Holiday Self-Care For Your Body

This month, Ayurveda practitioner Sachi Doctor shares tips for taking care of yourself during the holiday season. Today she offers four sustainable practices for taking care of your body. Stay tuned for her next installments, where she will teach more about taking care of your mind and spirit during this busy time of year.

When talking about holiday self-care, what we are really getting at is sustainable self-care. The stretch from November to January is when most of us lose any sense of routine that we may have established since January 1st, and the thought of keeping one amidst the holiday calamity and chaos can seem like more work than it is worth. Rather than an all or nothing mentality, sustainable practices—those which are capable of being sustained—are what get us through this hectic, atypical time. They result in less pressure to fit everything into already busy days and less need for a radical restart via your New Year’s resolutions. Sustainable practices also foster deeper connection and greater self-trust: There’s no message quite as affirming as taking a few moments to be kind and loving toward ourselves, especially when our environment is in flux.

Essentially, this approach to self-care is about inviting more ease into your life. As we are all different, it can take time to find which practices make you feel good about how you are taking care of yourself (as opposed to “shoulds” on your to-do list). Ayurveda addresses body, mind and spirit, so over the next few weeks, I will share a few simple practices for each. Today I share some for taking care of your body. Use these or ones of your own creation. It doesn’t matter so much what you do as much as it matters that you choose to do something, that you choose to care for your self!

Sustainable Self-Care Tips For Your Body:

  1. Use your senses to eat. Allow your food to be the main show, focusing in on the colors, aromas, textures and taste. In addition to supporting digestion & assimilation, this will help you feel satiated, curbing post-meal cravings.  
  2. Grab a friend, neighbor, family member… and go for a post-meal walk. Choose a route that gets you close to nature and then take it in. Take deep breaths and pause to smell the flowers… savor this time in connection with Mother Earth.
  3. Anoint yourself with warm oil before you shower in the morning, or before you go to bed at night. Take time to nourish your skin and soothe your nervous system.  
  4. Sleep like a baby. Before bed, heat a cup of organic milk or milk alternative and stir in restorative spices like those in Elemental Alchemy’s  Spiced Golden Milk. Or,  simply sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg (spices that, in Ayurveda, are said to promote sleep and aid digestion) for sweet, deep slumber.

Sachi Doctor is the founder of Elemental Alchemy, an Ayurvedic lifestyle company that offers handcrafted products and personalized holistic health services. She is also an Ayurvedic practitioner, yoga teacher and tea maker from a lineage of Indian healers and doctors and has been imbued in both Eastern tradition and Western medicine since childhood. After years of feeling like she needed to switch back and forth between these two systems, Sachi strive’s to marry the wisdom of both, blending Ayurvedic principles and yogic philosophy with physiology and functional nutrition to help individuals understand their mind-body composition, and ultimately, to empower them to reclaim agency for their own health. www.elemental-alchemy.com / @elemental_alchemy