Five professionals share their advice for self-care this holiday season
By Anna-Rhesa Versola | Photography by John Michael Simpson
Winter is coming, and festivities are upon us as we return to more traveling and reconnecting with family and friends over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. We spoke with five businesses in Chatham to find out how they stay healthy – physically and mentally – plus how to look and feel good throughout the season.
Feeling confident can start with a fresh cut and style. Check out these five tips from Brie Boyd, owner of Salon Breeze – one of our readers’ favorite places to care for hair – about looking fabulous this winter:
• Add color but make sure you plan ahead by pre-booking at least two appointments out to guarantee the times that work best with your schedule. Keep in mind that many salons are experiencing staffing shortages due to COVID-19 so do your best to keep your appointment. Also, consult your stylist about hair color options that are realistic for the maintenance you are willing to do.
• A new cut may be in your future. A good stylist will review the best options for your hair type and your lifestyle. Bring photos as examples of the style you are thinking about. Or, use an app to upload your selfie and see how a style might look on you.
• Get a blowout using salon-quality styling products and tools for shiny, frizz-free, camera- ready hair. YouTube tutorials are a great resource for easy tips and tricks to achieve different looks at home.
• Nourish your hair with the right mask once or twice a month. Also, using a quality clarifying shampoo or treatment to remove any buildup. Many store-bought products sit on top of the hair but don’t actually penetrate the cuticle layer to help the integrity of the hair. A professional product line will work into the hair shaft to nourish from the inside out.
• Express yourself using temporary options like hair chalks and clip-in extensions or try semipermanent colors and longer lasting extensions. Also, there are ways to make hair appear shorter, or allowing shorter hair to look like an updo.
Renaissance Wellness Services owner Karen Barbee (pictured right) says it’s easy to lose ourselves in the rush of finding the perfect gift, decorating for the season, cooking for family gatherings or booking (and rebooking) travel plans. Here are some tips to maintain a happy disposition throughout the holidays.
Be wise about a holiday budget. This provides a visual of how much money you will spend on gifts this year, which can give you more control of your finances and reduce anxiety.
Be patient and kind to yourself. If you are starting to feel overwhelmed, ask yourself, “What am I feeling right now, and why?” Then, do something different to put yourself in a better mental space, like taking a short break to decompress and rebound.
Be intentional. Visiting with family and friends can be great but it can also become mentally and emotionally draining. Living in pandemic times and its strict travel guidelines can add to the burden. Know that it’s OK to connect virtually.
Be proactive. You may still be feeling the impacts of adjusting to a new normal these days. Talk with someone who can help you put things in a better perspective and assist you in developing a self-care plan.
Dr. Karen Tiwana of Chatham Dental Arts (pictured left) says after two years of socially distanced holidays, this season likely will be filled with more face-to-face contact. Here are five quick tips to keep you smiling through the winter:
• No matter how tired you are after that fun holiday party, stick to your regular oral hygiene routine – brush and floss twice daily.
• Enjoy the seasonal goodies, but avoid hard, sticky foods like candy canes and toffee that can break teeth and pull out fillings. Instead, go for healthier choices on the veggie or cheese trays. Alkaline in cheese neutralizes acids in your mouth and increases salivary flow.
• Toast wisely. Opt for drier, lower-sugar alcoholic drinks. Alcohol can lead to dehydration and reduce salivary flow that can increase risk of tooth decay, and teeth can stain from tannin-heavy alcohol like wine.
• Holiday stress? A night guard can prevent headaches and breakage of teeth or fillings due to grinding or clenching of teeth while sleeping.
• Consider dental products as gifts or stocking stuffers to help keep teeth healthy all year long, like an electric toothbrush, water flosser or whitening system. Most dentists offer these at reduced prices.
Audrey Burleson knows it could be easy to make excuses to avoid regular exercise. She runs her own business while keeping up with her 21-year-old triplet daughters, two teenage sons, two big dogs and a husband who hates workouts. As a former psychologist, she uses her background to help motivate her current clients as a personal trainer and proprietor of Ladies’ Fitness Center of Pittsboro. She took over the center in 2007 where every member gets her own key for 24/7 access.
“The challenge is getting started,” Audrey says. “I try to make it fun and make personal connections. Women do a lot as caregivers, and exercise doesn’t have to take a lot of time.” Audrey shares her tips for developing new habits and sticking with them:
• Decide every day to move more. Walk in place while folding laundry. Do some squats while watching television. Walk the dog another block more than the day before.
• The next day – just keep moving. Food is fuel for your body so eat what you want but in moderation.
• Be kind to yourself. Give yourself a little bit of grace. Every day is different. Tomorrow is another day and another chance to keep moving.
• Find a form of movement that you enjoy, like dancing or pickleball. You are more likely to keep exercising if you’re having fun.
Dress to Impress
Emma Zunker, a stylist and social media marketer at Dovecote Style in Fearrington Village, says treating yourself can be as worthwhile as buying gifts for others. With that in mind, Emma recommends winter accessories like a scarf, gloves or a hat with a whimsical pompom on top. Wrap the scarf around your shoulders or bundle close to the neck for more warmth. Consider a colorful cashmere wrap for the friend who has everything – these can be draped, tied and knotted. Another winter gift option is gloves that allow you to text with style.