Beat Winter SAD: Sweat!

Since making exercise part of my life over the last few months, I’ve started to crave the feeling I get from working out. Each night I lay out my gym stuff and look forward to going each morning. I wrote a bit about my fitness journey here and once I started to see results, it motivated me to keep going.

I’m committed to not letting this winter give me seasonal affective disorder like last year, I never want to get that way again. I’m sure there will be sad days here and there (there deff are), but I know I can fight it with fitness.

Today’s tip to beat Winter SAD is to SWEAT. Find a class, get a YouTube video going, download Nike Training club, dance, or jump around.

Do something to get yourself moving, create endorphins, get your brain high on body moment.

My Fav Apps & Fitness Resources

I like the NTC app for exercises and the NRC app for running. I often do Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube or find workouts on Pinterest. There are so many free resources available online if you don’t have a gym membership.

If you are in GTA and want a workout buddy to try a class, ask me anytime! I love hanging with friends and movement makes us all feel good.

You got this, we can beat winter SAD!

Beat Winter SAD: 50 Self-care Ideas

Self-care can legit mean just about anything these days. For me, there are a lot of things I like to do and sometimes it’s as simple as putting away that pile of clothes or saying no to leaving the house. I made a list of things I like to do for myself, usually on a Sunday to prep for the week. Self-care is taking a few moments to yourself to do something for yourself, which makes you feel good and alleviate stress.

Thankfully this winter hasn’t been as brutal as last year’s super cold months where everything was covered in ice. The 2019 winter blues really got me down and I am trying to best to make this winter not seem as dark, lonely, and depressing.

It may seem like I am out on the town quite a bit but I assure you, it’s usually not for long. I love staying at home. I love hair masks, face masks, exfoliating, nice lotion, naps, cooking, and doing things inside the house.

I started this list to make 10 things but kept going and now there are 50. Most of these you can do without leaving your house of opening your wallet. I added a shoppable section at the bottom in case you want to grab any of my favorites via Amazon Prime.

If you are feeling down, do one little thing each day to bring happiness into your life. You DESERVE it. Treat yourself!

50 SELFCARE IDEAS

This post contains links from my Amazon beauty favs

 

Beat Winter SAD: Hire a Cleaner

Beat Winter SAD: Hire a Cleaner

Cleaning the house at any time of year can be a challenge. When you have the long dreary winter where it’s dark before work and dark when you get home, it’s even harder. Also, how do we go through so many dishes and kid’s clothes in a week? IDK.

We have been meaning to do a deep clean on everything for longer than I care to admit.

AskForTask gave me two hours of free cleaning to try the service and let me tell you, IT WAS AMAZING. I booked the cleaning via askfortask.com and was able to list the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and share comments. The whole process took about 5 minutes and I paid the difference (after my discount) with PayPal. I booked the recommended 3 hours and our Tasker arrived Sunday morning and cleaned for the requested time. They require you to be home for the cleaning so I booked a time that worked for us.

Starting the week knowing the work is done has me feeling grateful. I can’t believe how much she deep cleaned! At one point I went to our first floor and she had completely moved our furniture to clean behind the couch. Our while place looks great. Highly recommend Maria with AskforTask, very thorough.

For all the work you do in a day, a week, a month, treat yourself and hire a cleaner. There’s a handy app that allows you to communicate with your Tasker and add more hours if need be.

Use code CASIESTEWART for $10 off your first task and give yourself some peace of mind. You deserve it.

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! 

Beat Winter SAD: Take A Vacation

Last winter was really hard, we had one of the coldest seasons in ages, there was ice everywhere, and my arm was messed up. I spent most of the winter inside our house going Marie Kondo through every cupboard and drawer. This winter, I’m determined to find joy in simple things and actively make an effort to warm myself up and beat winter SAD.

Varadero Beach, Costa Rica

I wrote a few posts with ways I’m trying to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder with the hope it will help make our days a bit brighter. Some take a little more money/planning but others you can do at home right now. I’ll update this post with a link to each so you can scroll once they’re live.


Vacation

The easiest way to boost your mood in winter? Take a vacation. I know this isn’t an option for everyone with work/family/finances but if you can do it, it’s so nice. This year, I took a 7-day all-inclusive trip to Cuba with a friend. We have been talking about doing a low-key beach getaway at the start of January for 2+ years and finally did it! Cuba was a good option because we were not going for luxury, our conditions for the trip were affordable, beach, sun.

The beach was beautiful and the sun was hot. The food wasn’t luxe but we managed to eat simple, the main things I ate were bread, rice, fruit, pasta, and eggs. I read an entire book, took heaps of photos, and finished the week well-rested and refreshed. We went to bed early (and sober) most nights. I stuck to Amy’s 1K a day challenge and did some type of activity each day (long walk, dance, NTC). It was just what I needed and a perfect reset to start the year. I feel more creative, inspired, and ready to show 2020 WHO I AM.

I went to Cuba for the first time about 10 years ago and when I tried to blog or access the internet, it was a no-go. If I could access, it was expensive and super slow. Luckily, things have improved a bit! With Telus EasyRoam, I was able to have full 3G/LTE and access my data plan from home for $12/day. It allowed me to keep up on emails and share my vacation via social media.


If you are looking for somewhere to go. Here are a couple of vacation spots I’ve been to and recommend.

Anamaya Resort, Costa Rica

A couple of years ago I took Sean to Costa Rica for a much needed digital detox. I absolutely LOVE Costa Rica, it’s my favourite country to visit (so far). Over the last decade, I stayed at Anamaya Resort twice for a full week of yoga and surfing. It’s located on the southern Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean, near Montezuma, about 30min drive from Santa Teresa. If you are looking for a super relaxing getaway with great organic food, fitness, nice people, and a great vibe, go here. Highly recommend.

All-Inclusive in Mexico

One January, Sean and I spent a week in Cabo at Sheraton Los Cabos Hacienda Del Mar. The resort was really nice, beautiful beaches, buffet, spa, pools, and several restaurants on-site. We rented a jet ski in town, surfed a small beach, and went on a boat adventure. We really appreciated having (pretty good) wifi included in our stay. I’ve also been to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico which has a lot of beautiful resorts. Mexico is a nice winter getaway, just remember to be smart and safe.

Online Deal/Last Min Getaway

If you need to GTFO and soak up the sun ASAP, Cuba is pretty affordable. We stayed at an all-inclusive on the beach that had multiple pools, bars, restaurants. We went off the resort a couple of times to eat and overall each spent ~$100 the WHOLE WEEK. It was not fancy but I was grateful to be in warm air, sun, and sand.

There are some pretty good deals online today for Blue Monday. I highly recommend signing up for Rakuten before buying online because they are partners with TripAdvisor hotels.com, Expedia, a bunch of airways, and car rental companies. Save yourself some $ and get cashback on your purchases. I earned over $200 last year from stuff I bought online (hello, Amazon). I hope you find a good deal! I’m heading to breakfast with Sunwing at YD Square where they’re giving away a couple of trips today.


My next post in this series is STAYCATION and I’m excited to share about our awesome day with Hotel X Toronto this past weekend. Together we can beat SAD!

Casie Stewart, signature, iPad Pro.