The struggle is real. “Holiday travel brain” happens to the best of us. Despite this season’s status as the most wonderful time of the year, it also brings its fair share of special challenges, most of them related to travel and schedule overwhelm. Whether it’s staying cool in a crowded airport lounge, feeling sane while crammed into an old bedroom at a relative’s home, or finding a moment of peace amidst holiday errands of every shape and size, keeping your mind on what matters and finding a little peace and quiet can be tough.
When we find ourselves on the verge of a mini-break or even just an unkind word, we know that it’s public proof of our own private neglect: it’s time to de-stress and unwind!
We came up with the perfect gift idea for everyone on our list who suffers from “holiday travel brain.” Truth be told, most of us who suffer from this “condition” also deal with issues like “OMG, why are there so many emails syndrome” and “maybe if I don’t sleep I can get to yoga complex” throughout the year.
We’ve rounded up a list of our favorite stress-defying, calm-inducing gift ideas and suggest you pick three or four, wrap them up for your most stressed-out pal, and give the gift of a “zen zone” that they can take with them anywhere they go. It’s surprising the level of calm you can achieve in just a few minutes if you’re in the right state of mind and these twelve gifts have been selected to take you there.
Music is the key to creating a relaxing environment away from home. We love these Bose bluetooth speakers for instant ambiance. Connect your phone wirelessly and create a zen-like atmosphere with our playlist picks below. There’s something about music that helps us disconnect from the frazzle on the fly. You can also commit to a short yoga flow so much easier if you’ve got the right tunes!
All you need is a few minutes to create a sense of place for yourself that feels nourishing, private and restful. Give the gift of a stress-free “sanctuary on-the-go” for your most harried or well-traveled gal pal and we all but guarantee they’ll have a smoother, happier holiday…
12 Gifts To Create A Zen Zone On-The-Go
Essential oils are a quick and easy way to change your mood on the spot. Choose a couple different calming, anxiety-reducing oils and breathe, breathe, breathe! Essential oils are made up of microscopic molecules that are able to get into all of our cells. Once breathed in, they help to alter the neurotransmitters, bringing relief and ease to the mind and body. A few oils to look for are lavender, bergamont, clary sage, lemon, orange, frankincense and rosewood. You can also wear the oils by applying a few drops to the inside of the wrists and neck.
Essential Oil Diffuser
Now that you’ve got the oils, let’s diffuse them! We are loving the convenience of this USB essential oil diffuser, which is the smartest and easiest way to diffuse essential oils on the go! Use any type of organic essential oil, fill the device and plug it in on your laptop or in your car. Amazing to relax and detox the air around you.
TCM Pick: Essential Oil USB Diffuser by Florame
Bose Bluetooth Speaker
Music is the quickest way to create ambiance. There’s nothing like music to make us feel a million miles away. This new speaker from Bose tucks easily into a tote or gym bag, syncs with your phone, and can play high-quality sound anywhere you go. Music or meditation tracks are a crucial component to any mini zen zone!
TCM Pick: Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker
Music has the ability to shift our body’s chemistry and how our brains function. The right tunes have actually been proven to lower blood pressure, increase serotonin production, and create a sense of serenity in body, mind and spirit. Choose music with a steady yet tranquil beat, or go for a playlist engineered specifically for meditation. We love it when we’re able to press play on an album and just zen out.
Meditation on Tape
Instead of blasting your regular choice of music, tune in to some quality mind food with a book on tape. Look for a guided meditation, self-help, or spiritual enlightenment book to melt the stress away. Listening to a calming voice, or stress-reducing techniques will be a life saver, helping you to tap into your Buddha brain despite the chaos that may surround you.
TCM Picks: Power of Now or A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
Lighting a candle is so simple, but feels so luxurious. A burning candle helps us to slow down and focus on the present moment, allowing us to find our selves in any moment of chaos. We are currently loving beeswax candles, which are free of toxins, because they emit natural light and negative ions. Negative ions are known to energize the body and clear the mind while also cleansing the air of any toxins or negative energies… and we all need a little energy clearing during the holidays.
TCM Pick: Abigail’s Studio 100% Beeswax Candle
A Good Read
There’s nothing quite like a cozy blanket, a hot cup of tea and a good book to help take your mind off of your worries. That is why How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is part of our zen zone. This book gives you practical tools that can be applied in a pinch. Let it change and improve you. Written by Dale Carnegie, he offers a set of practical formulas you can put to work today. There’s no need to live with worry and anxiety that keep you from enjoying a full, active and happy life!
TCM Pick: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
Bach flower remedies are extracts of flowers that have the ability to tap into your mental state. They help to change your subconscious thoughts, giving you the energy and power to tackle any obstacles that may be challenging you. There are many Bach flowers to choose from, each one targeting an individual need or goal. All you need to do is add them to your water and drink down. Simple as that!
Pranayama / Breathing
Changing the breath instantly changes how we feel and how we act. If you begin to calm the breath, the body follows. Your blood pressure, heart rate and adrenaline are lowered, easing stress and anxiety. So the next time you begin to feel the road rage take over, or the family drama heighten to unbearable levels, stop and breathe. The best breathing practice is called Pranayama, which is an ancient yogic therapy from India. It is designed to help you release stress and find your center. Simply close the right nostril and breathe out of the left. Take slow inhales, about four seconds long. Then release the right nostril and close the left. Take an inhale through the right. Continue this breathing until the stress passes.
Get a little moisture in the air with this crafty humidifier on the go and get to deep breathing. Simply screw it onto your favorite BPA-free water bottle, connect with a USB cable and get misting! This vase humidifier is a creative, portable version of a standard humidifier, perfect for hotel rooms, long car trips or musty guest rooms and great for helping skin to stay hydrated too.
TCM Pick: iBen Personal USB Travel Humidifier
Magnesium is an essential mineral that the body relies upon to relax the nervous system. Unfortunately it is easily spent during times of stress (like holiday shopping) making supplementation essential. Magnesium helps your muscles and nerves function properly, it keeps your heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system and also assists in keeping your bones strong. This essential mineral helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure and is required for producing and storing energy. Most importantly though, it reduces stress effectively – hence its name, the “anti-stress mineral.”
TCM Pick: Natural Calm Powdered Magnesium
Tea to go
Tea should not be overlooked for its innate stress-reducing qualities, and is a must-have for dusting off the negative holiday vibes. Tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that acts like a natural sedative and calming agent. Look for teas that contain natural sedatives such as chamomile, green tea and peppermint. These will help to calm the body and mind. We are currently loving Tea Drops. Tea Drops are dissolvable teas that come pre-made with organic sugar. All you have to do is drop them in hot water, stir and watch the tea unfold.
TCM Pick: Tea Drops