Happy new year from all of us here at Woodlot! We hope that each of you are settling into 2021 nicely and looking forward to engaging with the changing energy of a brand new year.
Oh, and by the way, how are those new year resolutions coming along?
If you’re like us, the pressure of committing to a big change come January 1st can often leave us feeling like we’ve failed only a few weeks into a new year when we quickly discover that the change we decided on in haste, is not really going to serve us as the year progresses...
Why do we feel compelled to set resolutions at all?
For centuries humans have set resolutions at the turn of a new year, so the pull to this tradition is well inherited. But calendars were not always as they are today. 4000 years ago, the Babylonians set new year resolutions in late March during the first new moon after the Spring Equinox.
In modern times, the pressure of committing to a change comes at the tail-end of of one of our most hectic seasons! While you might be ready to kick things off a little sooner than late March, we still encourage you to ditch the January 1st deadline, and spend the first month (or two!) of the year trying some rituals on for size - before making a 365 day commitment!
To give you an extra incentive, we’re hosting our first ever challenge where recipients can get paid to kick back! From January 17th -23rd, we’ll be hosting a week-long Self Care Challenge - and every day for seven days, one participant will win a $50 Woodlot Gift Card, plus, at the end of the challenge, our team will choose our favourite post of the week, and that participant will receive a $100 Woodlot Gift Card!
How it Works:
Each day, from Jan 17th - 23rd, we will post a theme for the day and some rituals you might like to try out.
All you have you do is post ANY self care ritual on Instagram and use the hashtag #WoodlotSelfCareWeek so we see it. You do NOT have to go with our theme, or practice a ritual we suggested for that day. Woodlot defines self care as anything that feels good to you, so feel free to make it your own!
Each day we’ll choose ONE participant who will receive a $50 Woodlot Gift Card.
At the end of the week, we’ll choose our FAVOURITE post and award that participant a $100 Woodlot Gift Card.
Not up for the challenge?
Cheer participants on in the comments instead. Leave as many comments as you want on our daily posts during the challenge for the chance to win a FREE gift from us. Bonus points if you suggest a special ritual for participants to try out! Each comment = 1 entry, so be sure to keep ‘em comin’ all week long!
For those who like to plan ahead and get inspired, today we’re giving you a sneak peek of the themes our team will be exploring throughout the challenge...
Keeping in mind that you do NOT need to post about these specific themes and rituals, we hope these will still provide you with a little inspo and help you get excited about participating in the challenge!
Sunday is for Starting Again. Traditionally the ‘Day of Rest’, in modern times, not everyone’s Sunday is as restful as they may wish. Even so, there’s still a special energy around the start of a new week that each of us can tap into, regardless of what Sundays look like for us. For some of us, the act of pausing to reflect on the week behind us and reassessing our goals for the week to come is helpful. For others, making time to meditate, take a long walk, or enjoying a midday nap might be the ticket to feeling refreshed and ready to start again.
Monday is for Playing Hooky. Mondays have long been cited as the least favourite day of the week, but it doesn’t have to be that way. While we’re not encouraging anyone to ditch their responsibilities, perhaps ‘playing hooky’ on just one small task can provide you with a sense of relief. Self care doesn’t have to be about doing something extra. It can just as easily, and perhaps more importantly, be about not doing something extra. In a time where perfectionism has reached epidemic levels, there’s perhaps no sweeter self care ritual than allowing yourself to take it easy - on a Monday of all days! Ditch the dishes. Order in. Skip the gym. Make it your Monday ritual to be perfectly okay with imperfection.
Tuesday is for Choosing Wisely. Stoic philosophy teaches us that we can only control three things—what we say, what we do, and how we reframe our emotions. Now that you’re a couple days into a new week, try writing down what concerns are coming up for you. Ask for each: Am I ready to respond? Am I ready to act? Do I know how I feel? If none of the above are a yes, could it be that this specific issue is not meant to be addressed right now? Cross off anything you are not really ready to respond to, and vow to focus on what you can actually make headway on right now. Light some Palo Santo to clear the air and continue your week with a refined list of achievable items.
Wednesday is for Release. It’s been said the cure for everything is water - tears, sweat, and the sea. Whether you want to put on your favourite sappy film and get your cry on, tune in to one of those virtual fitness classes that have been popping up everywhere and sweat it out, or settle into a salt water bath using epsom salts and your favourite Woodlot Essential Oil, you’re bound to find healing in a mid-week release.
Thursday is for Trying Something New. By this point in the week, our hope is that you’ve tried several rituals that are new to you, but today we encourage you to try out the ritual of trying something new on a weekly basis. Not every ritual has to be the same thing week after week. Indeed, changing up, say, your route to work, or the way you cook a favourite food, or even your morning routine can create the space for inspiration, fresh perspective, and even just the opportunity to learn that you actually prefer doing things another way. While rituals are often associated with habits and routine, we’re big believers in self care always being what feels good to you, and while that definition evolves, our rituals can evolve with it.
Friday is for Having Fun. It used to be that Friday was the day we most looked forward to, and while current events have limited our options, we still owe it to ourselves to make fun a priority in our lives. Often the most neglected ingredient in the recipe for self care, a pinch of fun can have a huge impact on our overall wellbeing. Whether it’s taking in a comedy on Netflix, dusting off an old board game, or getting into an art project, finishing your week with something that’s just for fun is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy body, mind, and spirit.
Saturday is for Finishing on a Positive Note. By the end of a given week, you may have stuck to your guns on some commitments, and others may have fallen by the wayside. It’s all progress. Find an end of week ritual that honours your efforts as well as your right to a day that doesn’t require effort. Maybe it’s a commitment to staying offline on Saturdays so you can enjoy time with your kiddos. Maybe your end of the week ritual is to go out for a latte and catch up on your reading. Perhaps a special meal, candle light, and some soothing music can make Saturday night feel like reaching the finish line of a long week. Once again, self care is all about what feels good to you!
While these are some of the themes our team has been looking forward to exploring, we are even more excited to hear from you, and see which rituals are resonating with this community for 2021. Keep an eye out for our daily posts next week and join us in the comments to see what other rituals are being recommended!
Feeling inspired to invest in some Woodlot Rituals? This weekend use the code STARTANEW for 15% off site wide (Gift Sets, Bundles, and Amour Collection Candles and Essential Oils are not included). Code expires at 11:59 pm PST on Monday the 18th.
All images by Sheena Zilinski (@sheenazilinski).