I can't believe how time is flying! I don’t know about you, but my December is very full. I have lots to do this month and there are lots of people who need lots of things from me. I can imagine this scenario might be pretty similar for you too. The holiday season can get pretty crazy.
This is when I do my best to remember the command from the airlines to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others. December is a good time to do this!
Here are 4 Tips for Self-Care in December:
Go to bed early. Seriously! Do it. Insufficient sleep is now recognized as a serious public health concern. Unplug from the enticing holiday internet deals. Lay your work aside. Put your devices away at least an hour before bed. Have a nice cup of tea and get to bed no later than 10 PM for a long winter’s nap.
Stick to a daily routine for exercise. Whether it’s yoga, walking, jogging, or a fitness class, keep it up this month. You will feel better and be less inclined to over-indulge in holiday treats. The endorphins you get from moving your body will make you feel uplifted and will make you a more pleasant person to be around. If you want a short yoga routine: I have several you can download. Look here and here.
Do Restorative yoga. When the pressure from the holidays gets to you, take a break and do some restorative yoga.. My favorites are Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (L) and Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall Pose) (R). I love to do these poses in the later afternoon or right before bed.
Drink warm, soothing beverages. Here are two recipes that are perfect for this month: Herbal Chai with warming spices and Soothing, Anti-Inflammatory Golden Milk.
Place one star anise, 1/2 tsp black pepper, two small slices of fresh ginger, 1 tsp cardamom seed, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1/2 tsp cloves in small pot. Add one quart water. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Add 2-4 Rooibos Tea bags. Serve with milk (dairy, almond, soy, etc.) and honey or agave nectar.
Spice and warm. Stimulates digestion. Tasty!
Golden Milk (better than eggnog!)
Heat 2 cups milk (coconut milk, dairy, almond or soymilk) with 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger and 1/2 tsp ground turmeric and 3-4 black peppercorns, and a dash of nutmeg and cardamom. Bring to a simmer and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste (if desired) with honey or agave. Add a small spoonful of ghee for a rich buttery flavor.
Turmeric has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. This is a great before bed drink. Simple, healing and delicious!
Annie Barrett. Educator, certified health coach yoga instructor.