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Give an Energy Boost to the Christmas Spirit

Once you are done with sifting through the party invites for the year-end celebrations and have figured what you want to wear, it is time to make sure you have a great time.

travel Updated: Dec 20, 2011 11:38 IST

Once you are done with sifting through the party invites for the year-end celebrations and have figured what you want to wear, it is time to make sure you have a great time. At the end of the ruminations, you should be ready to shed the negative experiences of the year gone by and brace yourself for the new set of activities and events that stretch out before you. But for that to happen, there are a few must-do's that can energise you and which you can keep at the back of your mind, in addition to identifying the holiday site, getting the best deals, grouping like minded people and chalking out itineraries. These are things that often tend to get ignored but if taken into account can ensure you have a splendid time, irrespective of how others things pan out.

1. Give your brain a break

Year-end resolutions may be an over hyped thing but the underlying message clearly is to pause, take a break and think of what you need to do to make your life better. When you do this you actually give your brain some rest which only makes it more active, productive and capable of serving you better. Travel veterans recommend, 'brain holidays' which work in both scenarios. As in, if you are already on a vacation, it pushes up your energy levels further and if you are following your regular humdrum life, it gives you a bit of respite and rejuvenates you just the way a short holiday would. Short power naps are tried and tested energy boosters; looking out of the car/plane/house window without reacting, just observing, soaking in sights and making a mental note of all the plus's (new flowers on a tree, well dressed people, luscious fruits on a vendor's cart, the different car makes on the road, the façade of a building, the lungs/gardens/parks of the city; lighting a candle and watching the flame till it snuffs out could be a simple meditative exercise; focusing on your breathing; doing a short work out as in skipping or on-the-spot jumping, looking at a nice painting preferably of trees, boulevards and flowers could all do the trick and give you a 'brain break'.

2. Let colours control, command and steer you towards happy experiences

Colour therapy works not just to elevate spirits but also to make you feel cheerful, festive, happy and bright. Maybe that is why its Santa's favourite colour too. Experiment it for yourself. Wear grey, black, beige or brown on one day and wear red, orange, turquoise, emerald green or yellow on another and keep a mood diary. Your results will tell you, exactly how colours work to dampen or elevate your mood. According to consumer behaviour experts in the West, where a lot of scientific analysis and brain imaging takes place to make customers loosen their purse strings so companies can maximize sales in the three months preceding X-Mas, if you want a stylish mix of colours this Christmas, remember that most colours of equal depth will 'go' well together.

Pastels, such as pinks, peaches, buttermilks, misty blues, lilacs and mints can be mixed and matched with some pleasant results. If you want a more dramatic effect, try the deep tones of gold or silver with navy and deep red. Most colours can be combined with white or ivory, and with metallic tones such as brass, bold, silver, or rusted iron for a harmonious look. All shades of gold, silver, copper, burnt orange and antique finished effects are hot this season. Website designers managing B2B portals confirm that colours on the web play a big role in influencing customer choices and buying decisions. So, it is more of red/orange designs in autumn, blue/white - in winter and green websites in spring.

3. Don't confuse energy with adrenalin

You are on a short weekend vacation and want to do pack in everything that is humanly possible - go sight seeing, meet local friends, undertake a shopping expedition, check out the city's recommended food joints, take a walk around the property, push everyone else to get cracking and generally just try and pack in a mega punch on what is barely a 1.5 day break, excluding travel time. When others do not respond with the same enthusiasm and gusto, you blame them for being slow coaches, spoil sports, kill joys, not ideal travel companions. What you need to ask yourself is, "are you going into an energy overdrive?" apart from ofcourse coming on too strong on the others with your pushy plans of doing a bunch of things in a manic sort of a way.

Apart from the fact that you need to let others find their own meter and do their own thing, you need to slow down too because the way you are going, imminent collapse - physical or mental is just round the corner. Check worrying signs like talking rapidly, finishing other's sentences for them, being fidgety, doing ten things together at the same time. Once you realise that you are running your life and in this case your vacation not on energy but on adrenalin you will have to learn how to put on the brakes and figure out how fast you can slow down. Once you do that you will make the most of your holiday too - stopping enroute to enjoy a cup of tea at a dhaba, watch the little trickle of a waterfall from a crevice in the rocky upper reaches, see the shades of the sky change as the day wears on, stop and get out of the car to smell the fresh air, see the landscape change from dusty towns to nondescript villages and finally to your tranquil holiday site. These little things will give you joy too apart from ofcourse the bigger things that await you on your holiday.

4. Feel the energy in every breath you take

Scent is inhaled via millions of scented cells that line the nasal passages and these send messages straight to the brain, creating an instantaneous response. The power of scent can be heady and mood elevating. While wearing perfumes, deos and floral scents has a charm of its own, you can also energise your environ by burning incense, candles and using aromatic oils. These can also be season-specific. In winter, using pine scented candles can evoke the very spirit of Christmas.

If you are exhausted and tired you are bound to feel listless, lethargic and cold. Warm herbs can be used to alter this mood. Two tablespoons of powdered ginger under a hot tap in the bath can boost circulation and relax muscles. Lavender aromatherapy while on vacation can help you unwind and relax. You will see how it magically gets you out of snappy and irritable moods and makes you more tolerant, in some cases, gets you to even grin from ear to ear. Then remember that all citrus scents like lemon and lime can raise spiritual energy.

Some of these can be used directly on the skin but better to mix in a body lotion or sunscreen and then applied to the body. Walking in the sun in winter however takes the cake.

5. Let in the light

While some of us brave the shortest of skirts and the skimpiest of tops as we brace ourselves for some really cold winter nights during the festive party season, there are others who just cannot seem to get their act right. The cold icy winds, the dreary grey skies, the sun playing peek-a-boo tend to impact some people in such a way that they do not feel like getting out of their quilts, thinking that covering themselves would make the blues go away. Living in artificially lit up rooms dampens their spirits. What most of them do not perhaps realise is that they may be afflicted from the SAD syndrome or the Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is typically a condition that manifests in winters. Apart from feeling cold and not wanting to get out of the bed and complete regular chores, people suffering from SAD, feel more anxious in winters and are more paranoid and self doubting.

Getting the outdoors inside is important (standing next to a window, searing for corners that get some natural light and sun), going out

First Published: Dec 20, 2011 11:38 IST