What does self care mean to you? For some it’s a vacation or lavish spa treatments. For others it’s sharing fine wine on a patio with a friend. Nothing wrong with any of that, of course, but self care doesn’t have to cost money, or take you far from home. No matter where you live in Alberta, there are ways to take care of your mind, body, and soul, as we’ll see in this week’s edition of “Five Things.” And by the way, all of these five things are free.
Take a trip down memory lane with the Neon Sign Museum in Edmonton
Ah, nostalgia. Why is this a self-care process? When we reflect on the past, we build on connections to those that came before us. Sometimes it helps us to remember and appreciate the things we loved from days gone by. In Edmonton, you can indulge in nostalgia thanks to the outdoor, 24/7 accessible Neon Sign Museum that collects some of Edmonton’s most iconic signage. There are 20 in the collection at present and all are restored to their former glory. Whether you are reliving memories of a place you used to visit or are learning about some of the shops that used to be open in the capital city, this outdoor walking diversion is as fun as it is relaxing.
Go birdwatching in Bonnyville
Being outside in nature has a lot of health benefits, so why not combine this with learning a new skill? Bring a camera and a notebook and take up birdwatching in Bonnyville. Not only are there nearly 300 species to find and identify, they are largely spotted at the area’s peaceful lakes. So, put on some walking shoes and enjoy the serenity of a lake while you discover a new hobby.
Give back to the community in Calgary (and Southern Alberta)
Giving back helps others as much as it helps ourselves, and Habitat for Humanity® Southern Alberta has a number of ways to help you achieve this. Through Habitat you can volunteer on a construction site to help build a home for a deserving family, volunteer with ReStore’s customer service or in the warehouse, or volunteer as an admin in the office or as part of the regional committee.
Enjoy some whimsy in Canmore
Have you heard of the Curbside Museum? It’s free, changes exhibits every 7-8 weeks, it’s outdoors… and it’s tiny. The micro museum is an itty bitty space tucked into a fence along a sidewalk. You never know what will be on display. Something to make you a laugh, something to make you think, maybe even something to help you better understand our changing and challenging times. Whatever is on display, you get the benefit of a walk outdoors, the appreciation of art, and something to spark the imagination.
Let a giant pinto bean in Bow Island inspire you to eat health food
Did you know that Bow Island is a big player in the dry bean industry? To celebrate the legumes it produces, the town boasts an 18-foot-high statue called Pinto MacBean. The name is… self explanatory. It is a giant pinto bean. The artist, ironically named Jon Pinto, has worked with some of the world’s biggest studios, including Disney. You’ll notice the influences in the cartoon-like features that art appreciators from around the world confirm as “cute.” While you are admiring the certified cuteness of Pinto MacBean created by Jon Pinto, take a moment to learn about how legumes can affordably and easily boost your nutrition.
Nerissa McNaughton is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the Hot Summer Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.