Pretty much everyone is familiar with the popular carol “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Marking the twelve days leading up to December 25, the song similarly builds with fanciful gifts and memorable lyrics.
There’s no reason why we can’t recognize this same timeframe in a thoughtful, self-nurturing way. Between power shopping, addressing cards, attending parties and trying to top last year’s cookies, it’s no wonder we fall way down on our own personal holiday “to do” list.
The experts at Ecobeautica Wellness Center in Brooklyn have a remedy for that. With a holistic foundation for the many services that they provide, the medical spa believes in a personalized, whole-body approach to well-being. By nurturing mind, body and spirit – especially now, when it may seem daunting to carve out time for yourself – you’ll rejuvenate yourself inside and out.
1. Make time to meditate. Taking even a five-minute break every day to relax and let your mind get to a peaceful place can reduce stress, improve your concentration, boost your immune system and bring down your blood pressure.
2. Take a hike. Or a walk through the mall before it opens, or a brisk stroll around the neighborhood with your dog. Get your heart pumping, rev up your metabolism, and clear the cobwebs out of your head.
3. Listen to calming music. Maybe it’s that CD you bought on your latest beach vacation or an instrumental playlist on your phone. Choose something that’s soothing, comforting and evokes the same relaxing feeling you get when you visit your favorite spa.
4. Curb your carbs. Although they may be tempting this time of year, your colleague’s cookie pops or your grandma’s homemade apple pie aren’t doing your health or waistline any favors. Avoid simple sugars and processed foods as much as possible; if you do indulge, do so in moderation.
5. Pet your pet. The simple act of petting your dog or cat can help alleviate stress and depression by increasing your serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin levels. It can also decrease your cortisol levels so that you’ll be better able to keep your appetite and carbohydrate cravings in check.
6. Have a honey of a bath. There’s nothing like a hot bubble bath to help you unwind. Dissolve two to three tablespoons honey in one cup hot water, add it to your bath water, and let all your troubles melt away as your skin is renewed and rejuvenated.
7. Give your face a sweet treat. While we’re on the topic of honey, this bee-based nectar can give your complexion a nice buzz as well. For a gentle exfoliator, combine two tablespoons honey mixed with one tablespoon baking soda, rub it gently on damp skin in a circular motion, and then rinse well.
8. Knead out tight muscles. Enjoy a restorative Aromatherapy or Swedish massage at Ecobeatica to get the kinks out and give yourself a well-deserved hour of pampering. The medical spa also offers more targeted treatments for the wrist; scalp; feet; and back, neck and shoulders.
9. Eat like a caveman (or woman). Build a Paleo-inspired diet around fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and cold-water fish to feed your brain and nourish your body. Think plant-based and natural, and opt for grilling, broiling or baking meats and fish to seal in natural juices.
10. Get a good night’s slumber. When it comes to sleep, the key words are quality and quantity. Go to sleep after sunset and get up after sunrise to maintain a natural circadian rhythm, and set the right tone by turning off all lights, electronic devices and other potential shuteye-sappers.
11. Boost your berries. Not only do blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and tart cherries pack a good vitamin C punch, the latter have a naturally high melatonin content which can help with insomnia. Consider supplements if you don’t feel you’re getting enough vitamin C in your diet.
12. Read something you enjoy. It may be a magazine you picked up at the grocery store, or the newest best-seller you’ve been dying to delve into. Choose something that doesn’t have to do with school or work, cozy up in your favorite reading nook, and escape into another world.
For more holiday self-care tips, or to treat yourself to a massage, facial or other pampering treatment, call Ecobeautica Wellness Center at 718/382-9200 or visit their full-service medical spa at 2158 Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn.