This past Friday evening I pulled out of my downtown parking space and decided to take Gaetz Ave south.
I needed a few groceries and thought Gaetz was my most efficient route.
At 32nd Ave I sat in traffic for two full sets of lights.
Thinking I was clever, I scooted down the service road leading to 22nd Street. I thought the service road would release me from the grips of traffic.
A sad looking fenderless white car sat huddled on the side of road. Blue lights flashed, blocking the right hand lane.
Several changes of traffic lights later, I turned into the grocery’s store parking lot.
That was the moment this column popped into my frazzled mind.
It’s shopping season!
The parking lots are bursting, the malls are bustling and budgets are forgotten.
Along with sales, wrapping paper and full recycle bins; the shopping season can bring with it diverse of health challenges and disorders.
The underlying cause of many this season’s disorders, such as road rage, parking lot anguish and empty wallet syndrome is frayed nerves.
Being a holistic herbalist, I will attempt to offer up a few helpful remedies to get to the root of these disabling conditions.
In doing so, I wish your Christmas shopping to be a little more joyous and a lot less painful.
Let’s begin with Saturday morning before heading out Christmas shopping.
I recommend fueling up with big breakfast with protein rich foods in order to provide substance for the day. Do I dare recommend easing off the coffee?
It is a short term burst of energy at best.
One needs steady nerves for the shopping season. Coffee often has the opposite effect.
May I suggest a warm cup of damiana (Turnera diffusa) tea?
It is a spicy herb well known for its ability to create an optimistic attitude.
I particularly advise damiana tea for those who dread Christmas shopping and collapse onto the couch, remote in hand, at the very thought of heading to the mall.
Before leaving for the mall, fill your water bottle with more damiana tea.
Sipping it throughout the day will keep you focused on the task at hand and you will not get too lost in the department store’s sales racks.
While waiting for the car to warm up, sprinkle two or three drops of lavender essential oil on the driver’s seat head rest.
Lavender is well known for creating peaceful states of mind, lowering anxiety levels and easing aggressive tendency.
Under the influence of the lavender, the drive to mall and negotiating the parking lot will be like a gentle summer’s breeze.
Once in the mall, take a moment to pause and make a plan.
Plans are good to define one’s intentions and give courage.
But do not get too stuck on the plan, as they almost never work.
Know that the plan will be tossed during random bursts of spontaneous giving joy. This is also called impulse buying.
I recommend taking drops of the Bach Flower Essence, Rescue Remedy, when the reality of the impulse buy settles in.
Rescue remedy comes in small bottles that easily fit in a winter coat’s pocket.
Simply take four drops of Rescue Remedy under the tongue every twenty minutes until the shock of the impulse buy wears off.
This treatment may need to be repeated when the credit card bill comes in.
Finally it is late Saturday afternoon, the bags and parcels are hidden under the bed until they are wrapped in ribbons and bows.
Shopping season’s mission is accomplished; you have made a full and honourable contribution to the economy.
But your feet are aching. It is time for a foot soak.
Fill up the roasting pan with hot water; add a ¼ cup of Epsom salts and five drops of lavender essential oil.
Yes more lavender, it is indispensable throughout the holiday.
Gently displace the cat from the most comfortable chair in the house and take your rightful place.
Slip your tender toes into the roasting pan while the scent of lavender fills the room.
Breathe as the stress drains from your body.
Shut your eyes and visualize a sandy beach and palm trees. Let go! Just don’t think about the baking.
Herbs for Life is written by Abrah Arneson, a local clinical herbalist. It is intended for information purposes only. Readers with a specific medical problem should consult a doctor. For more information, visit www.abraherbalist.ca. Arneson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.