Dr. Kristen Mitteness
Practicing Self Care in Winnipeg
I can't encourage self care enough. We live in a fast paced society where people are often prided on being too busy or doing all of the things. Are you looking to burn yourself out? Keep it up then. For the rest of us who actually want to enjoy our lives not only today, but for always, we need to practice self care. We need to learn to slow down and enjoy the journey. If you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to fully take care of anyone else. Here are a few of my favorite places to practice self care in Winnipeg.
Thermëa - If you live in Winnipeg and haven't heard of Thermëa, you must be buried in a snow bank. And, if you haven't been there yet, you are missing out! There are a variety of saunas and pools both inside and outside. There is also a napping room. Although it is in town, you feel like your nestled in the wilderness. It's an easy place to go solo, with a partner or group, but avoid your chatty friend. Talking is discouraged. You can bring your robe or rent one for an added fee. I would bring sandals if you don't like walking around barefoot. Although I haven't eaten there, I've heard the food is great. They also offer massages and a few body treatments. I would suggest avoiding it during the weekends as it gets pretty busy. Get there an hour or two before sunset so you can experience it during day light and then at night. For right around $60, it doesn't get much better than this. You can easily spend 4-8 hours here.
FLOAT.Calm - Sensory deprivation chambers are popping up all over the place. I even found one when I was out in Canmore, AB. Winnipeg has a four to choose from. I have visited Jellyfish Float Spa and it is a beautiful space, but I haven't floated there. I have floated at FLOAT.Calm. The water is kept at the same temperature as your body so it feels really nice. It's filled with a 850 pounds of salt so you float. You sit in a dark quiet pod for 90 minutes all by yourself. Don't think you can do it? Then you should try. Are you thinking "Oh, but I'm too busy"? That is even more of a reason to get there. If it's your first time they offer a light to float with you so it isn't completely dark. The only thing that threw me off was bumping into the sides of the pod. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep for a bit. Many people do some really deep thinking and have creative ideas while floating. You are slowly awaken with music. When you are done you have your own personal shower and space to get ready in. Get in on the experience!
Moksha Yoga - I used to be that person who thought if the yoga class wasn't hard enough, it was a waste of my time. I'm now at the point that if the yoga class gets too hard, I'm laying down in savasana. Winnipeg has many yoga studios and I would highly encourage you find your favorite place. I have been to a few, but Moksha is consistently my favorite for many reasons (although I have yet to find a studio I like better than CorePower). Moksha has three locations in Winnipeg and one of them is within walking distance to my current home. If you walk, you get a free mat rental so you don't have to haul it with you on those cold, slippery, winter nights. They have lots of different classes and class times. I am a huge fan of Hot Flow, Moksha Flow (although I can't really find much of a difference between the two) and Hot Hatha. Also, I'm a giant suck for HOT yoga. I enjoy sweating without any effort. An awesome honorable mention is Yoga Public. The only downfall is that it is downtown and I do my best to avoid going downtown if I don't have to. And if you're not into the heat, get on over to Peg City Yoga or check out the classes and events through Prairie Yogi.
Embrace Nature - Have you gotten your daily dose of Vitamin N? We're not in the mountains (I almost shed a tear typing that) and we're not by the ocean, but Winnipeg has some really awesome nature-y places. Get on out to Fort Whyte Alive for skiing, sledding, paddling, hiking, running, bird watching and buffalo sighting. They have tons of events all year round as well as a cafe with a patio that overlooks the lake. The best part? It's within the perimeter! I frequently race in their 5K because instead of a t-shirt you get a headlamp. Winning!
If you want to go a bit further, I would highly recommend going out to Bird Hill Provincial Park. If you haven't eaten at Pineridge Hollow, what are you waiting for? Their restaurant is more lovely than their website, if that is even possible. They have beaches, ski and hiking trails, warming huts, green space and campsites. It's worth the short jaunt.
Assiniboine Park is in the middle of the city and cannot be missed. Tons of green space, a children's play area, the zoo and lots of events. Even though we are in the city there is lots of vitamin nature to be found. There's just something about being outside and enjoying what we have that really fills the soul.
TenSpa - I've only been to TenSpa once. It sits atop the beautiful Fort Gary Hotel. I decided to go for the facial, which I will never do again. As someone who only uses coconut oil on my skin, I had a hard time with all of the products being put on my face. However, that was my own mistake. I could have easily enjoyed a massage or the hamam which everyone raves about. I enjoyed the steam shower, sauna, snacks and fluffy robes as I waited for my treatment. It was quiet and luxurious. I will be back to check out the other services.
Leisure Guide - It almost doesn't matter what area of your life you want to improve, the Leisure Guide probably has a class for it. Not only do they have many classes to choose from, they are extremely inexpensive. You can take a cooking class, financial planning class, drawing class, pottery class, yoga class, weight lifting class or swimming class. There are classes for all ages, abilities and preferences. They release a new guide 3 times per year which can be found online or at your local library or community centre.
Here's the deal, you can truly practice self care anywhere, so I have some additional options for you if you aren't in Winnipeg:
Warm epsom salt bath, essential oils are optional
Relaxed dinner or simply tea and dessert at your favorite place
Massage, chiropractic or acupuncture
Walk around the neighborhood, if you are in Winnipeg you are never too far from the river
Now seriously, get out there and take care of yourself. If you don't, who will?