Does this scenario sound familiar? Your skin’s completely dried out, your lips are chapped, your whole system’s dehydrated, and your brain is fuzzy and barely functioning. To top it all off, you can’t even seem to fall asleep even though you’re bone tired. According to ayurvedic expert Kathryn Templeton, you’re suffering from holidaze, a common malady this time of year when we all feel a little out of whack. We can blame our condition on a combination of holiday chaos (or cheer), travel, and the dry, windy environment we live in.
If you think the only way to combat dry, hectic conditions like these is to slather on the cold cream and hibernate until spring, you’re wrong. Put the bottle down and try these ayurvedic remedies instead. Templeton relies on them anytime she travels during the holiday season, but they work just as well from the comforts of home.
For Dehydration—and Digestion
According to ayurveda the best way to stay hydrated during the winter is by drinking lots of warming, hot liquids. A cup of your favorite herbal tea works, but if your system is a little sluggish make some CCF tea instead: a simple infusion of cumin, coriander, and fennel (in equal parts) will warm your belly and promote better digestion. To prepare the tea, just add hot water to your herbs and let it all steep for at least 3 minutes.
On the road a lot? Carry a sealed, plastic baggy of the herbs with you, and add hot water as available.
For the Airplane
If you’re flying, says Templeton, and you know you’ll be held captive by the dry, stale air of the airplane cabin, pack a small bottle of nasya oil in your carry-on. Once you’re in the air, you can dab a pinky of the oil inside both nostrils, saturate a couple cotton-balls and stuff them into your ears as well. “At the end of a flight, my neighbors are usually my new best friends, or—they’ve moved,” Templeton says, laughing.
Before crawling into bed, give yourself an abhyanga (a self-massage). You can go for the full monty—dry-brushing combined with a head-to-toe massage with sesame or triphala oil. Or, if you’re pressed for time, just go for the feet—you’ll get many of the same rejuvenating benefits as a full massage.
One of the best side effects? A good night’s sleep.
Bonus: For dry eyes, Templeton recommends dabbing a little castor oil at the corner of your eyelids.
Get more of Templeton’s ayurvedic tips for every season here. Or curb your holiday stress with an in-depth lesson in the healing practices of pranayama from Rolf Sovik.