Aiyana Bradshaw is the Marketing Coordinator at Well Told Health, a recent graduate of Western University, and a wellness enthusiast. When she's not coordinating exciting promotions for Well Told Health, she loves going for long runs, hanging out with friends, and checking books off her reading list.
For a limited time, discover Aiyana's Spring Self-Care picks for up to 50% off!
As the seasons change, so do the ways we practice self-care. Are there any spring wellness practices you feel have a big impact on your wellbeing?
Spring in and of itself has a big impact on my well-being. The longer days and warmer weather make me want to get outside and play in the sun. Part of this outdoor play is finally being able to run outside again. Nothing clears my head after a long workday quite like a long run, and it never fails to boost my mood for the rest of the afternoon and into the next day.
As we’ve come to understand, self-care can mean so many different things, what does the concept mean to you personally?
For me, the biggest element of self-care is balance. This applies to all aspects of life: eating big healthy meals most days and snacking all day others, breaking my weekly run schedule to watch a show over a few evenings, or even cancelling my usual weekend plans with friends to relax and take time for myself. I feel my best when I’m living from a place of balance.
As our lives have changed pretty significantly over the past couple of years, has your idea of what self-care means to you changed?
Definitely! The past few years have hammered home the idea that, in order to take care of myself, I have to be gentle with myself. I am always reminding my friends to take breaks, focus on themselves, or find a type of exercise that works best for them – but I always find it easier to give this advice than to take it. The slowing of pace that resulted from the past couple of years made me realize I cannot be in hyperdrive all the time, nor do I want to be. I have found great pleasure in sitting down and reading a book with a cup of tea or going for a stroll through my neighbourhood with some tunes.
What has been a wellness practice that has had a significant impact on your overall health?
This may sound intuitive to many people, but simply listening to my body has changed my mental and physical health and wellness incredibly. I used to push myself to extremes both physically by dieting and working out obsessively, and mentally by striving for perfection academically and professionally. When I physically could not wake up to my alarms, I realized my body was telling me I needed rest. When I was craving ice cream every night and feeling weak because of it, I realized my body needed more calorie-dense foods. I then started giving my body these things it was telling me it needed, and I have felt my physical and mental wellness improve drastically because of it.
What's been keeping you well these days?
My routine! I never used to consider myself a routine lover, but since the start of the pandemic, I have found so much comfort in the predictable motions I go through every day and every week. Naturally, my routine does vary a bit, but I find myself feeling most well when I’m carrying out an element of my routine – whether that’s sitting down for my Sunday movie night or getting ready for a worknight run. I am a creature of habit and I embrace it!