Self-Care this Winter: An Interview with Jackie Milne

For many, COVID-19 has made exercising and other methods of self- care a challenge! For that reason, we connected with Jackie Milne the owner of Dash Athletics, a virtual strength studio, about practical ways of incorporating exercise and self-care into your routine this winter. Creating a virtual studio has allowed Jackie to pivot her own work/life balance to ensure she is taking care of her own needs as well as the needs of others. With community safety in mind, Dash Athletics provides the opportunity for anyone to work out from home using a few weights or household items. “COVID reminded me of the simplicity of working out at home and outdoors” she says. Jackie lives and works in Hamilton, Ontario where she has worked as a personal trainer in fitness for five years. Her background is in social services and supportive mental health. Jackie takes a holistic view of health and self-care. She defines self-care as anything you do intentionally that takes care of your health; physically, emotionally and mentally. Acts of self-care should refuel you and make you feel good and should be things you enjoy. It is so important because it helps our physical health as well as clarity of mind and promotes moments of mindfulness- helping us to be present and detach from a scattered brain. “This year has been a good year to rethink routines” she says. “We’re in a culture that pushes for productivity, it has become the norm. It depletes us physically, mentally and emotionally and has led to poor mental health and burnout” Some practical ways of caring for your health this winter include:

  • Fuelling your body with nutritious foods because it feels good and balancing with foods you enjoy because that feels good too.

  • Getting a good night sleep

  • Exercising and moving your body in ways that bring you joy

  • Scheduling time for pleasure and laughter

  • Establishing boundaries:

  • Create a “no" list

  • Know what you need and also know what is draining you

  • Create a list of things you enjoy that you can pull from as well

For many educators, finding time for exercise and self-care can be a challenge. We asked Jackie what her suggestions are for busy educators. Here are her suggestions 1) Get Clear on “Why” Take time to understand why first. Reflect and get deep. Why is it important to you? What does better health mean to you and your family? 2) Schedule it Take time each week to look at the week ahead of you and schedule days for self-care. Whether it's working out 3 days a week or meditating and practicing yoga 2 days a week. Put it in your schedule. 3) Break it up Get rid of the all or nothing mentality. “For many, myself included, I thought I needed to workout for 60 minutes or nothing at all. But it’s okay to break it up into bite size pieces.” She says. It’s okay to workout for 10 minutes, or practice breathing for 5 minutes. 4) Variety

Incorporate a variety into your routine. It doesn’t have to be the same thing. Keep it interesting! Self-care is meant to refuel you, not deplete you. So if it makes you want to cry, throw it out the window. On the other hand, it might require some energy to do it. If you are searching for ways to stay moving at home this winter, head over to where you’ll find functional strength and conditioning workouts. “I think it’s important for us to focus not on how our body looks at the end of the day, but focus on how our bodies move. Mentally, when we’re trying to change our body, we’re focusing on lack. When we’retrying to change how we look, our focus is on not being good enough. When we focus more on moving faster, feeling better or feeling stronger it’s more of a positive and not a negative. It’s helpful for the mind and a good place to exercise from.” - Jackie

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