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December Self-Care Tips

Updated: 1 day ago


As we head toward the Winter Solstice, the weather is colder, and the days are shorter. In Ayurveda, this time of year is dominated by the moon because the sun is waning. The moon's energy is nurturing, so this is the perfect time of year to nurture yourself. Some tips for doing so include:

Balance Stillness with Activity

This season is marked by cold, damp, and stillness; but there are also lots of social events around the holidays. This pull between the cold, stillness and the active, social events needs to be balanced. Spend time with family and friends, but also take a little time each day to be still and go within. I have online, live yoga classes that can be done from the comfort of your home. If you overdo it with holiday parties, stay in and rest. Cozy up by the fire, read a book, and get to bed by 10:00 pm. With the shorter days, it's easy to get a little extra, and much needed, sleep.

Diet

Consume warm foods and drinks and avoid cold and raw foods. If you're prone to excess mucus congestion, reduce or eliminate dairy products because they're energetically cold and your body needs warmth. So, favor hearty foods, such as soups, stews, pot roast, ham, and gravies. Red and purple foods are in season and help build the blood, so add some of these to your diet -- plums, pomegranates, cranberries, red cabbage, and even mulled wine. Pears are in season now, so try Baked Pear with Star Anise.

Spices & Herbs

Add warming spices to your food. Cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, turmeric, and black pepper will warm you up. Support your immune system with Astragalus extract or echinacea for acute infections. If you over-indulge and your digestion suffers, CCF tea is a famous Ayurvedic tea that combines cumin, coriander and fennel seeds, and that helps promote healthy digestion. If you don't like the taste of CCF tea, I also have a Digest Tea with peppermint, fennel seeds, lemongrass, lavender, cinnamon chips, orange peel and ginger root.

Skin care

Cold weather can chap your skin and indoor heat can dry out your skin. Also, your skin can look pale, because the body pulls warmth from the extremities and skin to protect the core. To keep your skin healthy, try a humidifier, because it will put moisture into the air; avoid overly hot baths and showers because they will dry out the skin; exfoliate the skin once a week with a salt glow or sugar scrub to get that glow back in your skin; moisturize with a rich, natural, cream-based moisturizer; or perform Abhyanga (self-massage) with warm oil; and lastly stay hydrated.

Exercise

If it's cold or windy outside, it's best to exercise indoors. Some indoor exercises include yoga (start with Sun Salutations to get circulation going), dance, Pilates, and weights. On days when it's sunny and not windy, hiking or walking is great. Just be sure to bundle up. Exercise will increase circulation and warm you up, and it may help you avoid the "winter blues".

Take care of yourself and enjoy the holidays!


References:


Image:

<a href="https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/illuminated-snowy-pathway-park-cold-winter-night_17109343.htm#query=winter%20scene&position=2&from_view=search&track=ais&uuid=0627039f-8279-4b8f-8e50-81da10cd8156">Image by wirestock</a> on Freepik

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