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Winter is here, and with it come shorter days, colder nights, and the desire to hibernate until spring returns. While it’s tempting to wish the dark season away, it can be a potent time to tend to our wellness – as individuals and as a community. “Self-care” is a term that’s been thrown around quite a bit, and while it can be easy to dismiss it as frivolous, self- and community-care can be a powerful tool for transformation during the winter. This year, Sustainable Connections is highlighting local businesses with a focus on wellness to support you during this season.

Well-being is linked to our connection to nature. And the tea selections from Living Earth Herbs exemplify that connection. Winter is a beautiful season, but it also comes with its fair share of sniffles and sneezes. During Winter Wellness, Living Earth will be offering a buy-one-get-one deal on their top-selling wellness teas: Berry Immune, Breathe Deep, Fever Relief, Lung Tone, and Winter Wellness. 

Em’s Herbals is a local company that also prioritizes connection to nature, thanks to their local, sustainable, and organic herbs. They cater to the natural food store and herb store owner, offering wholesale as well as retail. They also share a line of certified organic herb-infused oils featuring mullein flower, fresh comfrey leaf, calendula, and arnica. They are focused on building community, and recently launched a new website for a more user-friendly experience. 

Photo courtesy of Em’s Herbals

Photo of Bow Sanctuary courtesy of Katie Chance of Good Chance Creative

Bow Sanctuary offers yoga, massage, & other body treatments, gardens, and workshop space in a beautiful location just off Chuckanut Drive. From Jan. 7 – Jan. 28 (consecutive Saturdays), they will offer a Foundations of Yoga Series. After all, what better way to start the New Year than by starting something new and good for your body, mind, and spirit? They also have a New Student Special –$25 for two weeks of unlimited movement! And from now until Jan. 16th new treatment clients receive 20% off any in-house body treatment

The dynamic flow classes at 3 Oms Yoga keep the blood flowing and the body flexible throughout the colder seasons. Gentler classes soothe the nervous system and promote rest and relaxation. 3 Oms is a beloved yoga studio, committed to your physical well-being, mindfulness, and connection through the practice of yoga. For $20 off your first month of membership or a 10-class package, enter the promo code NEWYEAR2023. 

Located in the same building as 3 Oms, Veritas Massage Studio shares healing, wellness, and peace in their relaxing massage studio, where they offer craniosacral, deep tissue, aromatherapy, and more. They will offer $10 off any service, Massage or Craniosacral Therapy, through February 2023 – just mention Winter Wellness special from Sustainable Connections/Think Local First to receive your discount.

Wellness also happens in community. Community meditation classes at the Chuckanut Center incorporate some gentle mindful movement for anyone who wishes, a talk on a mindfulness-related topic, and a period of guided and silent meditation.

Photo courtesy of 3 Oms Yoga

Folks can deepen their mind-body connection at MoonSea Holistic Healing. They provide holistic healing services to support those suffering from anxiety, as well as those looking to heal, reduce inner conflict, or make a change. They’re offering 10% off all sessions and package deals in January.

For those looking to invigorate their connection with their body, Joy of Pilates has you covered. Their studio’s goal is to provide fitness and health instruction to their community in a warm and motivating environment. They’re currently running a new client special: 2 weeks unlimited fitness classes (in-studio and online) for $35.

As temperatures drop and the air (both outside and in!) gets dry, you can visit Terra Anima Wellness and receive a sliding-scale facial. Terra Anima shares skincare services, yoga classes, and workshops to cultivate and share radical self-care. They’re a new business bringing wellness to Whatcom County. Teachers, first responders, and healthcare workers all receive 20% off their services during their Winter Wellness promotion.

Kara’s Beauty Barn is another local business that is a relaxing environment for those looking to feel their own unique beauty. Kara’s Beauty Barn offers skincare, body care, haircare, and more.

Photo courtesy of Northwest Life Medicine 

Healthcare workers are passionate and committed to community well-being, too. Unity Care NW is a local nonprofit health provider that works to improve access to healthcare. One way they do this is by connecting community members with resources to help them make healthy eating choices. Their registered dietician produced a video series educating people on plant-based eating.

Northwest Life Medicine Clinic has recently rolled out an annual healthcare plan for new and existing patients: the Life Medicine Plan. The Life Medicine Plan is a budget-friendly and customizable annual wellness offering — it is their step toward putting accessible healthcare back in patients’ hands so they can feel listened to, empowered, hopeful, and whole.

Another local group that supports empowered and hopeful patients is Bellingham Birth Center. They are Whatcom County’s only nationally accredited birth center, having been accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers since 2015. It’s also the longest-standing birth center in Whatcom or Skagit Counties, and the only birth center with 3 separate, fully-equipped birth suites. In addition, they’ve recently brought on a new midwife! The Birth Center always offers free pregnancy tests, and is also open for tours. 

Velocity Athletic Training has created an environment where a trusted bond is developed between client and coach. Together with a coach, they design a 1:1 Functional Conditioning to boost athletic performance. With the purchase of their e-book, you get a free consultation (normally $250). Simply book a complimentary 15 min. discovery, which is then converted to 1 hour. 

Photo courtesy of Bellingham Birth Center

Photo courtesy of the Whatcom Family YMCA

From sports to nutrition to coaching, The Whatcom Family YMCA has wellness resources for community members of all ages. If you are a Whatcom County Resident, bring in your photo I.D. and you can try the Y for 3-days, FREE! 

The Spa at the Chrysalis Inn is a Bellingham institution, providing its clients with quality restorative and rejuvenating care through the hands of expert spa technicians. Check out their spa specials here. Relax, rejuvenate and renew as you enjoy their relaxation lounge with views of ponds and waterfalls. Their eucalyptus steam room and luxurious amenities are open to both hotel guests and the public.

Bellingham Therapeutic Massage is a space dedicated to helping you recharge your physical and emotional well-being. They are now offering $65 off any 90-minute or 2-hour massage.  Use coupon code “winterwellness” when booking your appointment. Whether you are experiencing pain, tension, or fatigue in your body, feel mentally/emotionally stressed out, or if you need a calming space where you can focus on yourself, Sydney at Bellingham Therapeutic Massage can help you out.

Ecointegral Coaching helps honor and support connection to nature, self, and community.  Focusing on the whole person and the natural world around us, Ecointegral Coaching offers guidance and compassionate support as you navigate the unfolding of your own place-based life. In January, they will be offering 20% off all coaching session packages. 

And of course, we can’t talk about wellness without mentioning the Community Food Coop, who does so much for the health and wellbeing of our community. From January 4-10, they will be having their annual supplement sale – 30% off all supplements for Coop members. They will also have their member discount from February 1-15 – a 10% off one-time use discount for members, including the entire wellness department! In addition, members can special order from the wellness department and save 15%. 

Wellness encompasses many aspects of our lives – our bodies, minds, hearts, spirits, and the community in which they reside. We hope you find inspiration to care for yourself, your loved ones, and local businesses this winter. 

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