Balanced Beauty all Winter Long
When it comes to health, beauty and wellness I feel the new buzz phrase today is "Self Care". Right up there with kale, acai berries and coconut water people are realizing, holy cow, this stuff is good for me! Only now instead of a smoothie or salad, people are talking about a number of ways to better serve their bodies, minds and spirits. You know what I have to say to that? It's about time!!
With Balanced Beauty, I've always preached there is no one magic solution for everybody. Each individual has to find their own "Balanced Beauty" routine. Depending on your lifestyle, genetics, diet, exercise habits, skin and body type, what makes one person look and feel good, may not be right for someone else. Also, as seasons change and our bodies age, what was once relevant to us may not be the best thing now. So just as we evolve and seasons change, so will our "Balanced Beauty".
Speaking of our bodies and seasons, as we find ourselves deeply rooted in the winter months, we must take care of ourselves more than ever. Just like in nature, we find ourselves colder, drier and wanting to hibernate. To maintain the energy and vitality we need to get through the day, it is important that we consider ways of "self care" (there I said it! I feel so hip.) to keep our minds, bodies and spirits in balance!
Here are a few ideas for "self care" in winter that might just work for everyone!
Drink Warm Lemon Water
Drinking a glass of warm lemon water when you first wake up in the morning helps in so many ways.
•Aids in Digestion (Think Big Winter Meals)
•Detoxifies the Liver (Drinks to go with said, "Big Winter Meals")
•Hydrates the Lymph System
•Boosts the Imunne System (Flu Season!)
•Terrific for Skin (Get your winter glow on!)
•Boosts Energy (i.e. get off your couch)
•Helps Fat Loss (refer back to "Big Winter Meals")
Massage your hands and feet with warm sesame oil
Cold hands, Warm Heart? In the winter most of us just simply have cold hands! Massaging Sesame Oil into the hands and feet has a warming effect which not only is great for circulation but also calms the nervous system, lubricates the joints and softens dry skin. Feel free to continue up the leg and arms, using long strokes on the limbs and circular motions around the joints. Great to do in the shower, when you wake up and before bed for a better night's sleep! Give the oil time to soak in or pat it dry with a towel.
Use facial oils to hydrate the skin
If I put oil on my face won't I break out?" Not so. Facial oils, unlike body oils are lighter. With the right formulation for your skin type they won't clog your pores like so many think. When not cleansed and exfoliated, dirt and dead skin cells will clog your pores and potentially result in break outs. Facial oils like Argan, Rose, Frankincense, Hemp and Jojoba are very nourishing for dry, dehydrated winter skin. When applied and combined with a mini-facial massage, you not only feel the difference in your skin, but see and feel the relaxed muscles in your face also!
Take steamy warm baths with essential oil bath salts
Bath Salts made with essential oils turn a regular bath experience into a "self care" experience. Essential oils like Vetiver, Jasmine and Lavendar are known for setting a calm and tranquil mood. Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang and Lemongrass are stimulants that uplift your mood and Eucalyptus will help to clear congested respiratory systems. Combine that with pleasing music, candle light, good book and maybe a glass of wine and your mind, body and spirit will thank you!
Eat soups made with seasonal vegetables and broths
In the winter time our bodies benefit from eating foods that are naturally available during this season. Foods that are sweet, sour, salty, heavy, oily, moist and hot such as soups, stews, steamed veggies and warm herbal teas. Unlike summer where our bodies benefit from drier, colder foods such as salads and smoothies, in the wintertime we balance the dry chill we feel with hearty, warm food. Soups and stews made from winter squash, tomatoes, pumpkin and carrot are not only delicious but nutritious too!
Take walks despite the weather
For all you L.A. folks, let me tell you a little story...growing up in Chicago Winters, there were streets downtown where ropes were tied between buildings so people could hold on while they walked door to door. If they did not grab tight, the strong winter winds would blow them down the street. (For everything I'm about to say, this is the exception). Everyone else...get out and move! It is so easy to cuddle up by the fire, sink into the couch and stay in bed when it is cold outside. As we mentioned before, seasonally, this IS the time to hibernate! However, do yourself a favor (and your pooch if you have one) dress appropriately and go for a walk. Part of staying warm is keeping the blood circulating! Ropes not included.
Practice restorative yoga and yoga nidra
During the winter season one of the most sensitive systems in our body is the nervous system. Emotions are high, our focus is scattered and our bodies naturally are less grounded. This is why practices such as restorative yoga and yoga nidra are so important and much needed during this time. Restorative yoga, using props, deep juicy stretches and postures rooted in the earth nourishes us and leaves us feeling well rested. While yoga nidra, releases stress and tension by consciously scanning the body, witnessing your thoughts and feelings and connecting deeply with your breath.
I hope one or all of these can be incorporated into your daily routine this winter season!
Wishing you focused, calm days and cozy, warm nights!