Am” statements to get you through a stressful time, or a powerful line that gets you revved up each morning. These words work to alter your mindset so you put yourself in a position to get things done without having to question your capability; you know you’re capable as soon as you’re done saying your mantra. 

  31. Set some intentions. Well, you made it to the end of 2021. Congrats! Rather than making resolutions you’ll forget in a month, try setting intentions. When you look at your goals with intent, and create a plan of action to go alongside them, you’re more likely to actually achieve those goals. Be clear on who you have to be in order to unlock those desires, set your intentions, and get ready for an inspiring 2022.


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