The per­fect gift af­ter a tur­bu­lent year? A lit­tle tran­quil­ity

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Me­gan Buerger

There’s no doubt about it: 2016 was a doozy. It was so gru­el­ing, in fact, that latenight tele­vi­sion host John Oliver ded­i­cated an en­tire seg­ment of his show to re­cap­ping the year’s per­ils — in­clud­ing Zika, the cri­sis in Syria and the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion — be­fore cer­e­mo­ni­ously set­ting a 2016 in­stal­la­tion on fire.

“Thanks for watch­ing,” he said, “and let’s all try harder next year.”

De­spite all the dooms­day the­atrics, it’s an im­por­tant clos­ing sen­ti­ment. Ev­ery­one has off years, but the power to bounce back is in our hands. It’s in this spirit that we shift our fo­cus to the year ahead, re­solv­ing to break bad habits, form good ones, spend less, give more. For most of us,

res­o­lu­tions in­clude health and fit­ness goals.

The good news is that we’re liv­ing in a golden age for well­ness, with a re­newed pas­sion for self-im­prove­ment from the inside out. Ja­son Wa­chob, a former Wall Street trader who founded the life­style me­dia brand mind­body­green in 2009, says it’s never been eas­ier or more fun to ex­plore things that are good for you. “If that isn’t some­thing to smile about, I don’t know what is,” he says.

For Wa­chob, 42, the gamechanger was learn­ing to med­i­tate. As a former col­lege ath­lete and self-de­scribed “gym guy,” he said it took some con­vinc­ing the first time around. But af­ter a few weeks of steady prac­tice, he was sold.

“It has made me a bet­ter en­tre­pre­neur and CEO be­cause it’s about fo­cus and com­part­men­tal­iz­ing,” he says. “Ev­ery­one should try it.”

As you wrap up your hol­i­day shop­ping, con­sider gifts that of­fer a lit­tle bit more, whether it’s re­ju­ve­na­tion, stress re­lief or help sleep­ing. Ev­ery­one could use a lit­tle seren­ity in the new year, in­clud­ing you.

Gifts for seren­ity

Set of six aro­mather­apy herbal

soaps ($34, plantlife.net): You’d be for­given for as­sum­ing soap is the kind of thing handed out in cor­po­rate gift bas­kets, but there’s a mod­ern way to do it. Plantlife’s aro­mather­apy oils, salts and soaps are 100 per­cent ve­gan and pack plenty of beauty ben­e­fits thanks to in­gre­di­ents such as co­conut oil (mois­tur­iz­ing), patchouli (an­tibac­te­rial), lemon grass (ton­ing) and oat­meal (ex­fo­li­at­ing).

Man­duka’s Su­perLite mats ($40, yo­gaout­let.com): The Cal­i­for­nia com­pany known for lux­ury mats that can cost well into triple dig­its now of­fers a more mod­er­ately priced eco-friendly line. The light­weight tree rub­ber gives the mats a slight slip­per­i­ness, which some yo­gis pre­fer. De-Stress Frank­in­cense Pure Es­sen­tial Oil ($43, aro­mather­a­pyas­so­ci­ates.com): Founded in 1985 by two aro­mather­apy pioneers, Geral­dine Howard and Sue Beechey, Aro­mather­apy As­so­ci­ates called Princess Diana a loyal client. Frank­in­cense, the main in­gre­di­ent in this for­mula, is said to help re­lieve anx­i­ety and soothe skin. Un­real Candy’s Milk Choco­late Quinoa Peanut But­ter Cups ($18 for three bags, getun­real.com): This Michi­gan-based com­pany is striv­ing to rein­vent pop­u­lar candy with real, or­ganic in­gre­di­ents and less su­gar. Ga­iam’s Yoga for Be­gin­ners Kit ($30, tar­get.com): Founded in Boul­der, Colo., al­most 30 years ago, the com­pany is one of the largest providers of yoga equip­ment in the coun­try and even has a stream­ing video ser­vice with pro­grams hosted by Deepak Cho­pra and the Dalai Lama. Calm med­i­ta­tion sub­scrip­tion (one year $60, calm.com): Many med­i­ta­tion apps of­fer gift­ing op­tions, so you can nudge your friends and fam­ily to give one a try. Calm mem­bers get ac­cess to mind­ful­ness pro­grams and guided ses­sions de­signed for ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing com­muters and anx­ious types, with tips for man­ag­ing stress and stay­ing cen­tered. Chalait matcha tea and bam­boo whisk ($40, chalait.com): Nutri­tion­ists have long ex­tolled the health ben­e­fits of tea, but this year, one par­tic­u­lar type be­came a full-blown trend. Matcha, a finely ground pow­der made from green-tea leaves that’s said to in­crease me­tab­o­lism and of­fer a caf­feine kick with­out the jit­ters, is ev­ery­where. For stylish stock­ing

stuffers, check out Chalait, which sources di­rectly from the Uji fields in Ky­oto, Ja­pan, and sells teas and wares in sleek, min­i­mal­ist pack­ag­ing.

Muji dif­fuser ($69.50, muji.us): This Ja­panese life­style brand is beloved for its less-is-more ap­proach to home or­ga­ni­za­tion. Its best-sell­ing ul­tra­sonic aroma dif­fuser spreads the scent of es­sen­tial oils through­out a room and dou­bles as a soft light. Spire Mind­ful­ness and Ac­tiv­ity

Tracker ($100, ap­ple.com): Sea­soned yo­gis are well aware that breath­ing ex­er­cises can re­duce stress, but the sci­ence is spread­ing. Spire, an at­tach­ment de­vel­oped at Stan­ford Univer­sity in 2014, clips to a belt or bra and an­a­lyzes your body’s ten­sion by mon­i­tor­ing your breath­ing pat­terns. As a bonus, it syncs with your cal­en­dar, cam­era roll and lo­ca­tion so it can tell you when you’re most stressed out.

Plantlife's aro­mather­apy oils, salts and soaps are 100 per­cent ve­gan and pack plenty of beauty ben­e­fits. Plantlife

Spire Mind­ful­ness and Ac­tiv­ity Tracker ($100, ap­ple.com) clips to a belt or bra and an­a­lyzes your body's ten­sion by mon­i­tor­ing your breath­ing pat­terns. Dan Schwartzbaum

Tar­get

Ga­iam’s Yoga for Be­gin­ners Kit.

Un­real Candy's Milk Choco­late Quinoa Peanut But­ter Cups; the com­pany is striv­ing to rein­vent pop­u­lar candy with real in­gre­di­ents. Un­real Candy

Aro­mather­apy As­so­ci­ates

Frank­in­cense, the main in­gre­di­ent in De-Stress Frank­in­cense Pure Es­sen­tial Oil, is said to help re­lieve anx­i­ety and soothe skin.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.