Self-Care During the Holidays

Old Fashioned Winter HolidayAre You Feeling Stressed?
Guess what?  The holiday season is here.  Bodhi Day, Pancha Ganapati, Hanukkah,  Winter Solstice, Yalda, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve is right around the corner.  As children we get very deeply conditioned about what it means, all the expectations, ‘shoulds,” and “should-nots.” As much as you may be looking forward to the holiday gifts and festivals, it can also be a traumatic experience. Do you remember hoping, praying for your favorite gift, so excited for weeks… then you open the gifts and you got something else? How sad and disappointing it was!

Holiday StressThe Role of Childhood Experiences 
Very often when the holidays are approaching we feel stress, without always consciously knowing why. One of the main reasons is lack of self-care. We tend to be very outwardly focused, thinking about what is expected of us, how to do the “right” actions, find the “right”  gifts for our family and friends, neglecting our own wants and needs. If you didn’t get the  gifts you had really wanted as a child and teenager, that sets up another layer of tension and stress today, because childhood experiences create an assumption in the subconscious that the same experiences will happen today.

Happy HolidayHow to Have a Stress-Free Holiday
Here are some of the ways to take care of yourself, so that you can experience more relaxation and joy during this holiday season than you had before.

1. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths into your belly. Ground yourself first. Get a sense of your feet on the ground, connected to the earth. Feel your tail bone, and imagine that from the tip of your tailbone a strong grounding cord is coming out, like a tree. Your grounding cord is moving deep into the earth, all the way into the very center of the earth, and is anchoring itself there. Feel yourself deeply connected to Mother Earth, grounded in this moment in a peaceful and relaxed way.

2. Realize that this is your life, you come first. Say to yourself out loud: “This is my life. I come first.”

3. As a child your survival depended on your caregivers, you didn’t have much choice. Now as an adult you have choices you didn’t have back then. Feel in your gut the fact that you can choose to take care of yourself now and ask for what you want. “I deserve to ask for what I want.”

4. Take a few deep breaths, all the way down into your belly.

5. Ask yourself what you want in this holiday season. Imagine the possibility of a stress-free holiday.

6. Making mistakes is part of being human. We can learn from our mistakes, apologize, and forgive ourselves. Realize that who you are is always lovable no matter what mistakes you have made.

7. Your Self-Love Chamber is in the middle of your chest. Put both of your hands there and send yourself unconditional Love. Feel it spreading through your body.

8. Say to yourself: “I love myself exactly as I am.”

9. Imagine your ideal holiday. Write it down. Say to yourself: “I deserve to receive a joyful holiday.”

10. Write down two-three self-care actions you can do for each of these holidays.


Rabia ErdumanRabia Erduman is a Health Educator for the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. She was born in Istanbul, Turkey and later spent ten years in Germany before arriving in the United States in 1983.  Rabia utilizes Psychology, Transpersonal Hypnotherapy, Craniosacral Therapy, Polarity Therapy, Reiki,  and Trauma Release to assist clients in their process of self-discovery. Rabia also teaches Tantric and spiritually-oriented workshops. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance and/or to find out how you can have your health article printed here on our blog site, contact us or visit our website at

Top 20 Tips for Healthy Skin

Is there anything that can help diminish wrinkles and aging? What can be done to keep the skin youthful-looking and healthy? Here are the top twenty holistic health natural tips for radiant, glowing skin.

20 tips for Healthier Younger Looking Skin

Looking for younger-looking skin? Try these 20 top tips!

  1. Don’t smoke
    The more cigarettes you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more skin wrinkling you’re likely to have.  This is because the nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outer layers of the skin and impairs blood flow. The result is that the skin doesn’t get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A. 
  2. Don’t drink alcohol
    Alcohol can make you age faster and cause more wrinkles. Drinking alcohol can cause premature wrinkles, dehydration, loss of elasticity, loss of collagen, redness, and puffiness of the skin.
  3. Get plenty of sleep
    When a person doesn’t get enough sleep this causes the skin to sag, bags under the eyes, and a lack of luster and radiance.  Lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate, creating the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.  A person who gets plenty of sleep is less stressed.  Getting plenty of sleep at night helps to keep the skin healthy and glowing.
  4. Avoid sun during the peak times
    As the sun moves higher in the sky, the sun’s rays become more intense.  This means more potential damage to the skin and eyes. The ultraviolet (UV) light travels a shorter, more direct distance to reach the earth during the peak sun intensity hours when UV light is the strongest,.  This is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. standard time or 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daylight savings time.
  5. Use broad spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection.
    Ultraviolet rays are grouped into three different categories: UVA, UVB and UVC.  The SPF, “sun protection factor”, is only a measure of protection against UVB rays which burn the skin, but SPF is not a measure of UVA rays which penetrate deep into the skin, suppress the immune system and may cause cancer.  This is why it is important to look on your sunscreen for “broad spectrum” protection of both UVA and UVB protection
  6. Wear protective clothing
    The primary cause of aging and skin damage is damage from the sun. If you are planning on being outside for many hours, wear long sleeved shirts, hats, long pants and sun glasses, to protect yourself from the sun’s damaging rays.
  7. Get eyes checked regularly to eliminate wrinkles from squinting
    Many people avoid a trip to the optometrist when having trouble seeing.  Long term effects of squinting the eyes in order to better focus or  squinting the eyes because of the brightness of the sun, can cause wrinkled skin on the face and “crows feet” around the eyes.  Always wear sunglasses and keep your prescriptions up to date.
  8. Clean skin thoroughly daily
    Boil water in a pot or tea kettle, pour the water into a bowl, then put a towel over your head and hold the bowl near your face for about 5-10 minutes. Then wash your face thoroughly with a cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type. Pat dry with a clean cloth.
  9. Use moisturizer if skin is dry
    Not everyone needs to use moisturizer.  When purchasing moisturizers, check to make sure that it is appropriate for your skin type (oily, dry, normal).  Always make sure your hands are clean before applying creams, lotions, shaving cream, makeup, etc., to prevent bacterial infections.
  10. Always remove makeup before sleeping
    Many people state that they are too tired to properly remove makeup, lotions or shaving lotions before going to sleep.  Leaving makeup or other skin lotions and applications on overnight, can cause the skin to produce acne from build up of dirt and oil in the pores of the skin.  Use warm water to clean the skin with a cleanser appropriate for your skin type.
  11. Always rinse well to remove dead skin and soap
    After thoroughly cleaning the skin, it is important to rinse several times to be sure to remove soap. Do a final rinse with cool (not cold) water to close pores.
  12. Use water-based products
    Water-based water-based moisturizers have a light, nongreasy feeling. They are appropriate for most everyone, including people with allergies, sensitive skin, oily skin, and normal skin.  For very dry, cracked skin, it might be more appropriate to choose a heavier, oil-based moisturizer that contains ingredients such as antioxidants, grape seed oil to help keep the skin hydrated. or to consult with a doctor or skin specialist for the appropriate moisturizing products.
  13. Eat organic, non-GMO foods
    Eating healthy, natural  foods that do not contain toxic chemicals such as pesticides and added chemicals help to bring a healthy, natural glow to the skin and help the body release toxins through the skin.
  14. Eliminate trans fats and added sugars
    Trans fats and high fructose corn syrup—are in 40 percent of the foods Americans eat every day.  Multiple studies have shown that these foods contribute to obesity, diabetes and heart disease, bringing stress and ill-health to the body. Keeping the body healthy and in tip top shape adds to the health of the skin, because the skin is a major toxin removing system and when it is overworked, it cannot be in the best condition.  Taking care of the skin begins with what you eat.
  15. Exercise regularly
    Studies show that regular exercise helps the body have healthier, younger-looking skin. Consult with your fitness coach, health practitioner, or physical therapist to design a physical fitness program that is safe and appropriate for you. Set aside time each day to devote to your exercise routine.
  16. Shave with a sharp, clean razor
    Nearly 5 million bacteria have been found on a single disposable wet razor handle in new laboratory research by antibacterial technology specialist Microban Europe.  Clean the razor blade with alcohol daily before using, and thoroughly clean the skin after shaving.
  17. Dispose of old makeup and applicators every 6-12 months.
    Cosmetic manufacturers are not required by law to put expiration dates on their products. This leaves the responsibility of caring for the skin up to the consumer.  Check makeup and lotions regularly for consistency (has it become thicker?), color (has the color become darker?), and smell (does it have a strange odor?).  Makeup that is used around the eyes is more prone to bacteria and should probably be replaced every 3-6 months. Other products could be replaced every 6 months to one year.Do facial exercises regularly
  18. Do facial exercises regularly
    You might be disciplined about working out on the treadmill but are you doing your face and eye exercises? If you spend long days in front of computer with a furrowed brow, it’s important to take breaks every few hours to stretch the muscles in the face and neck. This helps to maintain elasticity and prevent sagging skin, toning the face and eliminating wrinkles.
  19. Drink plenty of water
    The most effective treatment for healthy skin is hydration. Drink plenty of water to help the body remove toxins.
  20. Meditate or practice relaxation techniques
    Eliminating stress improves the condition of the skin.  This is because stress causes your body to produce cortisol and other hormones, which causes the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Oily skin is more prone to acne and other skin problems.  Take a warm relaxing bath, do something you love, read a book, try deep breathing, yoga, meditation, listen to music, watch a funny movie, or talk to a friend or counselor.