By Heidi Porath
You are just getting back on your feet after the whirlwind of Thanksgiving and now, set before you, is the hoi polloi of Christmas. It’s the holidays, throw out any notion of keeping it together mentally and emotionally (while also looking and feeling great). That’s just asking too much, right? But wait! What if you can have both? What if you can manage it all, while being above it all? I am going to tell you my secret for staying beautiful and balanced, even when busy. Here it is: feeling beautiful and staying balanced is all about taking short time outs to do the little things you love.
1. Stretch: When you wake up in the morning, even before you get out of bed, do 3 minutes of light stretching. When you first wake up, there is less blood in your muscles, because they have been dormant all night. Stretching increases blood flow. Studies show that even just a few minutes stretching can reduce aches and pains. Reach with your arms, and lengthen your legs. Point your toes out, and spread your fingers wide. Arch your back, by gently lifting your buttocks off of the mattress. Stretching gives you an opportunity to listen to your body first thing in the morning. So, instead of hitting snooze or quickly flying out of bed, try some of the above listed stretching techniques or find some that work better for you, and you will be feeling more balanced before you know it!
2. DIY Body Scrub: This time of year it can be tough for you to take the time to get into the salon or spa. So, instead of going in for that body scrub, you can do it yourself at home with salt, sugar, and baking soda. Now that concoction might sound more like a cake recipe, but these household items can be used to gently exfoliate dead skin cells from the face (baking soda), or feet (salt ), or remove the unsightly “red bumps” from the back of your arms (sugar). It’s great, inexpensive, and best of all quick and easy.
3. DIY Foot Soak: Sometimes I like nothing more than a relaxing foot bath. This is one of my favorite spa treatments, because it is so relaxing and luxurious–and I spend all day at work on my feet. Relaxing foot baths can be done at home, with Epsom salt and eucalyptus oil steam. In fact, sometimes I put the Epsom salt in for a full body bath. When bathing your feet, try flexing the foot by pointing the toes outwards, then letting them relax. Alternate this with curling your toes back under, and you can wash away the cares and aches that come with sore feet.
4. DIY Hair Treatment: Depending on your lifestyle, stylist, and the shampoo you use, you may be noticing your hair seems dry, lifeless, and breaking. Even professionals like me can struggle with this, especially when we are coloring our hair so often. Not to worry! One of my favorite, inexpensive tricks for dry hair is simple household olive oil. I just use a little bit after a shower, run it through the ends until evenly distributed, and sleep on it until morning. You may want to put a towel over your pillow, or use a pillow sheet you don’t mind potentially ruining. I may not wash it out, until I feel my hair has returned to its healthy, shiny best.
5. Move and Breathe: When I am stressed, and there aren’t enough hours in the day, I like to carve out time for a short activity. Sometimes I take a 10 minute walk around the block, other times I like to catch up on the stack of magazines I have on my coffee table. Or, if I am all worked up in the midst of a crisis, often times I will stop and take a few deep breaths. I like to breathe in to a count of 4, and breathe out to a count of 4. I like to do this 3 times in a row. Deep breathing exercises are clinically proven to reduce stress, decrease blood pressure, and release endorphins into the blood stream. All good things. When I give myself this time out, I generally find that most of the stress was in my mind or due to my attitude. Taking a walk, reading, or doing basic breathing exercise helps me to calibrate back to normalcy. No matter how busy I get, I can always find 5-10 minutes for these activities.
About now you might be thinking, “Easy for you to say, Lady, but you don’t know how busy I really am!” Or, you might be tempted to believe that, given all the responsibilities you have and all the people counting on you, if you take time for yourself it would be selfish. It isn’t selfish! It is precisely for the people who are counting on you, and for the huge weight of responsibilities you have, and for the people you love, that I am urging you to try these 5 tips. Your work, your family, and yes even you yourself, need you to be at tip top condition, so create time for yourself to become your very best.
Experienced in runway styling and celebrity services, Heidi Porath has experienced the ups and downs of a multitude of style changes and trends! Now she’s settled in Tampa, from Wisconsin, and can share her skills with area clients. At Serendipity Salon in the Hyde Park, S. Tampa area, Porath specializes in hair extensions and color. She listens carefully to her customers, assesses their desires and potential and transforms them into the best they can be! Visit the Facebook page and make an appointment online!