Like every year, the holidays have come and are on their way out... but before you spin on your heels and head into the New Year, take these next few days and find some time for you. Make a point of taking a bit of time (whether it's 30 minutes in the evening or taking the whole day off work one day this week) to just be with yourself and treat your mind, body and spirit with care. We often overexert ourselves during this time of year, and I'm here to remind you (and myself) that some self-love is crucial during these crazy days.
Now, grab yourself a cup of tea, cozy up on the couch, maybe even stoke the fire, because we're about to run through LPN's top natural relaxation tips for the winter. Oh, and did I mention that the relaxed feeling you get is also pretty darn good for anti-aging and your overall health too ;)
Tea Time! Drink Herbal Tulsi Tea
But not just any herbal tea! Pick yourself up a box (or bag) of Organic Tulsi Tea (also known as Holy Basil). Tulsi is a sacred planet in India and well known for being an adaptogenic herb - that is, it enhances the body's natural response to physical and emotional stress. Multiple scientific studies have examined the herb and have found that extracts of holy basil decrease stress hormone levels including corticosterone. So curl up on the couch, throw on your favourite
Justin Bieber track music, and drink up (unless pregnant or breast feeding, in which case, there hasn't been enough studies done to check for contraindications).
Where to Buy:
I love the brand pictured (loose leaf) as well as Organic India Tulsi, which is easy to find on iHerb from $4 USD - $7.50 (depends on bags vs. loose leaf)
Journal or Plan with Happiness in Mind with Happiness Planner
The end of the year is always a beuatiful time to reflect on what has been and, of course, what will be. Transitioning to a new year often comes with resolutions and big plans, but why not make happiness your big plan next year? Why not take some moments and think about how you would like to FEEL next year (as opposed to the long checklist we usually create for ourselves). The Happiness Planner is a whole new way of looking at how to see the future - with a focus on what really counts. I'm loving the gorgeous packaging, so it makes you feel happy just looking at the darn thing.
But in all seriousness, get your hands on one of these and start your new year off on the right foot.
Where to Buy:
In Oslo, find yours at Leela Yoga
Herbal Facial Steam & Lavender Hydrosols
Not only deeply relaxing, herbal steam baths open pores, and help to release of impurities (yes, including those toxins you've ingested over the holiday season). This particular steam pack from Mullein & Sparrow includes a lot of lavender -- one of the best herbs for de-stressing and calming the mind -- as well as chamomile and rose. It's the perfect combo for an evening of self pampering.
Finish off your mini facial with their lavender hydrosol which hydrates and tones the skin - and the lavender is highly relaxing. Use it as a facial mist at anytime of the day you want a little reminder to just breathe.
Where to Buy:
Shop the herbal facial steam and hydrosol in a package direct from Mullein & Sparrow Online for $69 USD (includes facial mask and serum too!)
Facial Steam for $14 USD
Lavender Hydrosol for $18 USD
Get your (Spiritual) Read On
Whatever types of books feed your spirit, take some time to unwind and curl up into a good book. Feed your mind with some new ideas, or your soul with some super satisfying fiction. Right now I'm working through some more spiritual reading - Caroline Myss' Anatomy of the spirit is a fascinating read about healing and the connection between your spirit and health. This one was leant to me from one of my besties before I took off for the holiday - and I highly recommend it.
The chakra bible is a great "first read" for those interested in the chakras, their properties and how to work with them. I'm loving how this can easily help you learn how to work with the chakras in your day to day life and in your yoga practice.
Where to Buy:
Bath Time with Woodlot Salts & Candles
There are few things in this life that relax me more than a hot bath by candlelight - and it certainly helps when that candle is non-toxic and beautifully scented, and your bath salts infused with essential oils of peppermint.
I am LOVING Woodlot right now - focusing on small batches and pure ingredients, Woodlot is package and product perfect. The detoxifying mineral bath is made with Dead Sea salts and Himalayan pink salts,which combine with peppermint and rosemary to create a beautiful and rejuvenating bath. Soaking in the tub while watching the 60-hour (good for 120 baths! ha!), clean-burning, coconut wax candle burn is lovely, especially as it lets off notes of orange and bergamot with cedar wood- fresh and a perfect bath time companion.
Where to Buy
Woodlot Coconut Wax Candle in Flora for $17 USD from Eco Diva Beauty
Woodlot Mineral Bath Salts in Recharge for $20 USD from Eco Diva Beauty
Supplement with Natural Stress Relievers
One of the most powerful dietary supplements for stress releif is ayurvedic herb Ashwagandha. This incredible super root is known for
- Tonifying the immune system
- Inspiring Vigor and Strength
- Increasing the body's levels of Super Oxide Dismutase
- Harmonize Mind, Body, and Spirit
- Reduce the effects of mental, emotional, and physical stress
Where to Buy:
Sun Potion's Ashwagandha $36.99 USD from Sun Potion OR $22.95 when you sign up for a membership with Thrive Market
Diffuse High-Grade Essential Oils from Annmarie SkincareI LOVE Annmarie Skincare - you've seen me talk about her cosmetics here, her skincare here and here and her sunscreen here. Her high-grade esesntial oil blends are no different. She specializes in all that is good and natural - bringing the best quality and purest oils. My faves for winding down? Annmarie Skincare's "Calm" blend and "Grounded". I diffuse my oils in a nebulizer, or add them to carrier oils and rub on my pressure points (inner wrists, under my ears etc.) Calm is a great oil to diffuse during relaxation and meditation, as it helps you to create a sacred space for yourself. The combination of spruce oil lends freshness to this blend of florals, tied together with comforting frankincense and calming lavender and rose. It's a simple, yet beautiful blend. Grounded is a peace-inducing blend with woody and earthy base notes with a touch of sweetness from essential oils of sandalwood, amyris, peru balsam, cedarwood, vetiver, amber (fossilized), copaiba balsam, galangal root, patchouli, ginger root, buddha wood, and turmeric root. Where to Buy: Online at Annmarie Skincare for $39.95 USD Shop Calm here Shop Grounded here Shop all her essential oils here for $219 USD
Carve out some time and dig into your creative side. My mom and I (and my brother actually joined later in the evening) made these "Spirit Cards". Kelsi, my yogi friend and bestie (she wrote this post on Gifts for the Yogi here) taught me about this super fun practice that is both meditative and fun. Here's what you do:
- Collect old magazines from different types of style (maybe Natural Health mag, Yoga mags, Home mags, Lifestyle mags... anything really)
- Spend some time ripping out pages and pictures of things that you are drawn to (don't just it, just rip it, no matter what it is)
- Then later on cut out the pieces of the pages that spoke to you
- Collect the pieces and colours and sort them into groups that ituitively feel good for you
- Paste in a collage type format however many images you wish (2 - 4 is usually good) onto some card stock
- Take those cards and make a "deck" (you can make a few cards at once, or maybe do one or two and make another few another time)
- Each day pull a Spirit Card, and explore what those images mean to you - how can they help you or what is your intuition saying to you