As the year closes, the team here at the Sidney Business Improvement Area Society would like to end 2020 by sharing our best suggestions for things you can do to support our community and keep our local economy vibrant.
Of course, to help others, we must first take care of ourselves. We’ve all dealt with the pandemic in different ways, and we may not even realize the full extent of the emotional and physical fallout until months down the road. That’s why it’s so important to look after our mental health now. Here are some ways to prioritize self-care:
Fresh air and exercise work wonders for our physical and mental health. Even a quick hike up Horth Hill or stroll along the Sidney waterfront can lift your spirits and get your heart rate up a little. Daily exercise reduces anxiety and depression, improves sleep, combats fatigue and boosts mental clarity.
Sidney’s many parks, trails and beaches are easily accessible, and enjoyable no matter the weather. Our downtown is full of festive sparkle right now, so you could take your daily stroll through downtown streets and enjoy the lights and beautiful shop window displays.
Residents have gone all out with Christmas decorations this year, too; so why not take a drive around the Peninsula to feast your eyes on your neighbours’ lights displays?
Connect with friends and family… virtually.
While we may not be able to visit in-person right now, virtual meetups act as the next best thing and keep us connected to our loved ones. Hop on a Zoom call, video chat through Facebook or Instagram Messenger, FaceTime or meet through Google Hangouts. Many clubs and organizations are still operating virtually, so consider joining a group of like-minded folks for online social meetups.
You can also try something new. Have you ever wanted to study mixology? Join a book club? Or learn how to crochet? For any given interest, there’s often an online class and associated Facebook group where you can connect with fellow hobbyists and make new virtual friends.
Have you ever tried meditation or journaling? Both are powerful ways to calm anxiety, reduce stress, cope with grief and promote happiness. Mediation can be as simple as sitting in silence for five minutes each day; or you can try apps like Calm, Headspace, Aura or 10% Happier, which provide guided meditations and even coaches to help you get started.
Support your local economy
Nothing feels better than giving back, and when we shop locally, those dollars go right back into our community. Consider doing your Christmas shopping right here in Sidney, where the speciality boutiques make even simple errands a joy instead of a task.
If you don’t feel comfortable shopping or dining in-person, you can order take out or take advantage of curbside pickup. You can also buy gift certificates to enjoy later when in-person activities are safer. (Hint: they make wonderful gifts!)
Our local Food Bank is always in need of your support, too. Donations of cash or food items benefit individuals and families right here in our community. Giving is a powerful way to feel connected, human to human. Speaking of supporting the Saanich Peninsula Food Bank, be inspired by local artist, Marion Evamy, who has works displayed throughout downtown Sidney in support of her campaign called Good HeARTed. All pieces can be views from outdoors at various businesses and are available for purchase with proceeds going to the foodbank—more information at marionevamy.com.
You can also take care of yourself and support the local economy at the same time! Many local entrepreneurs have online classes, art kits, wine, food or spa packages you enjoy at home. Essential services like massage and chiropractic care are currently allowed to operate safely under strict COVID protocols, and some beauty care services and fitness activities are available, too. It’s been a challenging year. Why not pamper yourself a little? It’s one of the most selfless things you can do.
For more information about local shopping and services, click below!