a peek inside the fishbowl

21 Nov, 2014

A bit about resolutions, and taking care of ourselves

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Challenge me, challenge you

My sense of time is distorted. Mostly because one of the publications I work on, Capital Parent Newspaper, is produced ahead of time and it messes with my internal calendar. The Christmas issue is already out and I’ve been thinking about the New Year for a couple of weeks already. Perhaps that’s where this post comes from. It’s not even the end of November but I have found my thoughts turning to my New Year’s resolutions. Here’s the thing: for once, I was actually able to keep them this year. (Well, all except for the one I wrote about here. The 52-week jar was a bit of a bust. Mostly because we were dipping into the well to fund things like school trips and forgetting to add to it. Gah.)

But for the most part, I did well. My resolutions in January 2014 included:

I think I’m a happier and healthier person because of them, even though they aren’t big ones that include climbing mountains, marathons, or gym memberships.

Sidebar: I find it fascinating how energy begets energy. I think back on how hard it was to do that first 20 minute walk, but I persevered and did it. And I did it again and again. And every time it got a tiiiiiiny bit easier. Imperceptively, really, but that’s what got me through those hard days and convinced me to go back. (Also, Facebook.)

I know I’ve written this here before, and I hate to sound like a broken record, but sometimes we need to put ourselves first, not just for us, for our health and well-being, but so we can be good to others; good parents, good bosses, good employees, good neighbours. When we put ourselves first and find what we need in order to be healthy, well-balanced, functioning citizens of the world, the rest of the stuff is more likely to fall into place. Don’t you think? I know that when I feel good, I am happier. And when I’m happier, I’m able to accomplish more, with a lighter heart, and I’m sure there has to be an effect on the people around me.

So here’s my challenge to you: will you promise to spend a few moments to take care of yourself for just one day? It could be today, it could be sometime this weekend or next week. Just find a day, and do something for yourself.


You can interpret the “take better care of myself” in any way that makes sense to you; mentally or physically or both. But remember, it’s about YOU. Here are a few ideas of the kinds of things you can do:

  • eat a balanced breakfast
  • go for a brisk walk, and push yourself to go faster
  • send the kids away and enjoy a long bath while reading a magazine
  • skip dessert and eat an apple instead
  • go to bed early
  • take the steps two at a time
  • download an app like Couch-5K or 100 pushups and challenge yourself physically
  • drink extra water throughout the day in a pretty glass
  • take your vitamins
  • floss
  • do that THING you’ve been putting off: e.g. make that doctor’s appointment already!
  • do that active THING you used to love doing and haven’t done in forever: swimming, skating, hiking, bowling, etc.
  • throw out your granny panties and buy all new underthings that make you feel great
  • fix that button on your favourite coat/shirt/cardigan
  • be vegetarian for a day
  • be a vegan for a day
  • what’s your favourite fruit or veggie? Buy it for yourself, no matter the cost, and eat it.
  • make and eat a proper lunch
  • make a coffee date with a friend

I’m sure we can collectively come up with a few more things we can do on “take care of myself” day. And I’m not suggesting a day at the spa (although wouldn’t THAT be nice?) but a tiny thing or two, that’s just for you.

Try it and see. Then come back and tell me what you did and how it made you feel. Who knows? Maybe that thing do will give you a bit of a charge, and you might find yourself repeating it the next day. Because energy begets energy, right?


3 Responses to "A bit about resolutions, and taking care of ourselves"

1 | Chantal

November 21st, 2014 at 1:55 pm


This post couldn’t come at a better time for me. I have been off work since June and the first 3 months were amazing but I have been struggling since the kids went back to school. Just this week I challenged myself to find something different to do with my hands (than play on my cel phone). I am still not sure what I will do but I am thinking. I started working out at home (fitness blender win). And yesterday when the kids were having their device time I took a bath instead of playing tetris on my phone. It does feel good!

2 | Susan

November 21st, 2014 at 3:17 pm


Like Chantal, I am also unemployed and have made some changes as a result. Namely:

* Get properly dressed every day. No pajama or yoga pants. It doesn’t have to be my Sunday best, but I like to put an effort into looking presentable each day.
* Volunteer. I found an organization (http://ecoequitable.ca/) where I can use my hobby (sewing) to help others. I spend one (sometimes two) days a week there.
* Take courses. I am currently taking 3 courses – 2 for professional reasons and 1 for a hobby.

I also try to get outside for a nice long walk every day. It’s what gives me the energy to get everything else done!

3 | Shan

November 22nd, 2014 at 12:59 pm


That was my goal for the year, but I really lost my way. Not sure why, but why not start today? Thanks for the reminder!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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