It’s December! Which means, it’s holiday time!
This also means this is the time of year when we brave the cold weather to squeeze into overcrowded shopping malls to
fight it out search high and low for something, anything the perfect gift for our spouse, siblings, parents, children, and coworkers, garbage men, hairdressers, pets, Secret Santa, and every other conceivable acquaintance other special people in our lives.
Sounds great, right?
This year, instead of getting the usual chocolates, candies, jewelry, gift card, or other sugary or cluttery stuff that everyone expects, why not give the gift of health? In that spirit, here are 10 gift ideas to help the recipient live a healthier, happier 2014.
1. Custom-made fragrance
Why not create a fragrance as unique as your loved one? Buy a beautiful glass bottle, choose a few delicious essential oils, and get creative! Full instructions plus some ideas can be found in my blog on How to make your own perfume.
2. Tea Party
If you have a tea-lover (or the other kind of person, an unrealized tea-lover) in your life, you know that they can never get enough! Tea not only tastes great, but boasts a huge list of health benefits from aiding in the prevention of most chronic diseases, to fighting aging, to focusing and soothing the overactive mind. What could make a more perfect gift than the gift of health-promoting tea and some amazing tea accessories?
Keep in mind that not all tea is created equal. Yes, the price you pay does reflect the quality and freshness of what you get! Also, loose teas tend to pack more health benefits that bagged teas. Check out a great article What in your tea? to learn more.
A few of my personal favourite teas: Gyokuro Yamashiro and Butterfly Jasmine green teas, Bai Hao Yin Zhen and Secret Weapon (now discontinued!) white teas, and Tie Kwan Yin and Vanilla Orchid oolong teas.
3. Relaxation through meditation
We all know that anxiety does us no good, but it can be hard to break the pattern. Meditation is one of the best things you can do for your body, mind, and spirit to reduce anxiety, increase productivity, and prevent disease.
This year I challenged myself to do 100 days of meditation in a row, and after reaching over 130 days, then totally forgetting one evening (argh!), I’ve started over and I’m going strong at my daily habit again! You can read even more about my challenge in my blogs Quick start guide to meditation, Loosen up with body s
Start with just 5-10 minutes per day, such as Bodhipaksa’s Guided Meditations for Busy People, available as a CD or as downloadable MP3 files. Make sure you download these files from the Wildmind store, not iTunes, as the latter only offers them as one large MP3 file instead of individual tracks! Plus, until December 18, if you contribute to The Free Bodhi Fund, you can get $7 worth of product for $5 or $25 worth of product for $15, and even more great savings if you give more!
4. Exercise is the best medicine
“When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no ‘I’ll start tomorrow.’ Tomorrow is disease.” Terri Guillemets
Did you know that Exercise is the best medicine? So why don’t we all do it more often? Sometimes it can be hard to make time, find something we really enjoy, or even just figure out what the heck we should DO for exercise.
How about some fun, easy to use instructions to exercise at home? Over 10 years ago, a friend gave me the Yoga Deck, which I still enjoy and recommend to so many people in my life! This deck makes a great gift for pretty much anyone who wants to learn about yoga or engage in a yoga practice at home. Even better, you can also get the Yoga Deck II, Stretch Deck, and the Fitness Ball Deck. All make great gifts on their own or along with a piece of equipment, such as a mat or fitness ball!
5. Eat your veggies!
“Vegetables are like sex, if you can’t remember the last time you had any, you’re not having enough.” Unknown
Did you know that cardiovascular disease and cancer are the top two causes of death, but both are highly preventable! One easy way to do this is through daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, which is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease (by 31%) and cancer (by between 2-20%), as well as stroke (by 19%), Alzheimer’s disease, aging, and many other concerns.
Most people don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables – you want to aim for at least 5-6 servings fruits and vegetables every day, one serving being one cup or one medium piece of fruit. One great way to reach this goal is to have your veggies delivered right to your door! Check out the Top 10 organic food delivery options in Toronto and consider this amazing gift option for your family and friends!
6. Move that lymph
With winter often comes dry, flaky, itchy, irritated skin. And when the weather warms up, we hesitate to bare our skin due to annoying cellulite. Dry skin body brushing not only helps to solve both of these issues, but also aids in boosting circulation and lymphatic flow, key to detoxification and immune health.
7. Sound sleep
“That we are not much sicker and much madder than we are is due exclusively to that most blessed and blessing of all natural graces, sleep.” Aldous Huxley
I think we can all agree that nothing beats a good night’s sleep! To that aim, why not give the gift of a soothing eye mask, such as this Silk Eye Pillow. Print out my blogs on Tips for sound sleep and The importance of dark at night and you have an affordable and health promoting gift for anyone on your list!
8. Water, water, everywhere…
“Water, thou hast no taste, no color, no odor; canst not be defined, art relished while ever mysterious. Not necessary to life, but rather life itself, thou fillest us with a gratification that exceeds the delight of the senses.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Without water, we cannot live, but we tend to take it for granted. Drinking enough water each day refreshes you body and mind, allows for health digestion, and provides a medium for elimination and detoxification.
How much water should you drink daily? A good guideline for adults is 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight per day. What better gift than a beautiful, functional, reusable, and non-toxic (ie: non-plastic!) water bottle? My personal favourite is Klean Kanteen.