Winter holidays can be one of the busiest, most stressful times of the year as we dash from parties to concerts, family gatherings to nativity pageants. It can be difficult to carve out chunks of time for self-care with so many delightful activities on offer, but self-care need not be lengthy or involved to have a restorative effect.
If you’ve only got 15 minutes to spare, here are a few quick but nourishing ideas to calm your spirits and rejuvenate your body.
There’s a lot of bustling around the holidays, and by the end of the day our feet can be throbbing from hours spent running errands, our hands aching from mixing cookie dough and wrapping presents, our backs groaning from getting the house ready for beloved friends and family to arrive. Giving yourself a hand or foot massage with wintergreen massage oil can do wonders for getting you back on track.
Wintergreen is a natural analgesic known as “nature’s aspirin.” When rubbed into painful joints and muscles it induces a pleasant numbness while increasing blood circulation and bringing warmth to the affected area. Within moments, pain is eased.
Wintergreen Massage Oil Recipe
- 1 tsp apricot seed oil
- 2-3 drops wintergreen essential oil
Mix together and massage into sore hands, feet, knees, neck, lower back, wherever you’re hurting.
It can be so easy to get side-tracked, distracted, and just plain forgetful with so many fun and delicious things to plan and think about. If you find yourself getting more and more frazzled, give yourself fifteen minutes for a soothing rosemary bath.
Rosemary has been used for centuries to treat mental fatigue, increase concentration, and stimulate cognitive function. It also strengthens the immune system, a wonderful thing during the inevitable cold and flu season that accompanies the holidays.
Rosemary Bath Recipe Options
- Add 2-3 drops of rosemary essential oil to your bath.
- Simmer fresh rosemary leaves in apricot seed oil, then drizzle into your bath.
- Steep fresh rosemary leaves in boiling water for ten minutes, strain, and pour liquid into your bath water.
Soak for 15 minutes and let all the stresses of the day melt away.
A short meditation session is a wonderful way to reset and recharge. Plum Deluxe’s own Guided Self Care Meditation is just 11 minutes long but powerful and gives you the opportunity to go inside yourself to find deep nourishment.
If you aren’t a regular with meditation, then think of it just as a power nap, a recharge.
When we get stressed and overwhelmed, our breathing often gets more and more shallow. Stopping throughout your busy day to take a few slow, deep breaths does wonders for relaxing tense muscles and helping you live more mindfully in the present.
If you can, take a 15-minute break in a room lit only by flickering candles. Sit in a firm, straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the ground and hands resting gently on your thighs. Close your eyes and breathe in through your nose as deeply as you can, feeling your diaphragm (not your chest) fill with air. Hold it there a few seconds, then slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat for 10-15 minutes, observing the feel of the air, the relaxing of your muscles, the lowering of your blood pressure, and the calming of your thoughts.
No matter what your days look like, taking time for yourself will result in greater peace and goodwill.
Photo Credits: Lubyanka, veganbaking.net, and mikecpeck.