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Beat Winter SAD: Book a Staycation

Beat Winter SAD: Book a Staycation

We are almost through January and the countdown to spring is ON! OK, it’s 50 days, and yes I’m counting. I’m really working on finding ways to make this winter not seem as long, cold, or depressing as 2019. Last week, I shared a post about beating winter Seasonal Affective Disorder by taking a vacation.

This week, I’m sharing an AWESOME recommendation for a staycation. Sean and I spent a relaxing ~24-hours at Hotel X Toronto in downtown Toronto and it was a really nice mini-getaway. If you’d like to see more of my stay in video, check out my Staycation highlight on Instagram.

Hellooooo snow!

I magically picked the BEST day for a staycation because we had a major snowstorm that morning. I arrived at noon for a hot yoga class and to see the amenities before checking in at 3pm.

From the moment you walk in the hotel, it feels luxurious. It makes for a great staycation because there are lots of plants, several restaurants, a great gym, and amenities, meaning you don’t have to leave the hotel. There’s also a kid’s play center if you have little ones. I have added the Guerlain Spa to my ‘must visit‘ list for next time.

Hotel X Toronto definitely has a resort-type feel. There’s a pool on the roof that I imagine is absolutely stunning in the summer. Yes, I did test it out in the winter. Scroll down!

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Thank you, Hotel X and Duet PR for hosting our stay. The thoughts expressed here are my OWN, obviously. It was a really nice experience. Highly recommend! 

Show Up For Yourself

I am no expert on self-love, recovery, or life, I can only speak from my own experience. I posted this image on my Instagram Stories 6 weeks ago and made a Story Highlight (the little circles) called 2020 MOOD as a reminder of the person I want to be this year, this decade.

It is definitely scary to be who you really are (especially to share it online) but I figure, there’s not really another option! Why not be the most YOU that YOU can be? Do what you want. Pursue all the things. Make a list and start checking off those goals. What are you waiting for? The time is NOW. Get creative, write your own story. It’s your life, you’re in control, you only live once.

If there is one thing you can take from this post, it’s that you do not know your own strength or power until you try to use it. Put your mind in the right direction and push it further than before. Open doors for yourself. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

My mum has had this on her fridge since I was in high school. It has always stayed with me as a reminder to do what I want!
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casiestewart, blog, blogger, toronto, canada, travel, tech

My Fitness Journey (So Far)

Let me start this by staying I felt like complete shit for a lot of last year. Behind the many smiling selfies, I was in pain, depressed, and trying to ignore nerve damage in half of my face. I had been treating my body like garbage with alcohol, bad food, no sleep, and something had to change. I gained a bunch of weight and after being small my whole life, I wasn’t happy. I couldn’t live like that anymore.

For a lot of 2009-2019 I went to multiple events a week, sometimes several per night. I was always on the go. I ate like crap and drank multiple times a week. When I hit my 30’s, my body changed, I gained weight, then I had a breast reduction, nearly broke my back w/ two cracked back ribs, and closed out the decade with a fractured my collarbone. A lot of good things happened in the last decade too but I’ve already shared that stuff.

For years I dreamed of being a better me, one who ate healthier, felt good in a bathing suit, had longer hair, and genuine happiness that shined out of her face. That’s who I wanted to be so I started doing things differently. From September to January, I lost 20+Lbs and man does it ever make a difference. I’m saving time every day by not stressing over my clothes not fitting. I feel mentally and physically stronger. I have more energy and I’m happier. Here’s the low down on how I get here and I feel confident that I will stick to it this time because I love the way I feel. 😊


August 2019 I started intermittent fasting, 8hrs eating window (noon-8pm) and fasting the rest of the day. I started to feel healthier, more energized, and leaner (slowly). This doesn’t work for everyone but I like it. I recently started using an app called Zero that tracks your fast. Some days I stick to my 16:8 goal, some days I go longer, sometimes I don’t. I try to do what feels good.

Working Out

When daylight saving time kicked in October 2019, I stuck to my same sleep schedule (early riser) and used that extra hour to go to the gym. I started with 10min a day on the treadmill. I already had a membership at LA Fitness and after not going for most of the year, I was ready to put it to work.

I didn’t post about working out and I didn’t really talk about it until recently. I did it for me, that’s the only person I had to show up for. Since then, I have learned to love working out. I keep my gym clothes beside my bed and almost every morning, I make coffee, get into my gear, and go straight there. I like the treadmill and Nike apps for the gym (NTC, NRC), and Asana Rebel or YouTube for home workouts.

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Did You Lose Yourself?

𝘿𝙞𝙙 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙡𝙤𝙨𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙛? 𝘿𝙞𝙙 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙛𝙞𝙣𝙙 𝙝𝙚𝙧? 𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙨𝙝𝙚?

I looked everywhere but I couldn’t see her through the forest of trees in my life, in my way. I couldn’t look deep inside to see that the fire was going out. She still burned, the warmth was there, but she wasn’t lighting up the sky the way she used to.

𝙄 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙛𝙞𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙠. 𝙎𝙤 𝙄 𝙨𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙙…

I went to the Big Easy, New Orleans, it was loud. I took long walks in between fancy houses, danced in the street, made friends, smiled a lot, captured photos, and laughed to myself. I was with friends and sometimes alone. I stayed mostly healthy but I lived a little. Balance.

I went to the woods for a week where I hardly talked, just the two of us. I wrote a lot at the kitchen table, at my computer wearing headphones. It was the last week of the year, of the decade. It was just what I needed. We skated on ice for the first time in a year, in the sunset, on the lake. It was magic.

I booked a beach vacation for the first official workday of 2020. I always wanted to start the year like that. It was a simple place. There was sunshine. I read a lot, slept a lot, laughed a lot. I thought a lot of thoughts. I didn’t take my computer. I needed a break, to disconnect. After seven days, I was ready to get started.

I spent the next week in my studio, my room, my desk, my computer. It’s just one room but it is all those things to me. I spent the entire year before this making the perfect space for when I found that spark, the one I was looking for.

It takes time to find her, to find IT. You have to look in places you don’t know exist, maybe they’re hidden, not ready to be found. You might have to face some kind of mountain, break down a wall, walk, run, fly, or carry something heavy. But when you do the work, take the time, invest in making that fire again, she’ll burn and grow, and the light will shine.


I found her!
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