Spring Clean Your Paperwork

Does spring cleaning make you think of new beginnings or want to run? On our team, Brittany spring cleans for fun and Alyx would rather spend that time sewing or with family. The most difficult part about spring cleaning must be figuring out how to organize paperwork. Especially if your paper organizing strategy has a lot to do with paper piles. Let’s talk about how we can organize paperwork while we spring clean.

First, decide if you want hard copies or to make it digital.

Keep in mind that you will need hard copies of some forms and that anything you make digital should be backed up (cloud, email, external hard drive).

Locate the following and make a pile on the floor or a folder (physical or digital) for each:

  • Wills
  • Mortgage documents
  • Life insurance policies
  • Health and dental plan booklet
  • Tax returns and Notice of Assessments
  • Home and car insurance policies
  • Banking documents
  • Loan statements
  • RRSP/TFSA/RESP statements
  • Receipts to save

Now that you know where it all is and whether you want hard copies or digital copies, we can organize the “paperwork”. We’ll give you a few options on how to do this.

Option 1: Quick fix for hard copies

Use a boxy file folder with each slot labeled for all the above information.

In January each year, take out old statements, receipts, warranties, and either shred, put into a tax folder, or move to a locked metal document box in the basement. That locked metal box is where you’ll keep your passports, marriage license, warranties, copies of wills, and other long-term important documents. Bonus points if your metal locked box is fire and flood-proof!

Chances are, you have some paperwork on your computer – emailed receipts and such – that also need a home. We suggest either printing those off and putting them in your boxy file folder or reading option 2 and applying it just to those documents. Of course, you would simply substitute scanning your documents by saving them directly into the appropriate digital file.

Option 2: Make it digital

Start by making a folder on your computer for personal documents. Within your folder, create a file for each pile that you have – Will, Mortgage docs, receipts, etc.

Then, working with one pile at a time, scan the documents onto your computer. Change the name of each document to its proper title so that you can find it easily later.

You can organize paperwork as specific as you’d like with this.

You might be content keeping your documents in these main category files and scrolling through for what you need.

Or, you might want to make it more specific. For example, you can have a main folder for your banking documents and create sub-folders within that to separate your statements, contracts, notices, etc.

Remember to have backups of all digital files.

Option 3: Put it all in a locked filing cabinet

organized filing cabinet

This is similar to going digital, but for hard copies. You’ll organize paperwork by making a hanging file for each category with a label.

Then, if you want to make documents easier to find, label a file folder to make more specific categories.

You’ll notice this is very similar to option 1. The difference is whether you want all of your documents in one place or if it’s more convenient to have quick access to the ones you’re most likely to use.

As you’re going through your paperwork, let’s make this even easier for the future.

  1. Know where your will is – It is often kept on file with your lawyer, but you should also have a copy
  2. Make a calendar note for when your mortgage term renews
  3. Review when your life insurance payments are due and if you have any renewal dates. Book a quick call with us if we can help you here.
  4. Review your Health and Dental Plan booklet and be sure you understand your long-term disability benefits
  5. Sign up for CRA’s “My Account”. This site makes accessing documents and benefit information (such as GST, Child Benefits, etc.) much easier.
  6. Make a calendar note for the renewal dates of your home and auto insurance policies
  7. Review your loan statements and interest rate details
  8. Review your investment statements and note your investment choices – ex. Mutual fund, GIC, RRSP, etc.

Now that you have your paperwork organized, you’ll have easy access to your documents when you need them, get reminders on renewals, and you may have found a few ways to save money during your interest and investment reviews!

Once you’ve got all these important documents organized, you’ll be ready for your next step in financial awesomeness! Is your budget the next task on your adulting checklist? Read our blog on the 123’s of Getting Your Finances in Order.

I’m Scared Of My Accountant

How to fire your accountant

This article was written by Jen at Dollar Divas and offered to us to use. Be sure to visit her page!

One of my favourite “ah ha” moments at Dollar Divas came a few years ago during a discussion group. We had been chatting about hiring the right professionals and how to find them. When a woman who had been pretty quiet all evening finally joined the conversation.  

“I dread going to my accountant every year,” she said.  

Saira and I looked at each other and said simply, “Then get a new accountant.”

Slowly the realization sunk in that she could fire her accountant and move her business to a different account. It was like a huge weight was being lifted off her shoulders. This Diva felt loyal to someone she hated simply because she had used him for many years. 

This is not an uncommon issue. 

Many women stick with professionals who are the wrong fit simply because they don’t want to rock the boat—and it needs to stop. 

Here are some tips to help you fire your accountant (or other professional) without feeling the guilt.  

  • Speak up: If your professional is not serving you to your satisfaction, you are not required to continue accepting poor service. Speak up! Most professionals will continue with the status quo unless you voice your concerns. A good professional will change their actions when their clients voice an issue. If you have already taken this step and nothing has changed, then it is probably time to start shopping elsewhere.
  • I like me best: Something I witnessed over and over again is a woman staying in a professional relationship that was not serving her simply because she was afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. Many women have told me that ending a professional relationship is like parting ways with a boyfriend. If this is you, something to keep in mind is, “I like me best.” While putting others above yourself is noble, it is not always in your best interests and there are better ways in which to do this. If you have already tried to talk to your professional and nothing has changed then it’s time to find someone new who can serve you better.
  • Have someone else do it: Ending a long-term relationship with a professional can be difficult for some people. The good news is, a lot of times, you don’t actually have to have that super uncomfortable conversation. Once you have found a new person to work with, they can usually have that conversation for you. In the case of a financial advisor, it is as easy as having them request a transfer from your old institution. No ugly confrontation required. If you get a bitter and angry phone call or email, that will confirm that you have made the right choice by changing.

I can’t speak for all women, but a lot of the women I know are wired to be people pleasers.

While this may serve them well in their personal lives, it is not necessarily conducive to healthy professional relationships. 

Personally speaking, this quality has landed me in more than one uncomfortable situation. Where I was not being served well, but I was too afraid to make a change thanks to some bizarre sense of loyalty. Learning that I can make a change has not only been liberating, it has been lucrative. 

At the end of the day, you need to look out for you, and if you’re not happy, then something has to change. 

The 123’s of Getting Your Finances in Order

how to get your finances in order
In light of the current financial crisis, we’ve compiled financial aid resources for Canadians. CLICK BELOW!
covid-19 resources for canadians

Do you feel like you have your finances in order or are you winging it? Talking about finances can be really difficult because the conversations are so emotionally charged. It’s easy to have fears, insecurities, and frustrations tied into our finances. We understand that because we’ve been there too. Rather than getting trapped in that cycle, we’ll walk you through how to get your finances in order.

Step 1: Make a Budget

Have you ever put a puzzle together without having the end picture in sight? Probably not. You know that’d make the task much more difficult than it needs to be. 

The same goes for your budget. Without seeing an accurate picture, it’s hard to understand what you need to do to reach your goal.

How to Start

Grab a piece of paper and write down how much money your household brings in each month at the top of the page. Below that, write the following headings:

  1. household
  2. transportation
  3. food
  4. entertainment
  5. clothing & gifts
  6. others

 

Then, go through your bank and credit card statements for the last month and pair each expense with a heading, and total them up.

Now you know how much you spend each month AND what you spend the most money on.

Add up all of your expenses. And subtract your income from expenses. That’s how much money you have left over each month.

If you’re spending more than you’re making, you need to go over your expenses and your income to see what changes you can make.

To finish off your budget, decide where you want that extra amount of money to go. Maybe debt repayment, a vacation, or one of the following.

Step 2: Make an Emergency Plan

There are SO many angles to look at this from, so we’re going to cover 3 main angles.

Make an Emergency Fund

This is priority numero uno. Your emergency fund should be at least enough to cover 3 months of expenses. And yes, that’s a big number. But this emergency fund is going to keep your budget on track, avoid stress in a financial crisis, get you through a job loss, and a lot of other 💩 that life can throw at you. 

Our suggestion is that you put a manageable amount of money aside each month, into an account that you don’t have access to via bank card, like a TFSA. 

What if something happened and you couldn’t work for a long period of time though?

Just because you don’t have an income, doesn’t mean the bills stop. Because saving enough to cover you (and maybe your partner) taking a long period of time off of work isn’t realistic for most people, get disability insurance. It replaces a portion of your income if you’re hurt or sick.

There are also insurance plans that would help financially if you couldn’t work because your child was sick.

Get life insurance

It’s not for you, it’s for your loved ones. It’ll help them pay off debt (including the house), afford the expenses of growing kids, and finance the changes in lifestyle they’ll need to make.

When we talk about how to get your finances in order, we also need to consider protecting them.

Make a will

Without a will, your loved ones may have to wait a long time and pay fees to get their inheritance. In order to avoid conflicts and ensure your family is taken care of, sit down with a lawyer and knock this off your task list.

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Step 3: Make a Savings Goal

Now that you know what your financial situation looks like and you’ve made sure you’re covered if it ever took a hit, you need to make a savings goal.

Saving looks different for many people – both how you save and what you save for. It could be saving for a long-term expense like retirement, a property, vacation or large annual bills.

Whatever it is, you’ll need to refer to your budget again.

You know how much you have leftover now, so you can decide how much of that you want to put into saving. 

Make sure that you do the math on how long it’ll take to save what you need. Putting $100 aside for a new car each month might sound like a great idea until you realize it’ll take you a year just to save $1,200.

You’ve probably realized that there’s nothing glamorous about getting your finances in order.

It’s not as fancy to whip out a debit card as it is a Black Card nor is it too fun to spend your free time putting this all together. It takes discipline, a firm grasp on what you’re working towards, and boundaries.

But how good would it feel to not be phased by a surprise bill? Or to know you’d be okay if you lost your job?

These things aren’t glamorous but the freedom and security you can afford by following these steps on how to get your finances in order are much more rewarding.

Be sure to share this with your closest friends who want that same freedom!

Take control of your financial future. 

Surviving Coronavirus in Canada

Coronavirus in Canada

Feeling uneasy or maybe a bit scared by what you’re hearing in the news right now? They’re talking about market free falls, a disease that has people quarantined and likely all of your upcoming events have been canceled. People are panicking and bulk buying, and you’re trying to keep your cool while wondering what you can do to survive the Coronavirus in Canada. Knowledge is power, so let’s talk about what you have control over.

The virus is affecting our World way beyond health. 

It’s hitting our communities, lifestyles, and economy drastically. But don’t fret! There are things you can do about it. Right now, it’s important to take care of our communities and make sure that we’re prepared.

How can we support people?

Community is so important in times like these. Sharing resources is the perfect place to start. Whether you have food or coveted toilet paper, sharing is caring. Our local heroes are helping people who don’t have access to their medications and other necessities right now.
Let’s not forget those suffering in silence from their mental health, too. Those with an anxiety disorder that’s being perpetuated and domestic abuse victims who are quarantined in dangerous situations are part of that group.

Reach out to your friends and family. You may not know what they’re struggling with behind closed doors. That human connection and support are so important right now.

Buy local.

You’ll hear us talk about that a lot at Iron & Pearl. Shopping locally can make a big difference, especially right now. These businesses often don’t have online stores or second locations that they can make an income from. It’s a family behind the scenes who relies on the income that their business brings in. Buying local is critical to curbing this financial crisis.

Stock what’s necessary.

At this point, we’ve been instructed to stay home if at all possible. It’s always a good idea to have a couple of weeks’ worth of food on hand in case of an emergency. Surviving the Coronavirus is no different. It’s important to have what your family needs but it’s not necessary to buy stores out of their stock. When we do that, it takes away resources from those who haven’t been able to leave the house – mothers of young children, the elderly, and those fighting on the front lines. Look out for your neighbours.

Keep an eye on your emergency fund.

Your family has told you for years that you need to have an emergency fund. Do you have one? Many people don’t have much of an emergency fund. Either from not seeing the importance of it or because money was tight before any of this happened.

We’re hoping that you see how imperative an emergency fund can be at this point. Check out our blog post on “how to save money without making more” to read more.

Keep an eye on what you’re spending as well. As much as spending would help our economy, spending unnecessary money right now may hurt you later.

Stop looking at your investment statements.

You know they’re not looking good and so do we. Our advice still stands – don’t sell. Have you ever heard the sage advice buy low, sell high? That’s exactly what we should be remembering right now. Unless a professional who knows your specific case has told you to sell now, just hang tight.

“That’s it, we’re done.”

Don’t let yourself get to that point with your finances. There’s no doubt that some people will be hit hard financially by this market free fall. But, there have been measures put in place already. If you’ve been quarantined or laid off, look into EI benefits. They’ve made some big changes to ensure you’ll have at least some income right now.  BC Hydro and the big mortgage lenders are offering for those in a tight financial spot to defer their payments for up to 6 months. Keep in mind, you will still have to honor those payments. But, if you’re genuinely struggling to make ends meet, take hold of this opportunity.

Filling out an insurance application?

It’s going to take longer. If you’ve recently traveled, you will have to be in quarantine for 2 weeks before they can consider your application. Companies have stopped issuing travel insurance and medical tests have been suspended until further notice – making it more difficult to get many types of personal insurance. “Business as usual” may not really be. Insurers have people working from home or locked-down offices so that your questions can be answered, but buying yourself a policy will be more tricky.

Put your phone down.

We’d prefer it if you finished reading this article first 😉 but try not to stay right on top of the news. There are scary videos coming out on social media, headlines that’ll turn your stomach, and helpful Government plans that make you feel nervous about how long this will last.

Keeping yourself up to date may seem helpful, but it can also be anxiety-inducing. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or uneasy about this situation, stay home and put your phone down. At this point, helpful information may actually be harmful to you. Having Coronavirus in Canada is going to be all about preparation and education.

This is a scary time for the World. Building community and leaning on each other might just be the silver lining in all of this.

We won’t be staying quiet in our offices as this goes on! Follow us on Instagram or Facebook for consistent updates on the financial support that Canada is offering and other options available to you.

As always, reach out to us through our contact page and we’ll do our best to help.

Canada's March 18 Covid-19 Economic Response Plan

What If I Get Hurt At My Side Hustle in Canada?

what if I get hurt at my side hustle?

Getting a side hustle is an awesome way to make a bit of extra cash. They can offer a lot of flexibility and, for some people, might even turn into a full-time gig. But what if you get hurt at your side hustle? You might not have all the comforts that you get with your 9-5.

There are all kinds of side hustles you can get! From driving for companies like Uber and Skip the Dishes, to using your handy(wo)man skills on a paid gig or becoming a tutor. What we’re talking about here are independent side jobs that you do on top of your j.o.b. – no boss or employee benefits and you don’t get a T-4.

As an employee, you’re automatically enrolled in WorkSafe BC (WCB) and Employment Insurance (E.I.).

If you’re hurt at your job and can’t work because of it, WCB can help and you’ll still have a paycheck. When you work for yourself, those benefits change.

You’ll still have your WCB coverage, but it’s only in effect while you’re at work as an employee. Once you’re on your own time – whether you’re using that time for a side gig or not – you’re not covered by WorkSafe.

For example, maybe you build decks for a living and your neighbor asks you to build a deck for them. But they want you to do it, not the company you work for. In that case, WCB wouldn’t cover you if you got hurt working at your neighbor’s house.

Employment Insurance (E.I.) on the other hand, might still help you.

As long as you’re an employee for a company, E.I. will still be an option whether you’re hurt on or off the job. They can help if you’re hurt, sick, or unemployed. However, they pay 55% of your income (as declared on your paystubs or T4 earnings) up to a maximum of $573/week and only for 15 weeks. If you decide to quit the company you were working for to do this side gig, E.I. goes away. 

For any side job you get that requires driving – deliveries, picking up supplies, meeting clients – you need to make sure your car is insured for business use. If you work with clients or could be liable in any business situation, you also need Liability Insurance.

Those aren’t the kind of insurance we work with at Iron & Pearl Financial, so we’ll leave you with DO NOT skip looking into this.

As a Canadian who pays into Canada Pension Plan (CPP), their disability program may be a last resort.

If you’re hurt at your side hustle, it’s best to not qualify for this. You must be permanently disabled and likely to die from your conditions.

What’s your Plan B if you get hurt and don’t have coverage?

Maybe you could sell something or ask family for help. Remember to consider how long it’ll take to sell your assets.

To make sure that you’re covered at all times, get disability insurance.

It’s the best way to have the peace of mind that you’re covered all the time.

Curious about how disability insurance works and what your options are? Book a free quick call with us. We’ll answer your questions and point you in the right direction. We’re focused on giving you the tools and education to build financial security in your life.

Remember, you’re in control of your financial future.

It takes time and effort to put in plans like this, but it’s worth it to know your family will be taken care of.

How to Make 2020 New Year’s Goals Fun

New Year's goals the 20 20's of 2020

Happy New Year!

We’re officially 1 week into an entirely new DECADE! How crazy! If we’re anything alike, you have lofty goals for the new year. And, now that we’re back to reality, accomplishing those new year’s goals might feel overwhelming.

With you (honestly, and us) in mind, Alyx made the 20 20’s of 2020!

This adorable checklist was originally made by Good Food Ambassador, Bri, and we’ve added our own spin.

Last week we sat down to talk about our New Year’s Goals.

The beginning of the year is an exciting time! You’re rested from time off over the holidays (hopefully) and thinking about all the opportunities this year could bring.

With those opportunities comes goals to eat better, organize the house, have a better social life, and so forth. But, once you’re back in the swing of things, it’s hard to put that into action!

Especially when the goal is as vague as “organize the house” …if we’re being honest here.

“Vague goals produce vague results.” – Jack Canfield

Turning goals into a fun checklist is an easy way to specify what you want AND keep you on track!

Scroll down a minute to look at the fun-sheet.

Is there anything on there that you don’t think you could do? If there is, spend a minute thinking about how you could make it work for YOUR life.

We’re starting small here. A family adventure doesn’t have to be a cruise. It should be as simple as trying out a new beach or hike together. Organizing the house is a daunting task, but cleaning out the utensil drawer is definitely more manageable…and worth a check off the list! ✔

Do you have a 20 of 2020 you’d want to add? Let us know in the comments below!

How to make 2020 New Year's goals fun

Being Grateful Is Good for Your Health

Mindset has become a HUGE topic of discussion this year. It’s usually around productivity and being happier, but there’s another other side you need to know about! Mindset, specifically having a grateful mindset, is good for your health!

Your mindset affects your body’s biochemistry, which affects your health. I’m sure you’ve heard of the studies proving stress can lead to heart disease!

Gratitude can affect your health,both physical and mental, in astounding ways! Many studies strongly suggest that being grateful is good for your health – like lowering anxiety, recovering from depression, and getting a better sleep. Which, bonus: boosts your immune system! Some studies even prove that practicing gratefulness can change your physical body, to help you recover from illnesses! It’s pretty interesting stuff,

As a matter of fact, a study done in 2007 by Shipon, R. W. looked at the perspectives and blood pressure of inner-city African-American hypertension patients. The patients counted their blessings once a week and the study’s results showed a significant decrease in their systolic blood pressure – by 10%!

“Something as simple as writing down three things you’re grateful for every day for 21 days in a row significantly increases your level of optimism, and it holds for the next six months. The research is amazing,” Shawn Achor – Harvard researcher and author.

Stress, especially if it’s often or chronic, is proven to have serious harmful effects on your body, including heart disease, diabetes, anxiety and depression. I won’t go into that because, quite honestly, the research is terrifying.

Many researchers, including Brené Brown, argue that ‘feeling’ grateful isn’t enough. You need to practice gratefulness. It can be done through meditation, prayer, journaling, and many other practices. For more information, see the links below.

When we truly feel grateful, and even when we practice acts of kindness, our brain gets flooded with dopamine – that’s the happy chemical. Our brains are rewarding us! Dopamine is one of the chemicals that helps those suffering with depression and anxiety find relief, or beat their illness altogether – it’s a powerful chemical. Click here to read more.

On the same note, a 2003 study called Counting Blessings vs. Burdens by University Professors Robert A. Emmons and Michael E. McCullough, had sick patients keep a gratitude journal. By the end, 16% of patients had less symptoms and 10% of them had less pain. The patients were more willing to exercise and much more motivated in their recovery. “The practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life,” said Emmons.

More and more evidence is being discovered every day on the link between gratitude and your health.

Do you think 15 minutes a day of journaling, meditating, praying, or otherwise practicing gratitude would be worth it for your health?

I’ll leave you with this quote:
When you actively practice gratitude, where you concentrate on not just thinking about it but write things down, you go through the day looking for it.” – Oprah while interviewing Brené Brown.

Related Links and Citations:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier
https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201504/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude
https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/basics/stress
https://www.consciouslifestylemag.com/benefits-of-gratitude-research/
https://health.ucdavis.edu/medicalcenter/features/2015-2016/11/20151125_gratitude.html
https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/the-amazing-way-gratitude-rewires-your-brain-for-happiness.html
https://gratefulness.org/resource/brene-brown-on-joy-and-gratitude/

Did you find this valuable? Sign up for my weekly newsletter all about health – from body to money. Think of it like ‘Holistic Insurance’.

Save the Planet From Your Office

There has been SO MUCH talk in the last few weeks about climate change and going green. More and more people are becoming conscious of the importance of sustainability and becoming eco-friendly. Some people have become super conscious of it! See 4 years of trash in a mason jar. A lot of businesses owners are learning that going green is even good for business. So, how can a company Go Green?

Maybe you can’t be committed to the point of a mason jar of trash for your office, but what other ways could your company go green? And how could going green benefit companies?

Let’s talk about how going green could be good for your business!

1. Hold video meetings

How does that make a difference? Well, how much do you drive just to meet a client for a half hour to hour long meeting? You can save fossil fuels and time in the same go!

2. Plan your days to drive less

This one ties into the one before AND you’ve probably heard it a thousand times by now. But driving less makes a big difference.

3. Sign online

How much paper and ink would you save if you didn’t have to print every time you needed a client to sign off? There are a lot of apps that can help with this! It’s also really helpful to have your paperwork on your laptop or smart phone if you regularly leave the office.

4. Work from PDFs

Again, there are so many programs that you can use to fill out forms without printing them off. Let’s be honest, how often do you actually need a paper copy? It’s an adjustment, but it’s worth it. Could you imagine how much easier things would be if you didn’t have to fight with your printer, wait to get home to use your printer, or dealing running out of ink?

5. Research your printer

Tying into the last point on printing, research how often you’ll have to replace your printer ink and how much it’ll cost before you buy a printer. I’m sure most of us have ended up in the situation where it costs just a few bucks more to buy a brand new printer that comes with ink than it is to buy new ink for your printer. How ridiculous is that?
Another option is re-using your ink cartridges. I’ve saved a lot of money doing that and the only draw-back is that you have to go to the store twice – once to drop them off and another to pick up. If you don’t print that much, why not just get what you need printed done at a store?

6. Get your computer fixed

How much more common is it to look at a new laptop once yours is over 2 years old and causing problems, than it is to just buy a new one? It might not make sense for your to fix yours and you really do need to buy a new one, but it’s still worth mentioning!

7. Avoid brochures

When you get a brochure from someone, how often do you actually keep it? Most of us look it over and then it either goes straight to the trash or in a junk drawer until you don’t feel bad about trashing it. Chances are, that’s what’s happening to the brochures you’re handing out too – no matter how beautiful they are. The alternative is emailing your brochure as a PDF.

8. Recycle

One cannot make a blog post about going green without mentioning recycling! But it should be one of the lowest items on your list. 91% OF WHAT YOU RECYCLE WILL END UP IN THE LANDFILL. Yes… out of all that effort you put in, only 9% of what you recycle will actually make a difference. Instead of recycling, talk about being conscious with how much waste your office produces.

9. Print on recycled paper

If you HAVE to print, print on recycled paper. It doesn’t cost much more than brand new paper!

10. Take pictures of business cards

I’ve accepted about 5 business cards in the last 6 months. Chances are, if you accept them, they’ll end up in a pile somewhere. Are you really going to search through the pile to find that business card from the graphic designer you had a quick chat with at a networking meeting? Probably not. BUT if you upload a photo of the business card into an app, all you have to do is search “Graphic Designer”. You can even add specific info on that person so you know you’re referring the right type of client. It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN!

11. Watch your gifts

Giving gifts like pens, notebooks, and little gadgets to a client or at an event can be a really nice thought. But, if someone gave you a little notebook with their company name all over it, would you consider it junk? Now, this can go either way. I’ve definitely gone back to the same office to renew my auto-insurance because they give out really nice pens. Most of the time, the other stuff is going straight into the garbage. And that’s not great for the environment or your marketing budget. Maybe it’s worth investing in some better swag and being more choosey with who you give it too!

Have more ideas on going green at the office? Add them in the comments! Let’s make this as interactive and helpful as possible ☕

 

 

Free Self Care

This year I decided to do one thing for myself a day.

I haven’t been good at practicing self-care. I’m more of the don’t want to get a manicure because it means I have to sit still and can’t be productive for an hour, type.

But, I started to notice the quality of my work would go down when I focused more on my task list than myself.

Yes, that does mean this self-care journey of mine started because I wanted to be better at my job 🤦‍♀️ … not what I was hoping for, but it got me started! You might find that a lot in this list is about being mindful. They’re things we do pretty regularly as humans, the big difference is being conscious of what you’re doing and how it makes you feel.

What’s shifted the most for me is my daily mindset. I feel more inspired and honestly, happier. I’m in no way an expert at this, but it’s has made a BIG difference for me. Hopefully this ‘one thing for yourself a day’ thing can help someone else too.

Self-care can get really expensive. We’re told it needs to involve scents, bath bombs, vacations…but it doesn’t have to be. It’s really about slowing down, giving yourself some space, and letting your body rest.

Here are 20 ways I’ve been practicing self-care for FREE:
  1. Take a bath

    Super cliché, right? But it actually works. Don’t own a tub? Take a longer shower! I realize with kids that’s hard to impossible, but if you’re able, I highly suggest it. Just don’t bring your phone in the tub 😉

  2. Sit down for 5 minutes

    …and do absolutely nothing. Don’t check your phone, tell your family you’re busy and don’t judge any thoughts that come to mind. It might sound like meditation, and it kinda is, but before I was comfortable sitting down and meditating, I found this to be really calming and effortless. Plus, 5 minutes is manageable for any schedule. If sitting still sounds too hard, grab a cup of tea to sip! Not convinced? Here’s a study showing that sitting for 20 mins can be just as effective as exercise and meditation.

  1. Do your nails

    Just don’t rush through this. Put on a good movie or podcast and give your nails the time to DRY this time.

  2. Style your hair

    If you have as thick of hair as I do, it could take a while! But it feels so good to do yourself up with no intention of impressing anyone else.

  3. Get spiritual

    You may not be spiritual or religious and that’s totally okay. Personally, this would involve meditation, reflection, and prayer. For you, it could be taking time to think about what makes you feel connected to humanity or makes you feel most like yourself.

  4. Learn something new

    Watch a documentary, Ted Talk, read a book; just don’t do it for work or another chore that you have.

  5. Open your Windows

    This one isn’t so much taking care of yourself. It’s more to help you feel better on a low day. It really does help.

  6. Turn your phone on airplane mode

    For the night or until you feel less demanded by it.

  7. Make good food

    Food that makes you feel energized after. I love greasy food too, but that doesn’t have a place here.

  8. Drink water

    I’m pretty sure your eyes just rolled. But here’s the best part – you’re not going to judge yourself for “not drinking enough water”. Remember, you’re doing it to take care of your body because YOU LOVE YOU, not to hit a quota.

  9. Go for a Walk

    By yourself, go with someone, whatever you need. It’s a great way to get out of your head and boost endorphins!

  10. Do Some Fear Setting

    If you haven’t heard of this one before, look up “Fear Setting” by Tim Ferriss. You would be amazed at what can come out of it.

  11. Pick up a Hobby

    I garden in the summer and knit or sew in the winter. Grandma was on to something! But we want this to be FREE, so how about looking for some scrap material or yarn you already have, picking up Yoga from Youtube videos – your options are endless!

  12. Take a Nap

    I don’t need to convince you. Naps are the best.

  13. Go Through Your Stuff

    Maybe I’m the only weirdo here, but I find it so helpful to go through my things and purge. I find too much stuff, especially when it doesn’t have a home, adds to the stress.

  14. Stretch

    You already know it feels good to get your stretch on!

  15. Read

    An amazing woman in my networking group says she always has 2 books on the go. One she can learn from and the other is a good novel. I’ve adopted that and it’s genius!

  16. Make an Exercise routine

    This one might be the most work but it has the most reward. It’s scientifically proven that exercise will make you feel better and think clearer. I can vouch for that! I always feel better when I’m in a gym routine, even just once a week. Need more convincing? Here’s a write up from the ADAA.

  17. Colour

    Do a search for free adult colouring pages, print one-off, and go to town! Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

  18. Volunteer

    Sometimes what we need is to get out of our own heads and focus elsewhere. You could join a group that meets at the same time each week or volunteer as a one-off when your community needs it. Some animal shelters look for volunteers to walk their dogs if you don’t want a task too people-y! Doing a nice thing for someone else just makes you feel better.

That’s all 20 of them! I truly hope you’re able to find a helpful nugget on this list. But if nothing else, remember that you’re not alone on this journey. This world is obsessed with busy and it’s okay to say no to that.

If you’re interested in more articles on mindset, check out Being Grateful Is Good for Your Health.

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