Ahhhh, the holidays. A time for family, giving -- and bloat. Marsupial pouch-like bloat. Stare-at-your-tum-and-wonder-what-exactly-is-in-there kind of bloat. Blame it on the days of wine, bleu cheese, and Santa’s boot-shaped cookies. Days that stretch from Thanksgiving to the second week in January, like a kitchen remodeling project that’s gone on waaay too long. This is the dark side of the holidays, chronic indulgence that steals your chance to feel good and be present while giving presents because you’re too busy feeling furious at yourself for abandoning your will power. Again.
Have no self-hate, we’re here to help. Shall we make a plan, not to declare perfection, but to map out a strategy to stay a bit more grounded than last year? Great! Let’s get started.
1. Even Santa Makes a List: Inventory Your Wellness Stockpile
Preparing for the battle is half the victory. Make a list of all the items you’ll need between now and January 1 to set yourself up for self-care success. Maybe invest in a few detox baths. Does your Brita need a new filter? How’s your vitamin supply and essential oil stash? Do you have a book or two ready to dig into? How about lining up a walking partner to keep you accountable for maintaining an exercise routine? Can you occasionally book a sitter to make sure you have some free time set aside for yourself and your partner?
Tip: This wagon ride doesn’t need to be expensive. Determine what your budget will allow, and invest in your favorite items.
2. Mis en Place: Organize Your Wellness Warehouse
Our founder, Shannon Vaughn, is always preaching mise en place, French for “everything in its place.” Clear out a shelf in your bathroom or hall closet and set up your Wellness Warehouse. Line up your oils, bath soaks, dry brush, etc. After your morning toilet, lay out the day’s tools so that you can see them throughout the day and get excited to use them, be it the bath that you plan to take in the evening or the oils that you will use in your diffuser or the sleep-boosting liquid magnesium you want to add to your water bottle to drink during your bath.
Tip: Leave a small clock in the bathroom to help keep track the 20 minutes you spend soaking in the tub. Cuts down on hollering through the bathroom door to your husband, “How long have I been in here?!”
3. ’Twas the Night Before Tomorrow: The Power of the Bedtime Bath
Tomorrow’s success begins the night before. Have a 20-minute detox bath before bed. Bring your water bottle so that you can chug a good 32 ounces while you steep in the detoxifying sea salts. You’ll wake up so glad you set the tone for your day.
Tip: We love Moonlit Ritual or Minerals de Mer for a really basic, potent detox bath. It doesn’t matter if you had an extra cup o’ cheer, half a pie, and fists full of Chex Mix while waiting for dinner, just get in the darn tub! It’s a way of not having to wait until tomorrow to hoist a leg up on the wagon.
4. Wagons Ho! Mid-Day Momentum Surge
Between the hours of noon and 3pm, attempt two wellness practices to keep the momentum going. And before the cork is popped, before you slice into the sweets, perhaps take a moment to sit down and make a plan for the night. How do you want the second half of the day to go? What do you plan to eat and drink? What can you put in place to help you resist the temptations?
Tip: A friend’s mother swears by pre-measuring exactly five ounces of wine for her evening treat and does not go over that amount.
5. Runaway Wagon: If You Fall Off, Get Right Back On
If you want to shoot for perfection, have at it! But, as for me and my house, I’m simply planning to do a little better than I did last year, to use a little more wisdom and a little less checking out of myself. And if, nay, when, you fall off, don’t let shame keep you in the mud puddle: Take a detox bath before bed, take a walk first thing in the morning, floss your teeth--do something that reminds you that you do care about yourself and that you are capable of making good decisions.
Tip: Team up with a friend to be each other’s Wellness Wagon accountability partner. Check in each morning to report how you did the day before. Encourage and love each other thru this bumpy road of self-care. We’re not supposed to do this hard stuff alone!
Wellness Wagon Tips from Pursoma Staff
Founder, Shannon Vaughn
“Dinners are heavier during the holidays, so I try to do a mid-day, liquid nutrition meal that’s high in fiber. Here’s a favorite of mine.”
2 stalks celery
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Half apple with skin
A few chunks pineapple
Handful of spinach
1.5 cups water (ideally coconut water)
1 packet stevia
Blend on high until no chunks. Enjoy!
Logistics Manager, Meghan Blanchard
“I have found great comfort and release in taking long walks with my two golden retrievers. This helps me to clear my mind and stay active, especially during stressful times.”
Creative Director, Cecile Davis
“I get fully into the Christmas spirit! Really leaning into the magic of Christmas helps me cope with the stress of the holiday season. Watching Christmas movies, setting aside time to make gifts for family and friends, blasting Christmas music 24/7, and going the extra mile for my kids. (Hello, Polar Post www.polarpost.co.uk ) makes my heart grow three sizes. And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being outside when it’s cold. In Iceland they have no concept of “bad weather.” They believe that if you’re dressed appropriately, you can enjoy the outdoors no matter the weather. So, going for walks in the woods, splashing in half-frozen puddles and enjoying abandoned beaches all bundled up is how I stay active in the winter months. Hygge-fying my house is also hugely important to me in the winter. My house has to be a warm refuge, full of creature comforts and sanctuary spaces to fight the afternoon darkness.”
Marketing Coordinator, Hudson Berry
“Keeping my plants watered and my home clean helps keep my brain uncluttered. After morning meditation, I like to take the time to tidy up, water, and talk to/encourage my plants. I light a candle in each room to help create a cozy vibe. Taking care of my physical space translates to taking care of my own mental space. Candles are my reward for organizing, and they help create a warm environment that smells and feels lovely, and they punctuate the cleaning ritual and set the tone for the rest of the day.”
Graphic Designer, Sarah Funk
“Over the holidays, I make sure to take a long bath or take some time to myself to read or meditate. I think it's important to carve out alone time because time all together can be draining, especially with the current state of the world. The nicer you are being to yourself, the nicer you will be to those around you.”
Intern, Catherine Blizzard
“I wake up a bit earlier in the mornings and take advantage of the morning light. Not only does getting up earlier allow me to combat the seasonal time change, but I can check things off my to-do list earlier so I feel less rushed celebrating the holidays.”