5 THINGS TO GET YOU OFF THE COUCH THIS WINTER

Dear Community,

I get it. It’s -gajillion outside (or a rainy, slushy, skating rink of a mess like today), and the last thing you feel like doing is leaving the house. So instead you switch on the good old reliable TV and start watching yet another new series (even though you have four others on the go…similar to those books sitting on your nightstand). Six hours later, it’s 2am on a Tuesday and you’ve watched multiple episodes of YOU and although you were entertained, you’re feeling kinda guilty about it. Sound familiar?

Well it doesn’t have to be that way friends. Listen, there is nothing wrong with enjoying some hibernation during what we consider the arctic temperatures of Toronto, but if the entire Winter passes you by and you didn’t really get to do any of the things you wanted to (like attempting to go skating and then not going for the 5th year in a row), then maybe it’s time to put a little plan in place.

I for one am guilty of plopping myself on the couch on a cold night and binge-watching the latest craze, but I also know how good it feels to immerse myself in other activities. So I’m hoping that I can inspire you with a few suggestions that might make you feel less ‘couch potato’ and more Marie Kondo.

The main floor of my home after decluttering and redecorating!

The main floor of my home after decluttering and redecorating!

  1. Declutter - Speaking of Marie Kondo, assessing your items to see if each one sparks joy has become a worldwide phenomenon. Whether you want to buy into the hype or not, there’s something very satisfying about clearing out things that no longer serve you. A few years ago I got into minimalism when moving, so I don’t own a ton of stuff anyway (experiences vs. things, remember?), but after watching Tidying Up on Netflix, my hubby and I decided to go full on KonMari with our closets. We spent a whole day cleaning the house top to bottom and ended up with 8 garbage bags of stuff to donate/sell. Like where did all of this come from?! It might seem overwhelming to tackle, but if you grab a glass of wine, turn up the tunes and make it a fun project then I promise you’ll feel pretty great when it’s all said and done. The perfect activity to get into when there’s a blizzard outside.

  2. Redecorate - When I say this, I don’t mean full on Chip & Jo Fixer Upper renos (unless that’s your thing in which case, hey, good on you!). I’m referring to small things you can do around the house to make your space feel more like a home. During my Behind the Scenes of Business Ownership Workshop, I met a lovely lady named Rebecca who was just launching her new interior design business, Maison Ellie. I was immediately drawn to her aesthetic, and although she specializes in interiors for kids, I invited her to my home for a coffee to see if there was anything she’d recommend we do differently. She came back with a plan that wasn’t at all overwhelming, but totally achievable. Her beautiful style board suggested we add some touches like new sconces for light fixtures, a new rug, and some unique art. She even recommended local shops that we could find the items in with our budget in mind. A few changes later, we are so much happier with the space. I believe experts exist for a reason, and having someone like Rebecca take a look at your space with fresh eyes can do wonders! If you’re not ready for that step, then maybe it’s a simple DIY project like creating a new pantry with beautifully labeled mason jars (showcasing your new Calligraphy skills!), painting a room a new colour for Spring, or even just re-arranging your furniture in a different way. Spend some time this season evaluating your space and make sure it’s one you LOVE being in.

  3. Get moving! - When the weather is warmer it seems much easier to be out and about getting our exercise in. Whether it’s a bike ride, a walk/hike, a swim or a run outside, we seem to want to be outdoors soaking up the sunshine as much as possible. When Winter hits, it gets tougher to get in any activity at all, especially on days we choose to work from home and don’t leave the house (or if you’re not into Winter sports like skiing). That’s why I think it’s a great time to join a gym or explore a new workout. There are SO many options in this city which makes it pretty simple to find something that seems right for you. I decided to push myself with my fitness routine this year and have partnered up with f45 Leslieville over the next three months. I’ve committed to going at least three times a week, and I must admit it’s already made such a difference. Just a few weeks in I’m noticing how scheduling classes holds me accountable, how I feel so much stronger, have more energy and as a result am motivated to make healthier food choices. I’m even cooking more! It seems like a drag to head to the gym when the weather sucks, but it’s honestly so rewarding when you come back refreshed and energized. If working out in the Winter really doesn’t feel like your thing, then there are also other ways to stay active like spending an afternoon at Pursuit OCR or taking dance lessons! Find something that works for you and commit to it.

  4. Try a new class - Did you set an intention to try a new activity in 2019? Or maybe you’re hoping to meet like-minded people that share your passion for something? Well now’s your chance to go for it! Living in such a big city often results in people craving more connection and community. That’s exactly why I created Embiria. I want our Experiences to be a place where you can come, feel welcome, and relish in the creativity, community and connection. So whether you want to learn Sugar Cookie Decorating, Bullet Journaling, brush up on your Instagram Skills for Your Business or try to Blend Your Own Spices, Herbs + Teas, we hope we can help you take some much needed time for yourself this year through a fun variety of classes.

  5. Host a games night - Often when you ask someone how they have been, the response is “SO busy”, making it nearly impossible to suggest a get together anytime soon. One of my favourite things to do is to have friends over for a casual night in, specifically one that is not planned months in advance. I highly recommend hosting a spur-of-the-moment games night and putting the invitation out there for anyone that can make it (technically it’ll get you off the couch if it gets heated enough! You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever played Taboo). Rather than feeling overwhelmed with the planning, keep it simple. Earlier this week we decided that we wanted to have friends over on Saturday, and I am making it easy by cooking up a big pot of chili and asking everyone to bring along an app plus a game that they want to play. Taking the pressure out of prepping something elaborate makes it so much easier to focus on the joy of interacting with friends. So order a pizza, grab some beers and tell your friends to swing by for a night of Cards Against Humanity!

Winter can be dreadful but with just a little bit of effort and mindful decision making, you can definitely make the best of it. Let me know in the comments below what your favourite thing to do is this season - I’m always looking for fun new ideas and suggestions.

Stay warm friends.

With love,

Palak