Make time for meditation
It’s the perfect time to give meditation a try. Adiba Osmani and Ghazal Abrishamchi, founders of Inhere Meditation Studio, explain how: ‘Take a few minutes each day to gather the attention on the breath, breathing deeply from the belly… and then a few minutes to observe whatever thoughts or emotions there are, being completely accepting of them. Doing this every day, even for a few minutes, keeps us grounded, in the moment, and helps to rein in the incessant pull of thoughts and emotions that may seem too much to handle sometimes.’
Let there be light
Swap the fairy lights for a Himalayan Salt Lamp this year, and your body will thank you. These clever little gadgets purify the air in your home — the salt absorbs water molecules that carry foreign articles like dust and pollen. They can also help reduce allergy and asthma symptoms, ease coughing, increase energy levels and improve mood and concentration.
Hit the pool
Aside from burning off the Quality Streets, going for a swim is the perfect exercise for keeping you calm. It’s a chance to escape the family for an hour, and clear your mind. Like all exercise, it releases endorphins, but studies also show that swimming reduces stress. Just being in water increases blood flow to the brain, boosting your brain health.
Not only do Christmas trees smell great, they’re also a natural wonder ingredient. A new study has found that daily use of an extract from French maritime pine bark, also known as Pycnogenol, can improve mood, attention span, memory, decision making and overall cognitive function. Natural physician Dr. Fred Pescatore says: ‘Participants in the study reported feeling less anxiety and a stronger sense of content.’ £9.99 for 30 capsules, hollandandbarrett.com
Using float pods for recovery is something most athletes do, but with so many physical and mental benefits, it’s becoming increasingly popular in health spas, too. The pods are saturated with Epsom salt, allowing you to float unaided and enjoy a sense of weightlessness and freedom. An hour’s treatment will soothe muscles that have been shopping too hard, remove toxins from the body, lower blood pressure and leave you feeling rejuvenated. £50 for 60 minutes, yuefloat.com
Forget the tinsel and deck your house in flowering succulent Kalanchoe (aka ‘Flaming Katy’) this year instead. It’s a night time oxygenator, which means it releases oxygen at night for a fresher, healthier and calmer home. It comes in loads of colours and you won’t have the hassle of packing it back into the loft in January.
Feeling refreshed isn’t just about the right amount of sleep — it’s also about the quality. If it’s disrupted, our bodies can’t carry out their complex restorative functions, leaving us flagging the next day.
Crystal-infused beauty products are a big trend for 2019. Nazan Schnapp, the Swiss native with Turkish roots who founded her own luxury brand, says: ‘Crystals have fantastic healing properties for the mind, body and skin. They have a high frequency and can travel towards weaker cells to effectively target issues. Amethyst powder has an ultra-calming and balancing effect.’ Try Regenerating Cleanser with Amethyst for £75. contentbeautywellbeing.com
Listen to your gut
Research increasingly proves a link between our stomach and our wellbeing. According to nutritional therapist Jeannette Hyde: ‘It’s now known that when your beneficial gut bacteria are flourishing, they help to put you in a better mood. Fermented foods contain billions of probiotic bacteria and deliver friendly bacteria to the gut.’