The holidays often bring on an extra dose of stress and before you know it, you’re in a last-minute shopping frenzy and up to your ears in baking. Follow this 7-step morning regimen—based on a mix of ancient Ayurvedic principles and modern-day relaxation tips—to prepare your mind, body and spirit for the day ahead.
TIP: If you find it difficult to relax at home, treat yourself to a seasonal treatment at a spa, where you’ll be forced to unwind in the hands of a specialist. This month, we’re loving the winter-warming treatment at Pure + Simple in Toronto, $99, which involves all-natural Ayurvedic oils to warm and nourish your skin from head to toe.
Wake up and smile. Smiling has a positive impact on your health and has been scientifically proven to have an impact on your emotional well-being. If you’re feeling grumpy, smile even bigger. You may feel ridiculous, but it’s guaranteed to make you feel better and if you’re sleeping next to your beau, you’ll have them in tears laughing before you get out of bed.
Using your favourite body oil or moisturizer, give yourself a massage—starting with your tippy toes and ending with your shoulders. It’s important to use a scent that you love. According to Kristen Ma, co-owner of Pure + Simple Spa in Toronto, we’re naturally attracted to scents that are beneficial to our bodies and our minds. Mindful Scents : citrus (invigorating), lavender (relaxation), and peppermint (refreshing)
Meditate for five minutes in a comfortable area in your bedroom. TIPS: Try not to sit on your bed because the tendency will be to fall asleep. If you have trouble sitting, try lying in the floor. For active minds, meditation can be challenging. In this case, try to concentrate on your breathe or light a candle and concentrate on the flame.
Awake your mind from its meditational state by stretching. Start by lying on the floor and extending your arms and legs out as far as you can reach. Imagine being pulled in different directions and then relax each part of your body.
Prepare a warm, nutritious breakfast, such as oatmeal with honey and herbal tea. It’s important to try and stay away from your typical coffee and bagel in the morning, especially around the holidays when over-indulgence is inevitable. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which can add stress to your body. Wholegrains heal the nerves, which are a far better option than the nutritionally depleted white flour options.