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Breathe Now.

Created by four incredible local women here in Victoria, BC, Breathe Now is a women’s conference taking place THIS weekend at UVIC (April 14-15).

In their own words: ‘Breathe Now, is about getting together, with like-minded women, slowing down for a day and a half, and reminding ourselves to Breathe!’

You just need to take a look at the schedule to see what a motivator and inspiration this event is going to be. From keynote sessions with award winning journalist, Rona Maynard and rock goddess, Bif Naked, to information sessions on natural health, mental health, self image and success in a man’s world, Breathe Now is a gathering of strong insightful women with a plethora of experiences and successes they’re willing to share and explore. Lucky us.

Add to all this a Groove class with Victoria’s very own Liz Zdunich, a spot of knitting instruction with Katherine Caughran and some terrific vendors and exhibitors *cough cough cough* (yes UsedEverywhere will be there ) and I’d say it’s the perfect weekend getaway!

Breathe Now. A Conference in Celebration of Wonderful Women

So given that the Breathe Now is about taking a time out, I wanted to chat to some of the contributors about how they find this sort of down time on an ordinary day. I asked several of the speakers the following question: ‘You have had an extremely busy day. There may have been a few work/family hiccups that have taken some intense concentration to resolve. You know that when you get home you have three hours to yourself before your next pressing engagement. Tell us three things you will do to wind down and prepare for the evening!’

Here are some responses. As many of you may have guessed, a nice cup of tea, hugs with kids, walks and the power of water all go a long way when it comes to winding down and finding clarity, focus and motivation. And from my own humble experience, I’m going to add that a large glass of red wine can also have its benefits now and again!

Each of these women are presenting at Breathe Now, please click their names to find out more about their lectures and workshops.

Rona Maynard: ‘I’d get outside to clear my mind and relax my body with a brisk walk, letting my thoughts drift as I stride along. This always sharpens my perspective on a challenge great or small. Back home I’d look at something beautiful that inspires me. There’s lots of art on the walls and I always keep favourite poems close at hand. I’d look back on past successes achieved under pressure and remind myself, “I did that and I’ll do this, too!”‘

Liz Zdunich, yoga facilitator, groove instructor and all round health and wellness guru: ‘I would have a shower and do some affirmations. Yoga practice, maybe a hot cup of tea, snuggle my babies and get outside to breathe.’

Liz Zdunich - Groove Instructor

Time To Get Your Groove On with Liz Zdunich of Namaste Inspired Athletics.

Rita Chand, award nominee and hug lover: ‘Likely I would go for a walk, plan my meals for the following day and catch up on some blogs’ Rita assured me that she is not as boring as this answer might let on, but I thought this answer was simple and to the point and that’s where it’s at when you are under pressure. Plus, given that Rita has hugged 1000+ people in the last year and is now aiming for 10,000 hugs in 100 different cities, I’d say she is a pretty interesting and inspiring gal!

Bonnie PollardMayfair Shopping Centre’s Fashion Stylist: ‘ I’d put on a big pot of “fruity” herbal tea, pull up a big comfy floor cushion to play board games or lego with my little kids and sneak a couple pages reading of a favourite gardening/home decor book ~ while the kiddies play nearby.’

Shelley Humble, founder of ‘[I] find a quiet place in my house, pour myself a cup of tea or a glass of wine and just sit quietly and allow my mind to go over the day one more time. Get any excess thoughts, concerns out of me and then just let it go. That part of the day is done. Then I start going over what I am up to that evening. I get myself pumped up and excited. If I have time I shower and then totally go through the steps I do in the morning to start my day. Shower, hair dry, hair curl, lotions, makeup. Fresh perfume and fresh clothes! It is a physical exercise that makes me feel like it is a completely new day and I am just starting out. Now I am fresh and willing to face anything that comes my way!’ I absolutely love this answer, this routine is a great way to feel like you are dusting off the stress of the day and starting again.

Katie Macdonald, cocktail connoisseur: ‘Have a shower… a very long shower, sit down with a few cheeses, pickled beets, and mustards and read a book that has nothing to do with work – a pleasure read.’

Mixologist, Kate Mcdonald. A Woman in a Man's World.

Sandy Ibrahim, Hit to Fit instructor: ‘ I’d make a mental a list of what I need to do before bed. If I haven’t already worked out, I’d put that first and I’d make it a focused and intense one then I’d go home and have hot bath.’

Dr. Marianne Trevorrow, naturopathic physician: ‘Boil water and have a cup of chai tea with almond milk and honey.  Read for 30 minutes while sipping my tea. Go for a walk along with Inner Harbour (I live downtown) if the weather is nice. Catnap (I love my sleep).’

Barb Hopkins, CPCA ‘Three hours to myself…..hmm that sounds like heaven! A lot would depend on what the evening is going to bring. If it was a nice
day, probably a walk would be in order. If there was no further commitments for the evening a long hot soak in the tub with a glass of wine could melt
the day away.’

Leona Fowler, GET CLEAR facilitator, photographer and creative writer: ‘First I would read a book for my 7 year old daughter because we can relax together in bed and cuddle while reading. Taking shower is always my saver and going over my GET CLEAR workshop for that evening.’

So there you have it, simple steps from some amazing women. If you haven’t already, take a look at the Breathe Now speaker line up, it’s very impressive. I’ll be there with the UsedEverywhere crew so make sure you stop by our booth and say hallo! See you there!


Marketing Manager at Lover of yoga, bees, red wine, rock n roll music, good books and mountain views.

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