As soon as we put the pumpkins and candy corn away, dust off the faux cobwebs, and shush away the ghouls and goblins a switch is flipped. Suddenly the bells are jingling, the winter is a wonderland, and the night, silent, but is there a loneliness, an anxiety, or a pain that isn’t all calm and bright in your life?

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The holiday season looks very different this year for many reasons. We are social distancing, disinfecting, and trying to spread holiday cheer and not COVID, but how are we caring for ourselves? In the pre-COVID era, self care would be addressed by focusing on many of the more serious side effects of the holiday season such as SAD and how to reduce depression. The hard fact is suicide rates raise during this time of year and checking in on ourselves is critical. It’s not holly jolly, warm for your soul kind of discussion but a necessary one. It’s a topic I am here to tackle and offer you real life advice, resources, and tools to take on the not so glittering part of the holidays this year.

At the time of writing this, I had just finished up an insightful Instagram Live with @Thegreenspa and intended this post to go up right after. Life hit me and my laptop battery died along with my draft. My anxiety with work is common, and little things become overwhelming. This can cause sleepless nights, misplaced anger, or even a general unfocused mind. I often just want to shut down, zone out, and check out and it takes a moment of deep breathing, re-focusing, and realigning to get back. Thankfully, I have access to it again, and am happy I can share these tools with you! If you missed the live with @Thegreenspa you can watch it below:

As someone who has panic disorder, OCD, and many past trauma’s the holiday’s tend to bring out the worst in me. It is the time when I have to take self care seriously and realize that mental health AND mental wellbeing is tied into all that we do daily. Time out for a bath, a skin care routine, a life coaching appointment, positive affirmations, meditation or just taking a moment to breath in claming essential oils make all the difference. Sheila from The Green Spay says we should put on our oxygen mask first- meaning we need to care for ourselves before we can care for anyone else.

Self care can be broken down into three essentials – what we do for our Body, what we do for our Mind, and what we do for our Soul. In collaboration with The Green Spa and Legend of the Spa I am going to share with you what gets me through the holiday season and beyond when I am feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or just down.

Body

The largest organ of your body is your SKIN! What you put on it can change everything from your mood, how you respond to aches and pains, or just how you feel about yourself. If you are feeling pain, tight, dry, or itchy skin, or you aren’t protecting and treating yourself with kindness it will weigh on you. With the hectic holiday season, caring for others, and dealing with low grade depression from SAD – taking a moment out of your day to honor yourself is necessary.

CBD based products have been proven to relieve aches and pains, help diminish acne, and hydrate even the toughest of skin concerns like eczema and psoriasis. When its infused with lavender it helps to calm the skin as well as reduce anxiety whereas peppermint helps to make you feel more awake, alert, and refreshed. You can add these to your skin directly, add to a bath, into your other skincare products, or even use to massage,

If you aren’t a fan of oils, CBD balm can help in much the same way with a more direct or larger application. Cooling is perfect for after a sunburn, on sensitive skin, for inflamed skin, or joint aches. Warming is perfect for muscle aches, relaxation, and hydrating skin. Use on hands with arthritis or even the neck if you’ve been experiencing “tech neck” Many of us are using our hands more and bending the neck uncomfortably down especially with so many virtual meetings and work from home orders.

I believe that a skincare routine can be more than just slathering product on! A mindful routine can not only transform your mental space but also put positive intentions into our skin. When we show ourselves love, care, and self attentiveness those intentions become apparent. Our skin looks better, feels better, and thus we feel better.. and look better as an added bonus. Not removing our makeup, tugging, pulling, using harsh products or products that aren’t correct for our skin concerns are damaging. That is why self love through skincare is important. If you are unsure of what products would work best on you, The Green Spa offers Virtual Skincare Consultations.

I am 35, so I have a concern on aging as well as keeping sky hydrated. I reach for Legend of the Spa Neroli Firming Face Moisturizer as this is my ultimate go to. It is infused with rose quartz, aloe vera, and even grapefruit extract. It is made with positive intentions and good energy that wholeheartedly translates when applying.

Mind

A lot may be on your mind this holiday season with quarantines in place in many areas. Not being able to see friends and family, SAD, COVID, and even anxiety may be taking over your mind. I have already lightly mentioned some self love practices and routines you can do daily to help ease tensions, anxiety, and low grade depression even if you don’t have or want a skincare routine. Maybe you feel you don’t have the time between kids, work, family, house upkeep, etc to take the “adult” time out, but I assure you, you can still make your environment just a little bit more mental health friendly.

Using a diffuser can help transform your space into one thats productive, relaxing, or peaceful. Scent is our closest tie to memory and emotion which is why aroma therapy can really benefit us this holiday season and beyond. A few drops of lavender oil on your pillow, in your diffuser, in your skin care, or in your bath can truly aide in lifting your mood and melting your anxiety. One single drop on the wrist and a deep breath has been proven to lower emotional tension.

If you have a more than a few moments in the morning or evening, or just 20 minutes a week, a warm bath with bath salts, essential oils, and even candles can help not only ease tensions in the body and relieve stress but also help reduce anxiety and low grade depression. You can also make Aroma Therapy self care a couple bonding experience. Try Lavender Fields Massage and Body oil on each other or for a joint relaxation experience.

Meditation can take place at any time during the day but for me it is when I’m applying my skincare. When I sit down to do a routine I use the Legend of the Spa website to help me focus my thoughts. The Step Into Joy Morning ritual guides my mind into a more positive head space while the Let It Go Evening ritual helps me unwind, clear my mind, and find peace before bed. Even if you have a pre-existing skincare routine, transform it into a meditative space with the Legend of the Spa. Amp up your routine with a diffuser with either Breath or Lavender oil for relaxation. Let all the anxiety go this holiday season and find your joy while doing a routine that benefits your skin and mind.

Soul

If you are still struggling with goals, starting your own business, organizing your thoughts, or just centering yourself – there are things you can do. Booking a 1-on-1 Life Coaching ZOOM Session can help get you on track for the new year and get your goals aligned before 2021 even starts. The holiday season ends with New Year’s and its a time of new beginnings as well an end of a chapter. You can take this time to put forth new goals with guidance and a helping hand. You can also check out Transformational Gangstas for more guidance and #solutionizers!

If all else fails, try some tea! When I am having an exceptionally hard day and nothing is going right, I put on a pot of tea. I think there is something so warming, so relaxing, and so peaceful about a warm cup of tea. It may sounds cliche, but it warms the soul. It takes me out of my head, away from my worries and my stresses, and puts me in a place of quiet. The Red Moon tea is naturally caffeine free, tastes like fresh berries, and needs little to no sweeting. It is a great way to unwind and the beautiful, natural, bright red shade is like Christmas in a cup. Wan’t to amp up your tea? Add a stick of fresh cinnamon to it. Not only will it reduce inflammation but it is good for oral health and heart health!

If you’d like to pick up my favorites this holiday season, check out The Holiday Stardust Basket. – and use Promo code STARDUST to save! These items have helped me during meditation, yoga, skincare routines, bath time, and bed time! They help me to remind myself to take those time outs and check in on my own mental health. Having a physical reminder and dedication to yourself is the best gift you can give to yourself or someone who may be struggling this holiday season. You can also check out any of the tools/items I mentioned here.

If you are finding your feelings overwhelming, you are struggling to cope, or dealing with more serious depression and anxiety, there is help. The national suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255 is available 24/7. You are never alone!

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