The Winter Solstice is near, and the Holiday season is upon us. This time of year we crave community and fellowship, but also hibernation. As the earth begins her season of rest, our own daily activity slows. We sleep a little longer, our brain activity quiets, and our bodies ask for pause. These winter months are a special gift to our soul, offering more time for introspection and self care. It's the time of year we bundle up, get cozy, and hopefully spoil ourselves with all things comfy.
The lack of daylight hours made practical work difficult for our ancestors in the winter season, so the extra time became ideal for families to come together and nurture one another with food and gifts. It was also an ideal time to indulge in some extra self care by making balms, butters, oils, tinctures and anything else that may help prevent illness or the winter blues.
Our bodies need rest, our immune systems need extra care, and our spirit craves a recharge after seasons of work and growth. At Good Karma Mind & Body, we are serious about rest and recharge. We teach it, we practice it, we live it. Our bodies are the only vehicle we have to chauffeur us through this life, so we should probably take good care of it. In our Winer Wellbeing blog, we've pulled together our favorite winter tips to keep your Mind Body Spirit in comfort and happiness.
Winter Wellbeing: Caring for the self in the cold season
THE WINTER HERB
Elderberry is our most loved herb for a seasonal immune booster to ward off the winter sniffles. This tiny berry is packed full of bioflavinoids and other proteins that destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. It also contains Vitamins A and B, plus large amounts of Vitamin C for cell repair. It's a powerful antioxidant, fights bacterial and viral infections, and also tonsillitis.
We stock dried elderberry at the Good Karma tea house, and have an elderberry workshop scheduled for Sunday January 28th at 4pm. Taught by our herbalist, Kristin Jewell, the workshop will teach you how to make teas, syrups, tinctures and more, using dried elderberry. To sign up visit the Good Karma Mind & Body events page HERE.
Elderberry Fun Fact: Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995. Pretty impressive!
THE WINTER ESSENTIAL OIL
Rosemary has long been considered an herb for mental clarity and refreshing our mood, but Rosemary is also a remedy for congested sinuses and lungs. It offers relief from fatigue and overwork especially when added to a bath. It's most effective for the respiratory system when used with a diffuser or in palm direct inhalation. Our favorite winter remedy with rosemary is to take some time out for a facial steam. Easy to do and an effective way to reap all of the benefits from this herb, a facial steam also gives us glowing skin! As rosemary is one of the top essential oils for skin revitalization, why shouldn't we be adding it to our steam?
To set up for your facial steam you will need a bowl (a small cereal bowl is a good size), clean water, a towel large enough to cover your head and the bowl, and rosemary essential oil. We prefer Verbenone Rosemary for its softer, sweeter aroma.
Choose a comfortable seated area where you can rest your arms and lean over your steam bowl. Set your towel aside here and put a kettle of water on to boil. After boiling, pour the water into your bowl until about half full. Then, add two to three drops of rosemary oil. Have a seat and place the towel over your head. Lean over the bowl letting the towel come down to cover both you and bowl. This will create a steam environment perfect for sinus, respiratory, and skin. Stay at least ten minutes. For an extended steam, continue to add small amounts of boiling water plus an additional drop of rosemary oil to your bowl every five to ten minutes.
Be sure to check out our essential oils section coming to Good Karma Mind & Body in January! We will carry basic oils such as Rosemary, Lavender, Tea Tree and Peppermint, but also special blends and exotics. We will also be introducing Heart Centered Herbals, sustainably grown and ethically harvested herbal remedies from our GKM&B herbalist, Kristin.
THE WINTER SPIRIT
Introspection is at the top of the list for winter spiritual care. One of our favorite ways to encourage a dive into the self is a good read. Nurture your spirit with a book that will give you the chance to reflect, emote, and foster a healthy relationship with yourself. Reads that are accompanied by a sacred self connecting workbook is a sure way to feed the soul during winter's dark days.
In January, Good Karma Mind & Body is hosting its first book club! Spearheaded by Rachael, one of our beloved GKM&B therapists, our book club will gather each month to discuss, ponder and delve into esoterical, self fulfillment, sacred connection, and spirit healing reads. Our first book is The Earth Path: Grounding Your Spirit in the Rhythms of Nature. Written by America's most renowned witch and eco–feminist, The Earth Path offers healing for the spirit in a stressed world and helps readers find their own sources of strength and renewal through meditations, creating a relationship with nature, and harnessing the power of our earth. The GKM&B book club will start on January 31st, 6 p.m. at the Good Karma tea house. Let us know that you will join us with an RSVP HERE.
Our second choice of spirit care is the salt lamp. Not only does it have health benefits for winter self care such as air purification and reduction of airborne bacteria, the soft glow of a salt lamp is also a mood booster, promotes sleep, reduces stress, and not to mention our favorite benefit for the winter blues: salt lamps boost serotonin levels. Our store and wellness studio are peppered with salt lamps, and in 2018 we will begin keeping them in stock in our new wellbeing retail section at the Good Karma tea house!
Make your Winter Wellbeing and self care a time to nourish the Mind Body Spirit relationship, but also have fun sharing your wellness potions and devotion with those whom you might share a home or workspace. Gift an elderberry tea, grace the office with a salt lamp, or diffuse Rosemary in a central area of your home for the whole family to benefit.
As you begin to move into the New Year and settle into deep winter, take plenty of time to rest, reflect, and repair so you may greet the dawning of spring with renewal! Leave your shiny new calendar empty on New Years Day and fill the blank space with a resonating word that will inspire you to take in your first day of 2018 with a sense of wellbeing. Perhaps your word is relax, or maybe unwind. But don't be resistant to my favorite word of rejuvenation: LAZY.
Wishing you love, light, and many blessings for a happy year ahead,
Founder, Good Karma Mind & Body
Licensed Massage Therapist