wellness

Best Of: Health + Wellness for Freelancers

I often get asked what is the hardest part about being a freelance writer or self-employed. While I might initially say it is the daily grind of pitching, writing and networking, I think the hardest part is actually making time for myself and focusing on health and wellness.

I’ve been working from home as a freelance writer for about six and a half years now and it has definitely been the most fulfilling experience of my working career. While working for yourself can give you an incredible sense of freedom, you can also end up falling into a workaholic pattern and never allow yourself the freedom you had originally expected in this career move. Focusing on your health and wellness should be just as important as invoicing for your work. To maintain your creativity, ambition and energy you definitely need to be thinking about your physical and mental health at the same time.

Since becoming a freelancer, my life has gone through a number of personal changes—the most important of which was becoming a mother. There are so many benefits to being a self-employed parent but it also means constantly evolving and being adaptable with how you work. It is easy to let your health and wellness slide to the wayside while you are caring for another human as well as putting in so much effort and time to your career or business.

In partnership with Alberta Blue Cross, I am sharing a few of my tips for maintaining your health and wellness as well as ways to ensure that you make preventative healthcare measures a part of your daily life. I was previously an Alberta Blue Cross plan member when I was first starting out as a freelancer and have been a plan member again since the start of the year. I feel like ensuring that you have health benefits as a self-employed or freelance person is very important. I treat it just like another yearly business expense and it has given me the freedom to get massages, buy new glasses and contacts, seek counselling when I need it and not be out of pocket for prescriptions. It is a small cost to pay (either monthly or yearly) to have that piece of mind of not having to come up with the cash for prescription medication when you get sick or be thrown by a medical emergency.

Alberta Blue Cross offers an online wellness program for their plan members called Balance. This program  helps plan members take control of their health and wellness by giving them the opportunity to receive wellness-inspired rewards as well as take part in health risk assessments, gain access to health trackers and educate themselves with interactive tutorials.  It is all part of their “Blue For Life” vision at Alberta Blue Cross, and their expanded focus on wellness—to ensure that the individuals and communities they serve are not only healthy but also well.

Besides being a freelance writer, I am also a work-from-home mom. Daily exercise is not only important to me but also to my preschooler. We make an effort to get out of the house every day to run around—whether it is just to run errands or to run around our neighbourhood park or playground. We love going for long walks together so I try to make sure we fit one or two in every week. Beyond the benefits of being active everyday, I find it does wonders for my creativity and motivation to step back from the computer and get some fresh air. Some of my best ideas are visualized when out in nature, exercising or taking some sort of technology break.

Which brings me to rest and mental health; your mind is powerful and it is what your entire business relies on so it is very important to keep your mental health in good shape too. I highly recommend seeking counseling at anytime in your life to talk to an unbiased trained individual about your concerns, whether it be business or personal.

Another way I keep my health and wellness in check is ensuring I make time for myself to seek out inspiration or let my creativity flow. Anytime I’ve felt stagnant or stuck on an idea, it has been because I hadn’t made my creativity a priority. It sounds really simple to carve out time in your schedule to be strictly creative or seek out new ways of looking at or thinking about things, but personally I always feel a twinge of guilt for doing so. It is something I’ve heard from many of my fellow freelancers: it is hard to break free from the “must-always-be-working” feeling of being self-employed. Without taking that time however, you’re only doing a disservice to yourself by not allowing yourself to form new ideas, experience new things and find new ways of doing things. Wellness is a definitely a word that gets thrown around a lot these days and can mean very different things to different people. For me, the definition of wellness is anything you are doing to actively prevent future health issues. It could be anything from taking yoga and pilates classes weekly to seeing a psychologist once a month to reading self-care books. You get to choose what wellness means to you and how it affects your personal health.

This post is in partnership with Alberta Blue Cross . All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content.

SWAPPING SCREEN TIME FOR GREEN TIME

With the start of the school year rapidly approaching now is the time to get your children’s eyes examined by a doctor of optometry.  A comprehensive eye exam from a doctor of optometry is essential for all kids to make sure they are ready (and able) to start the year seeing clearly. Going for a regular eye exam is the best way to ensure that your child’s eyes are healthy. The doctor of optometry will work with you  to tackle any vision problems that may arise. I have partnered with the Alberta Association of Optometrists to help spread awareness of the importance of your child visiting the optometrist each year, how important (and awesome) sunglasses are and ways you can reduce the risk for myopia in your child’s eyes. Myopia, otherwise known as nearsightedness, is a common eye condition where close objects look clear but distant objects appear blurred.

As someone with eye sensitivity, I’ve always worn sunglasses religiously – they are my favourite accessory. Jack has been wearing sunglasses since he was a wee babe – and luckily thanks to my diligence so early in his life, he actually never leaves the house without grabbing a pair of them. One thing that is super important when shopping for sunglasses for your kids (and yourself) is to make sure that they have 100% UV filter protection. Sunglasses should block out 99-100% of both UVA and UVB light.

Here is a crazy statistic that I just learned: researchers estimate more than 80% of our lifetime exposure to UV rays happens before age 18. That is pretty unreal and really drives home the point that children should be wearing protective eyewear since birth!

Did you know that sun protection should be worn year-round when eyes are exposed to the sun? I find that Alberta is especially bright and sunny during the winter with the glare off the white snow; it is super important to keep those eyes protected. Sunglasses aren’t just for summertime! If your child is an avid outdoor swimmer in the summertime, you can also purchase 100% UV filter goggles to help protect their eyes as they enjoy swimming.

The Alberta Association of Optometrists is promoting something that I truly love; swapping screen time for green time. The Association is encouraging families to spend more time outdoors rather than on screens. There have been direct correlations made between an increase in access to advanced technology (phones and tablets) and an increase in cases of myopia in children.

In today’s day and age, we can rely on technology a lot throughout our days – sometimes a lot more than we should. Getting out into the great outdoors, exploring or taking a walk through the neighbourhood is an excellent way to give those eyes a break. Especially with young children, we should all try swapping the screen time for more green time. Myopia typically gets worse with age – so it is key to start paying attention to how much screen time your child is getting as early as possible.

Jack was due for his annual appointment and he did great – but we did discover that he has an astigmatism and may require glasses this fall. He is scheduled in for further testing later this month to confirm that he needs glasses. He starts school in September so finding this out now is such a relief as I want him to be able to focus on learning and not worrying about being able to see things properly. We’ll be shopping for prescription glasses and sunglasses for him soon!         

**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with the Alberta Association of Optometrists. All writing is my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool!

TOP 5 INNER-CITY CALGARY PARKS + PLAYGROUNDS

Summer is in full swing and all Jack and I are doing is planning our next inner-city adventure. From natural playgrounds to outdoor pools to the perfect picnic spots, there are endless opportunities to enjoy these beautiful summer days right here in the middle of the city. I’ve partnered with Alberta Blue Cross to share our favourite parks and playgrounds to inspire you to get out and be active with your family this summer. We walk everywhere (and are getting our bike repaired shortly) and love exploring the city by foot. All of these fantastic parks are in easy walking distance of each other so you can make a day of it or come back time and time again for some fun adventures with your family.

A really exciting aspect of Alberta Blue Cross is how they get involved in their local communities by encouraging people to be active and take preventative measures towards a healthier lifestyle. One avenue that they explore this through is the Healthy Communities Grant Program, which is an annual grant program that supports and promotes active living across the province. Five $50,000 grants are awarded each year to support community amenities and facilities that promote active living. That is a LOT of money that could go a long way to impact an entire community.

So, you are probably wondering what is a valid entry for projects that can be entered into the grant program. Some examples include construction or replacement of children’s playgrounds, outdoor adult gyms, cycling paths and recreational facility improvements, but if you have a really great idea for your community there is a good chance you can make a good proposal for their consideration. The deadline for applications is August 31st so you still have plenty of time to get your great ideas into Alberta Blue Cross! Grants will be awarded in December. Apply now or check out their website for more details.

Like I mentioned, one of my favourite ways to keep active in the city is to explore all of the amazing public parks that we have. Jack and I have such an amazing time heading out on little adventures; the further the park, the more exercise we get and the more fun we have together. It is a win-win.

I’ve rounded up my favourite parks in the city to visit, in no particular order. Perhaps you’ll make them part of your summer or perhaps they will inspire you for your own Healthy Communities Grant Program application—with fresh and innovative ways to improve your neighbourhood parks.

Central Memorial Park is definitely one of my favourite parks in the city—not just because it is absolutely beautiful. While it doesn’t have a playground on site, it makes up for it in sprawling lawns, pathways, flowering gardens and beautiful fountains—including sidewalk fountains that kids can wade in —and is home to the oldest Calgary Public Library location in the city, Memorial Park Library. We love visiting this park thanks to its close proximity to home but also for the heritage aspect, which I feel is another important element to maintain. Many days we will come here for a picnic, to play in the sidewalk fountains and visit the library. With stunning vistas of downtown and the Calgary Tower, it is easily the most picturesque park in the city.

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Haultain Park, which is conveniently located across the street from Central Memorial Park is a really great recreational park in the Beltline with a huge playground, tennis courts and a field for kicking a ball around. It is located right around the corner from the City of Calgary Beltline Fitness Centre, which is another great resource in the community for active living. It is also home to the historic Haultain School which is Calgary’s oldest sandstone school and the first public school to have electricity and running water. It is now one of the Parks Foundation Calgary offices.

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St. Patrick’s Island is one of the most popular parks in the city, located just over the St. Patrick’s Island bridge from the East Village and just a stone’s throw from the Calgary Zoo. The Island re-opened in 2015 and quickly became an imaginative home-away-from-home for kids and families of all ages. One of the most magical aspects of the park is their commitment to public art with a beautiful sculpture called Bloom. There is also a seasonal “beach” area for wading and fishing, endless meandering pathways and  the amazing Rise which is a hill built into the park that’s perfect for tobogganing or a carefree roll down. Endless fun can be had at St. Patrick’s Island—there is always something new to discover.

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Thomson Family Park is located just a quick walk from the bustling 17th Avenue SW. With a super fun playground complete with a giant slide (that can be accessed by climbing a staircase or a hill) this is a great spot to bring your kids for an afternoon picnic. In the summer, they have sidewalk fountains that are an absolute blast for the kids (and dogs) not to mention they cool everyone right down. There is an open green space for play, which actually used to be home to the Calgary Lawn Bowling Club. It is transformed into an outdoor skating rink in the winter—such a great spot all year round!

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Riley Park is the absolute best park if you want to feel like you’re on vacation right in the middle of the city. Their wading pool waterpark is the best place to hang out on a hot sunny day with some friends—it is complete with a gorgeous little island in the middle with huge trees that provide ample shade for those of us who want to enjoy the warm weather but stay out of the sun. Riley Park is also home to a huge field for getting active and playing sports in.  The amazing playground on site will certainly spark some imaginative play in your child. One of the secret hidden gem parts of the park is the tiny fairy home that some creative soul installed into the base of one of the older trees on the path leading out of the park; it truly makes you slow down and appreciate the small things.

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**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Alberta Blue Cross for their Healthy Communities Grant Program. All writing is my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool.

 

ZERO EXCUSE GO

**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Zero Excuse Go. All writing is my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool.

I cannot stress enough how important everyday movement is – not only for general fitness but for your overall wellness. A big part of my lifestyle is that I walk everywhere; I live in inner city Calgary and it suits my lifestyle to just be walking distance from everything that I need.

As someone who has seen their body fluctuate in size and weight (hello pregnancy + the after effects combined with major and stressful life changes) I know how hard it can be to find a path of health, weight loss methods and a fitness routine that works perfectly for you. But as a (fairly) young mom with a growing young boy, I know how important it is to maintain my health through nutrition and exercise.

Zero Excuse Go is a new Canadian E-health online program that uses Telemedicine to work with clients on their major weight loss goals. This isn’t for people who just want to lose a few pounds – it is for people who want to overhaul their entire outlook on weight loss (typically at least 40 lbs) and actually see major results.

Just a quick disclaimer that I have not used Zero Excuse Go (on average it is about a year long process) but wanted to help spread the word about this Canadian-based service that has the possibility of changing people’s lives drastically by improving their movement, nutrition and overall outlook on their health.

So, you are probably wondering what is Telemedicine and how does it work? How do you lose weight using Telemedicine? Essentially, it is the remote diagnosis and treatment with a team of trained health professionals consisting of a psychologist, dietician, fitness trainer and nurse through telecommunication technology. When you sign up for Zero Excuse Go to achieve weight loss by telemedicine you are monitored by their multidisciplinary team that is in contact with you every single day, meaning they can track your weight, physical activity, blood pressure, blood sugar level and beyond. So, how do they get this information? As part of the program, you are sent a scale, fitness tracker, blood pressure measurement device, glucometer among other devices depending on your individual health needs. The data from all of these gadgets is sent directly to the clinic where the team will analyze it in order to make suggestions and provide guidance and coaching to you.

There are two parts to how the team will monitor you: telesurveillance and video conferencing. Telesurveillance is the remote patient monitoring, where they count your steps and other info. The data comes in on a daily basis. Video conferencing is done with a team of professionals on a rotating basis. Each week the patient meets with one health professional (nurse, dietician, psychologist etc) and the topic is around the health professional’s area of expertise. For example, the meeting with the psychologist may be about motivation or how to set goals.

Based on your results, the team will create a weight loss program unique to you complete with a plan for healthy eating and exercise. If you have over 40 lbs to lose, this will be an amazing asset to your weight loss journey. With the constant regular monitoring they are able to check in with you to see where you are at and make changes or adjustments based on your progress. The program can last anywhere from four to 12 months, depending on your needs. Once you meet your target weight, there is an optional maintenance program that works with clients to make sure they don’t regain weight after the initial program is over. Accountability is a huge part of the program; the patient’s accountability to themselves by looking at their progress on their phone and fitbit and the patient’s accountability to their team of health professionals which adds motivation.     

I’ve read and listened to the client testimonials and it is really inspiring and impressive to see how these people have transformed themselves – in really quite a short amount of time. It shows me that when people are being coached and guided by professionals, they are capable of truly improving their health and changing their entire lifestyle – with real results. I also think it is great that it is a Canadian-based company – and actually the first of its kind in Canada.

If you’re looking to lose some weight and revolutionize the way you approach eating and fitness, Zero Excuse Go could be a game-changer for you. To get information about the program, pricing and how it would work for you, simply sign up on their website, or check them out at their Facebook page here.

BECAUSE KINDNESS STICKS

Let’s end bullying in schools – once and for all. It sounds like a daunting yet inspiring task, doesn’t it? The idea of quashing the kind of negativity that SO many of us were faced with (if not all of us) during our formative school years is downright thrilling. My son won’t be in school full-time for a couple more years, but I’m already wondering what things will be like then. Hopefully our schools will be more than equipped with bullying prevention programs and it won’t be an issue anymore but we still have a long way to go to get to that point.

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That’s why I’m partnering with Shaw to bring attention to their Kindness Sticks Grant Program, which rewards youth who want to make a difference in their school. From now until April 30th, students across Canada can apply to earn 1 of 10 grants of up to $5,000 to bring a positive initiative to life. Working together to apply for the grant is a great way to get your kids involved in making their school a better place and encourage them to spread positivity in their community.

There are endless possibilities for your kids to dream up – all it takes is some creative brainstorming! I’ve been dreaming up a few ideas myself that I would have loved to see at my school when I was a kid:

  • How inspiring would it be to bring in some live music for a concert centered around positivity and kindness? Getting the school band involved would be a great way to get everyone participating in the event.
  • Another fun idea would be to have a ‘free lunch’ day and organize a school-wide picnic, encouraging students to bring a picnic blanket, make new friends over delicious snacks and enjoy some sunshine during the day.
  • Why not start a kindness club whose members perform random acts of kindness throughout the year? Those acts of kindness could be anything from providing students with some great snacks to get them through busy exam time, or small thoughtful gifts like flowers in the cafeteria – there are so many ways to make someone’s day!

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If you are looking for a way to help inspire positivity and bullying prevention at home, it can be as simple as creating daily initiatives that bring happiness to your child’s life or even for your own well-being and self-care. You can then take those ideas out into the world and implement them at work, school or anywhere you go. My idea is to leave little notes with daily affirmations and positive thoughts around to brighten the day of anyone who might see them.

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There is a lot of opportunity to spread good will just through words or actions. I looked on Pinterest and started collecting inspiring quotes and affirmations that I knew would help me start the day with a positive outlook and inspire others to pass on the good vibes. I used the sticky notes Shaw sent me for Pink Shirt Day in February (another great bullying prevention initiative!), but any sticky note will do. If your kids can’t read/write yet, you can help them practice writing words like LOVE, KINDNESS, GENTLE, NICE, or simply draw symbols like hearts, happy faces and rainbows. It is a super fun way to get them involved and spreading positivity in their own way.

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If you’re interested in learning more about the program and entering your child’s great idea for creating inclusive, supportive environments at their school, be sure to read more about the Shaw Kindness Sticks Grant Program here! Don’t forget that the deadline for entries is April 30th so be sure to enter soon to be considered.

REAL LIFE SUPERHEROES IN THE SKY

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Life can change in an instant and services like STARS Air Ambulance are the ones who can truly STARS provides critical care in life and death situations.

In the early 1980s, studies showed about half the deaths due to trauma could have been prevented if patients had received critical care sooner. When Dr. Greg Powell lost a young mother, who was being transported from a rural area to Calgary by ground ambulance, he decided something had to change.

That’s when he founded STARS. STARS first launched off the ground in 1985, the year I was born, so as a born-and-raised Calgarian, I know how important and essential it is to keep this life-saving service available in our province. Every time my son Jack and I see STARS in the air, we do a cheer for the real life superheroes on their way to help save someone in need. STARS air ambulance is now an integrated part of the Western Canadian emergency response system operating six bases in communities across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

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For family day, we received a truly special gift from STARS which included this beautiful wooden STARS helicopter that Jack absolutely treasures as well as a note from one of STARS’ patients. Read the note here – it was really heart-wrenching to read because it puts these tragedies in perspective – this is a real child who endured a traumatic, life-changing experience but was saved thanks to the medical professionals that were able to reach them in time.

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Dear friend of STARS,

Being in a car crash is scary. When I was six, I was thrown through the windshield of our family car onto the highway, close to my home. I was on my way to school.

My body was very sore and I had a really bad brain injury. My family was very worried about me. Our house was far away from a big city, so the paramedics knew to call STARS so the helicopter could carry me to the hospital quickly.  I was in a coma for three weeks and more than 400 people came to visit me.

Today, I am so much better. I go to school where my favourite subject is math. My teachers and my grandmother help me do my school work. I also play lacrosse and bug my brother a lot.

Even though being in a helicopter was cool, I don’t think I want it to happen again. I know that it took a whole bunch of people to save my life and that makes me happy.

  • Casey

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They are currently in the midst of their big fundraising campaign; here in Alberta, a significant amount of STARS’s operating budget comes from charitable sources, including the lottery

Fundraiser. If you feel so inclined, I’d love for you to check out their lottery tickets. This lottery fundraiser is crucial to the ongoing operation of STARS and tickets start at only $25. There are some seriously incredible prizes up for grabs including cars, vacations and more. The ticket sales deadline is March 22. Get your tickets here!

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In the meantime, keep an eye out for those real life superheros up in the sky and give them a wave! If you’ve been touched by STARS in some way be sure to share your story on social media using the hashtag #ISupportSTARS.

This post is in partnership with STARS however all words and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting such an amazing cause like STARS here on The Archives of Cool.

SEEING MORE POSSIBILITIES

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I have never taken my eyesight for granted. It feeds my creativity; it is my main source of productivity as a writer, blogger and photographer; I rely on my eyesight constantly as I seek out the best in decor, design and lifestyle trends for my work. As someone who works in a visual field, I couldn’t imagine not maintaining my eye health.

I spend hours behind the camera every month shooting interiors and products – and then more hours editing the photos in Photoshop on my computer. Once the photos are edited, then I am writing the articles or blog posts to accompany them.

Social media also plays a huge role in my job – I not only use it for promoting my work but also for connecting with like-minded individuals. Instagram in particular is where I find a lot of amazing designers, makers and interesting homes to feature in my columns. Without my “good eye” I wouldn’t be able to seek out these incredible sources of inspiration for my articles.

All of this being said, spending a lot of time in front of screens means I need to also spend a lot of time giving my eyes the rest they need. It is so important to take breaks while working – staring at a screen for sometimes four hours with no break can lead to bad headaches, dry eyes and even blurry vision.

Earlier this year I partnered with the Canadian Ophthalmological Society to share their See The Possibilities campaign and I’ve learned SO MUCH about the role of an ophthalmologist and the impact they have on lives of their patients. Most people don’t know the difference between an ophthalmologist, an optometrist and an optician. Luckily, they’ve given me the full scoop so I can share it with you:

If you don’t know the difference, ophthalmologists specialize in eye and vision care and are the only eye care professionals who are medical doctors. They are trained to perform eye exams, diagnose and treat eye diseases, prescribe medications and perform surgery. They also write prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses. While other eye health professionals can correct vision, only an ophthalmologist can restore it. Ophthalmologists are essentially the medical “quarterbacks” of the eye health team. They work collaboratively with the other eye O’s (opticians and optometrists) and other medical specialists to ensure optimal patient treatment and care.

Optometrists examine eyes for both vision and health problems and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. An optometrist receives a doctor of optometry (OD), but is not a medical doctor.

Opticians use prescriptions written by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist to fit and sell eyeglasses and other eyewear.

As part of the See The Possibilities campaign, there are a number of amazing patient stories that share the transformative effect ophthalmologists have on the lives of their patients as well as the lives of their loved ones and family members. It’s so inspiring to see and also such a great reminder to remember how important it is to maintain your vision health. I know I will continue to put an emphasis on my own eye health and also on my son’s eye health. With a family full of people who wear glasses and contacts, I can only expect one day he might have to as well.

 

To learn more and watch inspiring patient videos visit seethepossibilities.ca

 

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This post is in partnership with the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content.

SUMMER SKIN WITH EMPOWER

First things first; when it comes to self-care, health and wellness, one of the most important elements is taking care of your skin. That means regularly cleansing your skin, making sure you protect with sunscreen and moderate sun exposure and moisturizing it daily. Paying attention to your skin type and how your skin reacts to different foods, environments, seasons etc. is all part of that self-care that will ensure your skin feels and looks great.

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I recently was introduced to Empower, a Calgary-based skincare company that creates not only beautiful products but also creates business opportunities for women who are looking to get their start at entrepreneurism. First off, I love that the products include such great ingredients like organic aloe. It really makes a difference when a company cares about their ingredients.

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I tried out five different Empower products: Radiate Body Butter, Nurture am/pm Moisturizer, Organic Aloe Night Treatment with probiotics, Renew Natural Enzyme Exfoliant with Organic Aloe and the Clean Foaming Cleanser.  I was really impressed with all of the products – especially the Organic Aloe Night Treatment; it is so light and fresh feeling and you know it is working some great healing magic on your skin overnight.

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Empower has made it really easy to follow a skincare routine that is fairly simple and uncomplicated while also feeling great on your skin. Their three-step program starts with the Foaming Cleanser which is loaded with all natural plant and fruit based ingredients. After you gently cleanse your skin you move on to the Natural Enzyme Exfoliant with Organic Aloe. Natural enzymes from ingredients like papaya and pineapple give your skin a youthful glow as you exfoliate. Lastly the am/pm Moisturizer is going to hydrate and smooth out your skin. The formula is creamy without feeling heavy or greasy. It absorbs into your skin very quickly, leaving your face feeling light and hydrated. Overall the whole lineup is fantastic and I can see why this company has gained such growth.

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I caught up with the amazing entrepreneur behind this great company, Deb Bateman, to chat about how she started Empower and some of the amazing things about her journey in entrepreneurship, skincare and working with women. Empower is more than just a skincare product line, it is also a company that allows women to become their own boss, work from home and sell the product themselves.

Tell me a bit about how you got started with Empower.

I was a single mom with two small children, running hotels and I wanted more balance in my life. I wanted to find my passion. I quit my job in 2000, three weeks before Christmas and decided that I was going to start a training company based on my love of working with people. My company was called The Affinities Group. Over the next ten years, I was really fortunate to have the privilege to meet and work with many First Nations people through my work. I always wanted to create something that would help women start their own business.

I met with several groups of women that I knew well and trusted with my business ideas, and I said “if I were to start this company – what do you think it would take to be successful?”. They responded with: confidence, strength and honour. That is what I ended up calling our three Empower collections. Our skincare is confidence, bodycare is honour and haircare is strength – the last one out of respect to First Nations people and the importance of hair in their culture.

What was most important to you when starting Empower?

I wanted to create a company that would empower women to run their own businesses that don’t have the initial skills to start their own company. I wanted to help them get from point A to point B. A lot of people want to be entrepreneurs but they don’t know where to start. We’ve grown a lot since we’ve started – I believe that our company’s vision is truly powerful. Our focus is definitely helping people with the entrepreneurial side of things with amazing skincare and bodycare products. We have some amazing women who are working with us doing amazing things for themselves and their families. It is truly awe-inspiring to see.

If you are interested in getting involved with Empower and becoming an Independent Business Owner simply click through and sign up for more information or call 1-855-465-0819.

This post is in partnership with Empower. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content.

SEE THE POSSIBILITIES

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I have always had somewhat poor eyesight. I still remembering being in grade school and squinting at the chalkboard trying to make out the words. I still remember getting my first pair of glasses in grade four and suddenly being able to see so clearly. My eyes continued to get worse all through my childhood and into my twenties. Now they’ve seemed to finally slow down and stay somewhat consistent – a big relief to me as my contact lens prescription is already pretty high.

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Working as a writer and photographer requires me to take good care of my eye health. With a career that focuses on décor and design, my eyesight is super important to me – otherwise how would I experience life the way I do – or even make a living? In almost every part of my day to day I rely on my eyesight to create, write and share with my readers and followers.

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By partnering with the Canadian Ophthalmology Society to share their See The Possibilities campaign, I’ve learned a bit more about the role of an ophthalmologist and the impact they have on their patients. Most people don’t know the difference between an ophthalmologist, an optometrist and an optician. Here is what you need to know:

Ophthalmologists specialize in eye and vision care and are the only eye care professionals who are medical doctors. They are trained to perform eye exams, diagnose and treat eye diseases, prescribe medications and perform surgery. They also write prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses. While other eye health professionals can correct vision, only an ophthalmologist can restore it. Ophthalmologists are essentially the medical “quarterbacks” of the eye health team. They work collaboratively with the other eye O’s (opticians and optometrists) and other medical specialists to ensure optimal patient treatment and care.
Optometrists examine eyes for both vision and health problems and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. An optometrist receives a doctor of optometry (OD), but is not a medical doctor.

Opticians use prescriptions written by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist to fit and sell eyeglasses and other eyewear.

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Now that you know the difference between these three professions, you can see how important it is to have all three to care and maintain your eye health. As part of the See The Possibilities campaign, there are a number of amazing patient stories that share the transformative effect ophthalmologists have on the lives of their patients as well as the lives of their loved ones and family members. It’s so inspiring to see and also such a great reminder to remember how important it is to maintain your vision health.

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To learn more and watch inspiring patient videos visit seethepossibilities.ca

 

This post is in partnership with the Canadian Ophthalmology Society, Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content.

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