Self care is important and herbal rituals can play a great role to achieve your goals.
In today’s busy world and especially at holiday time, using herbal rituals are key to your success and satisfaction regardless of your responsibilities.
It’s like using oxygen on a plane – if you can’t take care of yourself first, you can’t take care of others.
These herbal rituals you practice can take care of your mind, body and soul to soothe and energize you.
Take a look at the following rituals, then revive some of your own or add new ones that soothe you.
1. Take a Bath with Essential Oils
Having a bath with essential oils is a fantastic way to slow down and soothe your body. Essential oils have more than a nice aroma, they have therapeutic qualities that go deep into the nervous system to help heal and soothe.
Make sure you choose quality essential oils and remember, a little goes a long way. Only a few drops are needed to have an effect. Essential oil can also be combined with Epsom salts in the bath or blended ahead so all you need is to add a scoop to running bath water.
For a soothing bath, choose essential oils like lavender, bergamot, chamomile and ylang ylang.
If you need to soothe sore muscles, choose essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary and lavender.
To energize your body, choose eucalyptus, peppermint and citrus oils like orange, lemon and lime.
2. Enjoy a Cuppa Herbal Tea
Herbal tea is a time honored way of slowing down and enjoying the benefits of herbs. An herbal tea can be enjoyed for its flavour or used medicinally to help heal the body.
Though pretty much all herbal teas have some medicinal qualities, the ones with the strongest effect will be herbal medicinal teas. Medicinal teas are steeped for a longer time, 8-10 mins or more, to get the strongest medicinal effect. This is known as an infusion.
Depending what you need, herbal medicinal tea can soothe sore tummies, help with nausea, colds or flu, ease nervous tension or help with insomnia.
To calm the body, good herbal medicinal teas are lemon balm, chamomile and valerian while ginger and mint are good for tummies.
3. Explore Nature with a Hike or Walk
Going into nature is one of the best ways to slow down and soothe yourself. Before you set off on a hike or walk, stop and look around at your destination. Take a deep breath and inhale fresh air.
Ask you walk look at the plants on the trail or walkway. See if you can identify them, there may be herbs growing in the natural environment.
A local seaside walk has fennel growing along the walkway which has a wonderful scent during summer and fall.
Forest walks may have mushrooms to spot or native herbs, like sweet woodruff. Take a field guide or download an app that helps you identify the local plants, bushes or trees in your local area. This way you can gain knowledge about local plants and herbs while enjoying exercise in nature.
4. Light Candles and Burn Incense
Lighting candles and burning incense is a marvelous way to slow down and soothe yourself.
Incense sticks or cones come in many different scents and aromas. Some include mint, lavender, green tea, pink ginger and sage. Or you may blends such as one that smells like a forest walk or fresh rain.
Hint – incense and containers for burning it may a great gift.
5. Enjoy Plants Indoors
During winter we tend to pay less attention to live plants. Cut Christmas trees are brought in the house but what if you brought in live trees in pots such as the lovely Norfolk Pine.
The Norfolk Pine is an actual pine tree used as décor for the festive season as it nicely resembles a Christmas tree and can be decorate as such.
Ironically it doesn’t like cold weather at all and is actually a tropical houseplant. It can be purchased from any hardware store year-round and especially around the holidays. It comes in a nice compact size that’s just right for small spaces. It’s not toxic to pets either.
Poinsettias are a popular houseplant for the festive season however they are mildly toxic to pets.
The milky white sap can cause drooling or milk vomiting, but generally it is not a problem. These beautiful plants can help create a calming environment in the home.
Paper Whites are another houseplant that is appreciated during the festive season. Most have pure white blooms but yellow and orange are also available.
The next houseplant to enjoy is Christmas cactus, which is so named as it blooms during the festive season. They have pink or lilac flowers that bloom for a long time.
Combining herbal rituals is an even better way to soothe and calm the body. Go for a walk in nature, stop by your local gardening store or grocery store to pick up a festive houseplant (Christmas cactus, Pointsettia or Paper Wwhite?) then enjoy a cup of herbal tea followed by a bath with essential oils when you get home. Aaaaah!
For more about herbs and spices at Christmas, see An Herbal Christmas