Month: December 2014

Ten Tried & True Tips to Beat the Winter Blues

Every time winter comes around, it brings with it some of the best and worst parts of the year: it’s holiday season, which means you get to spend plenty of time with friends and family! But that also means you have to spend time planning, shopping, and cooking, which means S T R E S S. The streets are decked out with beautiful lights and the ground might be adorned with an elegant sheet of snow…which also means you’re freezing your patootie off.

As much as the good parts of winter are wonderful, the bad parts of winter can be difficult to handle sometimes. Here are my favorite ways to keep a smile on throughout the entire season.

Get some rays. 

    • Tons of people get a little blue when the sky looks gray. There’s a reason for that — the sun provides us with the essential Vitamin D, which can affect the mood, among other things. The easiest way to make sure your body gets enough vitamin D — which also helps the bones absorb calcium and vitamin D, contributing to skeletal health — is to get out into the sun! So just go on a quick walk at lunch time, and you’ll be all set.

Take your vitamins!

    • Too cold for a walk outside? No problem. Vitamin D is available over the counter at most drugstores, and it’s even in your food! You can make a tasty, vitamin D filled meal if you steam some salmon or grill some mushrooms, munch on some walnuts or even use fortified milk in your cereal.

Get movin’

    • We’re often more prone to being couch potatoes when it’s cold or gross outside, but it’s important that we fight the urge! Getting your endorphins flowing will boost your mood, help you sleep better, increase your metabolism, and do all the things that exercise usually does for your body even when it’s not cold and you’re feeling a bit down.

Stre-e-e-etch

    • We can’t help it sometimes. It snows and we’re stuck inside. The gym is closed. No one wants to have a snowball fight. It’s a three hour drive to find a place to ski (no thank you). Moving in the winter is just harder! There’s still a way to get your blood flowing to your brain: stretching. Just stand up where you are, raise your arms above your head, and open your chest up for a few seconds; or fold over to the floor and give your hamstrings the stretch they deserves. Or take up yoga, which can easily be accommodated within the boundaries of your home.

Sleep it off. 

    • Sometimes, the best cure for your winter woe is hitting the snooze button. The reason that we like to curl up when it’s so frigid out is because it actually does make us feel better! So grab a good book, your favorite cup of tea (might I recommend a nice chai with warm milk?), and a comfy blanket, because it’s only natural to want to hibernate! Bring out your inner bear, teddy or otherwise!But be warned: if you spend too much time in hibernation mode, you’ll wind up stuck there. Remember that this step comes AFTER moving and stretching!

Shop smart.

    • You know those horrific Black Friday specials that you’ve thought about clamoring out of bed at 6am for, only to return home a few hours later with a black eye and a slightly cheaper sofa? Forget about it. That’ll stress you out, maybe piss you off, and possibly even get you hurt. The internet is abuzz with special deals all season, and it’s much easier to navigate than the mall.

Celebrate!

    • If you’re down in the dumps, all the good stuff that happens in winter can be overshadowed by all the bad stuff. Don’t let that happen! Go to the holiday parties you’ve been invited to, invite your friends over for hot chocolate, try out ice skating. Isolating yourself when you’re feeling depression only amplifies the depression.Even if socializing doesn’t make the feelings of depression go away, it typically keeps your mood from sinking lower. It’ll be hard, so start small — that one friend of yours who’s been dying to try a new restaurant? Go with her!

Don’t over-celebrate

    • Holiday parties abound, from early November to who knows when. There’s Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving 1 – 5, Ugly Sweater Parties, Latke-offs, Awkward Co-worker Get Togethers, New Years Eve, Pre-New Years Eve…the list goes on.Of course it’s important to enjoy yourself during this time of year, and to enjoy each of these events! But remember: not each of these events is the biggest, most important event of all. Not each of them is a “cheat day”, if you  believe in such a thing. If you life your life committed to a healthy, happy lifestyle, winter is not an excuse to abandon it. Yes, you may eat a slice of that apple pie; no, you should not go back for thirds if you wouldn’t normally do so.And of course, be careful with alcohol, which is always abundant this time of year! Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do on June 27th or August 3rd, just because it happens to be December 25th or December 31st!

Share the love

    • This tip is here for two reasons. First, one of the reasons we all love holidays so much is because it’s a time for families and friends to come together, to remember why we all appreciate each other’s company and to show off just how important it is to have beautiful people in your life.Secondly, one of the best ways to beat back the blues is through physical touch. Hug your best friends. Kiss your partners. Be physically intimate. These actions will pass happiness from you to your loved ones and from them back to you, and isn’t sharing what love is all about?

Massage, of course!

  • Sometimes the best treatment for winter depression is massage. Massage is known to reduce levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. It also increases blood flow to the muscles, which can affect the body in a similar way to stretching. Massage also causes the body to release endorphins, creating a pleasurable, relaxing feeling. The general sense of malaise that winter causes in many people can melt away after a good massage.

 

What are your tips for getting through the cold, dark months of winter?

Feel free to share them with me in the comments!

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Let’s get ready for a happy and healthy 2015!

This year has gone by so fast! It’s already Chanukkah, Christmas is just around the corner, and before we can blink, it’ll be 2015!

It may be a bit early, but we’re already thinking about New Year’s resolutions. We want to celebrate the close of one year and the start of a new one by making a commitment to reducing stress and improving the daily quality of life.

That’s why we’ve re-opened our gift shop for the end of the year. Here’s your chance to give the gift of health and wellness this holiday season, to yourself or a loved one. Because who doesn’t need a little health and wellness?

Until January 5, head on over to the shop and get up to 30% off on holiday favorites, including a peppermint foot scrub with aromatherapy, or a 90-minute massage package.

As always, you can book appointments online at your convenience!

Here’s to a healthy and happy holiday season! Looking forward to seeing you!

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What’s the best time to get a massage?

If you came here looking to find an answer to the question in the title, I’m going to disappoint you right now.

There is no overall best time to get a massage.

That’s right. There’s no single recommended time for anyone to get a massage, and there’s a reason for that. It’s because every massage is different, just like every person who receives a massage is different.

It’s true that many people go to visit their massage therapists in the evening, but there’s a reason for that, too. First, massage can be incredibly relaxing. Receiving a massage with the intention of relaxation before going home for the night, kicking off your shoes and reading a book or watching your favorite show can make the whole process of unwinding after a long day that much more enjoyable.

Secondly, for many working people, the evening is simply the most convenient time to get anything done! In fact, a few years back, we extended our evening hours just for this reason. Rushing to get a massage at 7am before catching the train to work can make things even MORE stressful — you may hit worse traffic as you leave the massage therapist’s office, or you might be missing out on valuable pre-work time to meet that deadline. But after work, all of those daytime stresses can melt away on the massage table.

Of course, relaxation isn’t the only reason people seek massage therapy. For some people, massage therapy serves the complete opposite purpose. Sports massage therapy, for example — more specifically, pre-event sports massage therapy — is designed to get you pumped up, and ready to get your head in the game!

Sports massage therapy isn’t just for athletes, though athletes do benefit tremendously from a team massage therapist (I’m sure you’ve seen your favorite players rush off to the sidelines to get a mid-game massage to keep them limber and alert!). With a balance of rapid tapping (tapotements), muscle elongation techniques, and focusing stretching, sports massage therapy brings blood and oxygen to the muscles to help them perform at peak capacity. So if focus and energy is your goal, a massage before a big meeting or an exam might be the way to go!

For some people, massage does a little bit of both – focus and relaxation. I’ve heard of people getting inspired to creativity after receiving a particularly wonderful massage.

So if you’re trying to figure out what’s the best time for a massage, ask yourself this: what’s your reason for getting a massage in the first place? If it’s relaxation, figure out what time you like to relax. If it’s focus and energy, determine when you need to get amped! If it’s a little bit of both, only you know when that works for you.

That’s the beauty of massage — it’s different for everyone, but it can work wonders for anyone!

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