Five fall picks to help you on your self-care journey

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“Self care” is a term that means a lot of things to a lot of people, but the essential idea is simple: We all need to surround ourselves with things that bring us joy. That’s especially essential right now, as the daylight hours wane, temperatures get chillier and social distancing remains a fixture in our lives. Here’s a roundup of new, cool stuff to help facilitate your ever-evolving, late-2020 self care journey.

A fresh new spin on Groundhog Day
Because every day in 2020 seems like it’s on rinse and repeat, the comedy Palm Springs (coming soon to Amazon Prime Video) will seem particularly apt and strangely comforting. Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine Nine) and Cristin Milioti (Fargo) are trapped in a cosmic vortex, reliving the same day at a wedding set in the California desert. The actors bring charm, sweetness and lots of deranged touches to characters, who spark off each other romantically as they try to break the time loop. The movie is funny, touching and builds to a satisfying, stress-relieving crescendo.

A laugh-out-loud memoir

In the personal essay collection Wow, No Thank You (Penguin Random House), the comedian, blogger and essayist Samantha Irby takes on all sorts of life’s enduring challenges—including the greatest fear of anyone who likes just to stay in and watch tv, “the outdoor music festival.” The self-described “cheese fry-eating slightly damp Midwest person” writes in a deadpan style about turning forty, marriage and her habit of hiding cookies under her bed. Hilarious and relatable, the book is everything you need to naturally boost your serotonin.

A culture-loving podcast

NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour (available on all podcast platforms) just increased its frequency from two to five episodes a week, which means more from its loveable panel of experts on the best movies, music, TV shows and other meaningful distractions of our time. Arts journalists Linda Holmes, Glen Weldon and Stephen Thompson are now joined by a fourth co-host, Aisha Harris, as they take on every pop-culture obsession from the latest Ariana Grande to the new season of The Great British Baking Show. The panel’s signature segment, “What’s Making Us Happy This Week,” is a salve for our complicated times.

A change up to your beverage routine

Truss, a new Canadian company that specializes in crafting cannabis beverages, is behind the Veryvell line of sparkling cannabis infused waters, designed to support you in your self-care journey. The subtly flavoured Strawberry Hibiscus and zesty Sicilian Lemon drinks contain 15 mg of CBD and 0.5mg of THC—easy-going options for a night of watching your new favourite show or scrolling through your podcast feed. If you’re looking for something to compliment your afternoon high tea with a little more THC, Veryvell also offers a Lemon Black Iced Tea, containing 2.5 mg of both THC and CBD.

Besides beverages, Veryvell makes three different cannabis drops: Exhale Drops (1mg of CBD for every 2 drops) for when you want to cuddle up on the sofa, Tingle Drops (0.5mg THC and 0.5mg CBD) for when you’re in the mood for… you know, and Yawn Drops (1mg of THC per two drops) for when you’re winding down after a long day.

Comfort in a pillowy, made-from-scratch empanada

Tucked in a nondescript building off a quiet side street near Bloor and Dovercourt is the happiest little window you’ll find. Susan Arevaleo’s family-run Gaucho Pie Co. (346 Westmoreland Ave. N.) makes a rotating menu of the most perfect empanadas you’ll ever have—and they come in a range of traditional Argentinean and contemporary fillings like jerk chicken, Hawaiian, jalapeno popper and aloo gobi. Newbie tip: check out their Instagram page first for the week’s flavours, then DM your order prior to pick up.