Not all your friends and family will be on board with the new healthy lifestyle that you've been leading. Save the lecture, because no one wants to hear it at this time of year when we're busy and stressed out and not really taking care of ourselves at all (hint: make sure you do carve out a little time for yourself in between get togethers and feasts, you'll be so glad you did). Instead, you can simply promote a healthy lifestyle, and in turn support companies who offer products that you can get behind as well. (As you know, we vote every single time we make a purchase, and this has a lot of power in shaping our future.) I've included lots of practical items here too - let me know what you think! :)
1. Stainless Steel Water Bottle
I love this one because it's personal, practical, environmentally conscious and now they're even stylish with all the neat designs. Ensuring that you get enough water is one of the most important things you can do for your health, right up there with sleep and vegetables.
Even with the trend towards digital books, a cookbook just isn't the same without the beautiful photos. So many people that I see actually love vegetables and quinoa, they just don't know how to prepare them. New this year is "Oh She Glows Everyday", but "Against All Grain" and "Nourishing Meals" (we have this one at the clinic) are great choices too, especially for people with newly diagnosed health issues like arthritis, food allergies and hypothyroidism.
3. Massage gift certificate
Because who couldn't use a massage? Enough said.
4. Private Yoga Session
The local yoga studios offer private group bookings. It's a great way to spend a weekend afternoon with your closest friends reconnecting and de-stressing. Or how about a session with all the women in your family? Opt out of material gifts and have an experience together instead.
You can make 'noodles' from all kinds of veggies and this is something that someone might not buy themselves but would love to receive as a gift. This helpful kitchen tool helps us to increase our intake of nutrient dense foods, vegetables, while cutting down on the simple carbohydrates that spike our blood sugar levels and lead to cravings.
6. Colouring Books
These were last year's big craze, but I still think they are awesome. The beautiful designs in any theme imaginable are a lovely way to introduce calm into our lives, and bring out the kid in all of us. Another idea along the same line is a knitting starter set for someone who has always wanted to learn this skill.
Salt lamps and sun lamps are a great way to clean up the air and boost mood. I love the warm and gentle glow of my salt lamp, it's even great in a child's room. Sun lamps are designed to mimic the exposure we need to sunshine in order to make vitamin D, the happy vitamin. Perfect at this time of year on these gloomy days.
8. Essential Oils and Diffuser
You don't need a fancy system or supplier, but I do love the smell and therapeutic benefit of a nice essential oil blend. Lavender oil is lovely for relaxation and sleep, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus are great for colds, and peppermint can be helpful for headaches. The main reason I like them, however, is that it's a much cleaner way to scent your home without the harsh chemicals found in most candles and scent sprays.
9. Gifts that give twice
Sometimes we are buying things for the person that 'has everything'. Instead you could make a donation to a cause that means a lot to them. Locally there is the Food Bank, Family Transition Place, and the Youth Shelter; but there are so many great organizations that need support to keep their services going. You could also choose their favourite animal to show that you care about (and remember) their interests. One that comes to mind is the Kawartha Turtle Rescue Centre, that saves injured turtles and protects them from extinction, and the Orangeville SPCA.
I hope that you have a great holiday season! Make sure you ask for help if you need it, and as I said before, schedule yourself a little down time. Remember that this is a time for gratitude, celebration and love, not materialism and stress. I will be out of the office from December 24th to January 3rd, but the online booking system is always available.