By Laura Cipullo, RD, RYT, Founder of the L’ifestyle Lounge, Closter NJ & author of Women’s Health Body Clock Diet
Featured in Northern Valley Living Magazine, December 2018
While the holidays are a time of giving thanks and spending quality time together, they seem more like a time for giving gifts and spending time high on holiday cookies and family stress. As a parent you can easily recommit to a holiday filled with mindfulness, kindness and compassion.
Choose from my favorite mindful gifts to spend this season with a sense of calm and self-care.
Essential Oil Diffuser
Get “zenned” out with aromatherapy! Add essential oils to water and plug in. Choose from diffusers ranging in price from about $20.00 at Target to $100.00 online at www.DoTerra.com. Make sure to clean the diffusers frequently with vinegar.
Lavender and Peppermint Essential Oils
Get your special someone or even yourself the favored oils. When starting an essential oil collection, choose these two basic oils. Lavender is ideal for calming and falling asleep while peppermint helps with focus and relieving stress headaches. Spend the extra money and buy pure and or organic oils from companies such as Young Living and or DoTerra.
Rest easy by using a scented eye sachet. Nothing feels better than closing your eyes at the end of your yoga class or even a long day and feeling the light weight of an eye pillow. Support local business and get an eye pillow at Crush’d Garage in Cresskill, NJ.
Yoga Mat(“Paint your Own” is cute too!)
Yoga mats are the perfect mindful gift for kids and adults alike. For your little yogi, get a lighter and shorter yoga mat. Consider an earth friendly yoga mat made in the USA for the adult who needs some mindfulness. At the L’ifestyle Lounge, we love Jade yoga mats (www.JadeYoga.com) for preventing slips.
For children, get the latest meditation book from Bergen County author Frank J Sileo, PhD, Be Still Bee Still: An Invitation to Meditation. Per www.goodreads.com“Bentley is a lovable honeybee who does not participate in the frantic buzzing of other bees. Instead, he uses meditation to help calm himself and find inner peace. Soon the rest of the forest animals are joining along with Bentley as they sit, breathe, and “bee” still! Research has indicated that meditation can assist with improving concentration and focus, calming anxiety, and reducing impulsivity. A “Note to Parents and Caregivers” is included with information on how to teach children to practice meditation.”
Compassionate Piggy Bank
Teach the children in your life to volunteer and be charitable. Living mindfully extends beyond using the five senses. It weaves themes of kindness and compassion for the self and others. Check out the Moon Jar Bank and the accompanying book at www.moonjar.com or the piggy bank that instills philanthropy at http://www.moneysavvy.com/assembled/money_savvy_pig.html#.W9TinC-ZPdc. The idea is to teach children how to save, donate and invest money.
Gratitude and or Mindfulness Cards
Search “Mindfulness Cards” on Amazon to choose amongst the many decks of cards that to remind kids, teens and adults to be grateful for the little things in life whether it’s the sound of birds chirping or the warmth of hot cocoa in your hands. Clients always love the cards, Power Thought Cardsby Louise Hay.
Regardless of your age, you can color. Just make sure it is mindful. Gift coloring books of mandalas or choose books such as The Coloring Book of Mindfulness: 50 Quotes and Designs to Help You Focus, Slow Down, De-Stress Paperback – Coloring Book, by Quadrille Publishing andHolly MacDonaldfor adults and BeHappy & Color!: Mindful activities & coloring pages for kids by Hannah Klaus Hunter andStephanie Peterson Jones.
Instill mindfulness by encouraging awareness of feelings, thoughts and behaviors through journaling. Check out American Girls’ The Feelings Bookand The Feelings Book Journal or gift any notebook or plain journal to set the vibe for increasing awareness.
Mindful Eating and Meal Book and Log
Walking, eating and even loving can all be acts of mindfulness. The question is how do you do all of these things mindfully? Give the ultimate gift of mindfulness and purchase three or more books in the “How to” series by zen master and author Thich Nhat Hanh. As a registered dietitian, I always recommend clients read the book How to Eat(Mindfulness Essentials) by Thich Nhat Hanh and then pair it with a journal to keep a mindful meal log. You can download a sample mindful meal log at http://lauracipullo.com/about-2/lauras-books/womens-health-body-clock-diet/.
Make a statement of mindfulness with one or more of the gifts above. Gift these favorite items with a gift certificate to a massage, meditation or a yoga class. Be the change maker for a peaceful holiday season.