Days of social isolation have slowly turned into weeks. For some, it’s not being stuck at home that causes stress – it’s the fear of uncertainty, the inability to make plans, and the feeling of life being put on hold.
Meanwhile, small business owners in Vancouver also face the same uncertainty. They struggle with concerns of reduced demand, questions of when they can open up shop again, or feel frustrated with operation and production delays beyond their control.
There’s a lot of uncertainty in the air, so all we can do is take it day by day. If this uncertainty is causing you stress, here’s eight suggestions on how to de-stress and reduce anxiety, while supporting local.
Take a bath
Take a soak in the tub for full-body relaxation. Bath salts have mineral properties that can help soothe tense muscles (a symptom of stress) and reduce inflammation. I’m currently using the “Chill” Black Lava Salt Soak by Vancouver wellness company Kismet Essentials, which is blended with lavender and rosemary.
Other BC-based businesses that offer bath salts include Saje Wellness (try their ‘Stress Release’ bath salt soak), K’Pure Naturals, or the Kelowna-based Epic Blends.
Light a candle
Something about the warm and cozy glow of candlelight gives me an immediate calming effect, and one local candlemaker which stands out is Hygge Life, a Vancouver-based online boutique, that’ll soon be opening a retail storefront on Main Street. “Hygge” (pronounced hoo-gah) is the Danish word for the feeling of coziness and contentment, and the candles from this Vancouver small business promotes just that. With soy wax poured in modern containers, you can customize both the size, and the scent of your candle.
Other Vancouver-based candle brands to check out include: Woodlot, Homecoming, Mala the Brand, Canvas Candle Company, Hollow Tree, and Kilig Candle Co.
Drink a calming tea
Meet: blackout tea. This is what Steve and I nicknamed the Chamomile with Lavender tea from Traditional Medicinals. Blended with organic chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm, it has worked wonders as a calming bedtime tea and helped me stop waking up in the middle of the night. Traditional Medicinals specializes in herbal teas with benefits, and is certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO, and B Corp. For a blended-in-BC version with similar benefits, try Silk Road Tea’s Lullaby Wellness Tea, or Tea Leaves’ Organic Chamomile Blossoms.
Use essential oils
The use of aromatherapy has long been a remedy for various ailments and concerns. Vancouver wellness company Saje has several blends of essential oils designed to promote specific areas of wellbeing. For example, Dreamstate, Goodnight, and Peaceful Slumber, are all essential oil blends which help promote a better sleep. Put a few drops in a diffuser as you’re getting ready for bed, and prepare for a restful sleep.
Other Vancouver businesses that offer essential oil blends include Vitruvi, Scentuals, and Fern & Petal.
Take a supplement
Canadian company Suku Vitamins has a ‘Buh Bye Stress’ supplement that’s specifically formulated to promote relaxation and relieve symptoms of stress including mental fatigue. The main ingredients are Rhodiola and Lemon Balm (both are herbs), and L-Theanine and GABA (which decreases activity in your nervous system). The supplement comes in a gummy form that’s gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan.
Exercise at home
Physical activity releases endorphins, which can help boost your mood. Some of your favourite boutique fitness studios in Vancouver now offer online classes, most of which can be done with very little equipment or make-do solutions. For example, if you don’t have light weights, use waterbottles or soup cans instead A few local studios to check out include: YYoga at Home (or their live classes), Jaybird, and Hustle Up.
Challenge your mind
With increased time at home, my screentime has skyrocketed. Too much social media and too much bad news in the media can be stressful. Get back to the basics and spend time on activities that challenge the mind at home like a daily soduku, a jigsaw puzzle or a crossword puzzle. I recently read an article about how crossword puzzle afficiandos love this hobby because there’s always a solution to each challenge. In a time of uncertainty, there’s a feeling of reassurance to work on solving something that’s guaranteed to have an answer.
Do something nice for someone else
Know someone feeling a little bit down? Several Vancouver companies are offering cheerful gift baskets and direct to consumer delivery. In this time where we can’t physically spend time with our friends and family, the next best thing could be to send them a local gift, to let them know they are in our thoughts. When you do good, you feel good too!
Giving Gifts is a local gift store that has assembled crafts and gift baskets with local items, available for both delivery or curbside pickup. Meanwhlle, Naked Snacks is a Vancouver-based snack company that offers healthy snacks, delivered straight to your door. You can use “ModernMix20” for 20% off! For every box purchased, they feed a child in need through Breakfast Club Canada. For the gourmet foodie, Vancouver Foodie Tours is now offering deliveries from Granville Island vendors.