January carries with it the coldest season of the Chinese calendar, combined with the ushering in of the new year. This month I offer three tips you can try to help simplify your life, feel calmer and lighter and help you begin to detox from the hubbub surrounding the holiday season.
1. Clean & tidy up
In Eastern culture, everybody does a deep clean before the new year. It's a way to release material things and behavior that no longer serve us and make a fresh start.
Recently, I began watching the Netflix special “Tiding up” with Marie Kondo. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and my daughter and I immediately found ourselves using her method to clear out and make room after watching her show.
Benefit: Releasing clutter from our space and lives gives us more freedom to focus on what's important and brings us the most joy.
2. Meditate & rest
Whether or not you have a regular meditation practice or have been practicing for years, I recommend you try resting. Yoga Nidra practice or resting helps develop a connection between your mind and resting body to improve focus and catch up on lost sleep.
How it works: Yoga Nidra typically, is done lying on the ground although it can be done anywhere with a positive effect. There are many recorded sessions of the Yoga Nidra practice available online you can download for free. Try listening to a guided meditation in your car during your lunch break.
Benefit: A short 20 to 30-minute session of Yoga Nidra, practiced daily allows you to release mental stress and replenish from lost sleep.
Eating soup broth made from leeks helps to clear your liver, which can get overtaxed from consuming too much rich food, sweets, and alcohol during the holidays. Drunk in place of food, broth made from the onion family helps soften the liver and jump-start your metabolism. This acts as a mild diuretic cleanse for the liver; it should be done for one day only and is not intended to be a regular diet. Be sure to check with your doctor first, if you have a current illness.
What you'll need:
2 pounds organic leeks
Large sauce pot, strainer
Rinse the leeks well, remove and discard the dark green portion.
Fill a large sauce pot with enough water to cover the leeks. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the leeks are tender, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the leeks to a plate, and strain the broth into a covered container. Store in the refrigerator.
How it works: The leek broth can be drunk at room temperature or reheated. Drink one cup every 2 to 3 hours, and eat some of the tender white leeks, drizzled with olive oil, lemon, and a pinch of sea salt.
Benefit: Gently cleanses the liver and helps bump up the body's metabolism.
Here's wishing you a very happy and healthy new year!
Jennifer Patro, L.Ac