Love is All You Need! or is it Food?

Here at Biomedicanna, we devote our every day to ensure healthier tomorrow for everyone struggling to find themselves, listen to their inner voice, and try hard to maintain the balance in life. We dedicated the entire February to encourage everyone to love themselves and others in every way possible. Today we invite you to rethink your eating habits and allow yourselves to go on a journey finding new tasty experiences. Stay safe and healthy!

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It has long been said that the most direct path to a man’s heart is through his stomach; therefore, your cooking must make them fall in love without any doubt. What can be more stereotypical?! Food does have a significant impact on our lives and general well-being, but it’s not all about conquering other people’s heart with eccentric high-end recipes you find online. In reality, we are what we eat, and we depend on food to get the energy our organs need for smooth functioning, but here is the moment when things get tricky. Food is much more than that, and today we will explain how different dishes can change your life and make you fall in love with yourself and home cooking.

Which Comes First – Food or Emotions?

Food is an integral part of any celebration: we eat together with the family around the table both on Christmas and birthdays, we go to restaurants on dates. At the same time, food accompanies us in the sadness, – just think how many people in the movies cry holding a bucket of ice cream? Food is there with us through all of the emotions, but little did you know that certain foods can boost our mood and increase happiness. What surprises the most is that you can find such ‘happy’ foods almost in each food group, so there is no one to judge if you decide to have happiness for breakfast, lunch and dinner! 

We encourage you to start the rainy and gloomy day with a nice bowl of oats and sprinkle some frozen berries on top. The first one is a great iron source, which helps fighting fatigue, and the latter is rich in antioxidants which reduces stress levels. Many of us are already starting their day by drinking coffee! This magical drink helps us ‘wake up,’ and is linked with releasing dopamine, which goes hand in hand with motivation and pleasure. For a quick middle-of-a-day snack we suggest you have a banana, – the yellow fruit ensures stable sugar levels in our blood and are full of vitamin B6, which ‘helps synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.’ 

There is no better food for healthy and ‘happy’ lunch than fatty fish with yoghurt sauce and fresh vegetables on the side. For example, regular portions of salmon or tuna can help you fight depression, and fermented foods, such as yoghurt, are a great probiotics source, which may increase serotonin levels. Let’s not forget usual 5-a-day, beans and lentils are full of B group vitamins responsible for regulating your mood. At the same time, various nuts and seeds are a great addition to any salad as they support healthy brain and lower risk of depression. 

Finally, dark chocolate is one of the best foods for increasing your mood for various reasons. Sugar found in chocolate fuels our brain, and chocolate releases certain feel-good compounds, one of which – N-acylethanolamine – is similar to cannabinoids. Despite high caloric count, chocolate’s smell, taste, and texture all scream happiness, so in sad situations, calories do not count. *wink*

Tell us how many of these foods are already in your fridge or pantry? We would not be surprised if you have it all, but there are more sides to food than just an emotional value. Eating healthy and cooking healthy means loving yourself not only in psychological terms but in physical terms also. Let's look more closely at healthy methods to prepare the meals.

Cooking – the Slower the Better the Healthier?

We hear everyday doctors and nutritionist say that fast food is terrible for our health: it contains too much fat, too many additives and sweeteners, so lastly, we did not even know what we put in our stomachs. Nevertheless, fast food is delicious and mouth-watering, but the same rules apply to the healthy food we can prepare ourselves in the home kitchen. 

Slow food. Despite what you are actually cooking in your home tonight or tomorrow, you are already one step ahead of everyone who decides to eat-out (or order-in, considering the current situation) and do not miss specific fast-food deals. Regular fast-food eating is not beneficial for several reasons. Firstly, such meals are ‘high in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol,’ therefore, it directly negatively affects our body and contributes to increasing fatigue and health problems. Secondly, we are subconsciously encouraged to eat more than we should be eating by being exposed to specific colours, smells, and sounds. For example, the red and yellow duo are often seen in fast food logos or interior design as these colours trigger appetite and happiness. 

Unprocessed food. Big food-making companies offer us a great variety of pre-cooked, frozen, canned, and ready-to-eat food to meet our busy lifestyles. It is convenient, but in reality, we get to eat lower nutritional value food. Despite eating such meals, we do not get the nutrients we need, and our organisms send us ‘messages’ to eat more to fit their energy requirements. We then fall into a rabbit hole as we continue to eat the same dishes without actually looking at what is written on the back of the packaging and filling up our bodies with unhealthy nutrients, such as saturated fats, sugars, and simple carbohydrates. We agree that labels and nutritional tables seem quite confusing but always look for fibre, essential fats, and complex carbohydrates. Besides, shop in a local farmers’ market, where you know you’ll find ecological vegetables, fruits, and meats which you will later turn into healthy meals.

Balanced diet. Cheat days are our greatest enemies, which quickly throw us all off the right track. One of the most common reasons cheat days are so exciting, and worth the sin (or not), is healthy food’s taste, which is often considered too bland to love and eat every day. However, the actual problem lies in a handful of our everyday habits, making us have a rocky relationship with healthy eating. Firstly, impulsive shopping and eating; it means we do not plan what we will be eating throughout a week or at least a couple of days—impulsivity results in frequent journeys to a shopping centre and more unhealthy items in our bags. Next, we have portion sizes, which makes our brain think we need to eat more even though we are full. We advise you to buy a kitchen scale during your next visit to the shop and get rid of unrealistically big food plates and other dishes. The last piece of advice will make the brains think we eat more as you will put less food on a plate to make it look full. The previous advice will allow you to measure exact portions of food and count its nutritional value to fight food waste and provide the body with the necessary nutrients. Smarter eating and shopping habits will make you fall in love with healthy foods and meals.

To summarise everything, it is necessary to eat healthy as food is a massive part of our lives. Achieving wellness and inner harmony, we should shop locally, eat ecologically, read what label says, measure portion sizes, and have some dedication by cooking it all ourselves. However, we all sometimes want a delicious and healthy meal, but we do not want to spend much time preparing it. Here creativity becomes your best friend stating that the combination of deliciousness, healthiness, and quick preparing time is possible – just try pancakes! 

Biomedicanna’s friends and fans were kind enough to share their favourite pancake recipes with all of us. As today is Shrove Tuesday, pancakes are kind of necessary, so why not try new quick, healthy and delicious pancake recipes to show love for yourself and others around!

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Migle's Banana Pancake Recipe

I love this recipe as it helps me use overripe bananas without throwing away food. Also, it’s super simple to make! You can be lying in your bed one minute and eat the pancakes straight from the pan another. This recipe does not require you to go to five or more different shops to gather all the ingredients you may need – after returning, your hunger for pancakes is over, and your hand is already reaching for a phone to order something rather than cook it. 

Every time I have overripe bananas on hand, I go for these pancakes. If I have more patience that day, I use the same recipe to make a loaf of banana bread – everything is the same, the difference is in a longer baking time.

Ingredients:

• 2 ripe bananas, preferably overripe ones with brown dots on the skin

• 5 tablespoons of flour (sometimes I use only wheat flour, but feel free to mix in a tablespoon of almond or rice flour just for fun)

• 1 teaspoon of vanilla

• 1 teaspoon of baking soda

• 1 tablespoon of oil (0,5 tablespoon if you use coconut oil which is quite hard)

• a pinch of cinnamon

• a pinch of salt

Cooking instructions:

• mash the bananas with a blender (you can achieve the same result with just a fork);

• mix in everything else – if the pancake mix is too thick, pour a little bit of vegetable milk; if the mixture is too runny, put a little bit of flour;

• cook as you would typically cook any other pancakes – the recipe is also suitable for making very fluffy waffles;

• eat – without limiting the imagination, throw in some dried or fresh blueberries, chocolate chips or chia seeds, apples.

Interview with Dainius: Love is Being Responsible for Yourself and Others

Here at Biomedicanna, we celebrate a healthy lifestyle and, of course, healthy relationships, but both of these essentials do not come easy. We dedicated the whole of February to encourage everyone to love themselves and others in every way possible. Today we invite you to rethink your priorities and invest in the most valuable things despite misfortunes around. Stay safe and experience the fullness of life!

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At the second week of February, we offer to read our conversation with Dainius. Dainius Jakucionis is a doctor psychotherapist, who has helped people solve their psychological and emotional issues for several years now. Besides his professional experience, Dainius is a frequent guest speaker in various training and public conferences, where he’s sharing his knowledge with hundreds of people eager to change their lives and relationships for the better.

-Dainius, tell us a bit more about yourself, and why you chose this professional path?

-I knew I wanted to be a doctor for many years, yet I was not sure whether I wanted to be a psychotherapist. The desire to work with the human mind and psyche arose in the second year of medical studies. One of the professors started teaching us about the human mind, how things go there, how some mental illness occurs, and that was so fascinating! It was a eureka moment, - I realized I want to go this way rather than choose to pursue a career in this field; saying ‘career’ doesn’t fit my experience. I was planning to further enrol in psychiatry studies but turns out you don’t need to be a psychiatrist to be a psychotherapist. Due to this, I chose family medicine and worked as a family doctor for about four years. Only recently – well, in 2018 – I started to work as a full-time psychotherapist, and other activities came along, various mental health-related projects and training.

-Psychotherapy is one of those areas that only people with the need to help experience it, and people who don’t have any mental health needs do not know anything. Why did you decide to share the knowledge with the latter group of people as well? Why you participate in various discussions, training, projects?

-To tell the truth that’s a complicated question as no one knows what motivates them for one thing or another. There is one straightforward and superficial answer that everyone often says – they want to help people. Why do they want to help people? It’s indeed the nice-looking answer, and it might as well explain why I consult people about their mental and emotional issues. Another explanation is the desire to earn more as various conferences and training can be worth more than the whole day of consultations. The third answer is that people may be motivated by honour and glory, they want to feel popular and enjoy those rays of fame, and they think they‘re best because everyone is talking about them. All of those arguments interact with each other, and I discovered them already while working as a psychotherapist, attending psychotherapy courses, and analysing myself.

If looking at what helps me decide whether to accept one project and give up another, is self-preservation. After all, you don’t have to take everything, think about everything or participate everywhere, because you can burn out very quickly and then it will be complicated to live. But if you look at what motivates me, it’s like a mission or desire that the children who are now growing up, would be happy and mentally healthy. Of course, these two aspects sort of overlap. However, to achieve this, the parents of the children also need to be mentally stable. My current goal is to help as many people as possible discover their inner harmony, and in the process, children will be happier, and they will not need me or my colleagues’ services. Maybe after a while, I will not have to engage in consulting or mental illness treatments, but everything I do will be prevention and education. The current desire is for people to feel calmer and reach happiness if they want to look for it, of course, and live more stable life. 

- Is it more of a goal to help the people now or raise the generation who doesn’t need your help?

-You know, I am a limited person, my validity will expire at some point, and that’s fine. My generation will still need me, just as the current Z generation will need me, but I hope that later generations will not. My goal as a doctor was to engage in prevention so that doctors would do nothing, and all their patients would be healthy and never actually go to the doctors. It’s paradoxical, but I know that it will take a lot of work for both my colleagues and me until we achieve this goal. Despite that, having such a vision is fun, so why not?

-Your words take us to wonder what loving others mean, but before that, how do you understand the love for yourself?

-There are two types of loving yourself. The first is when people say they feel that they love themselves, so it’s more of a feeling, but some people may have it, and some people may not. Those people who cannot feel that sense may not have had as much love in their childhood as they could have, thus stopping them from learning to feel love for themselves. In that case, the behaviour is more important than feelings. I look at love for myself more through behaviour – what do I do to show myself that I love myself? Actions are easier to measure and easier to achieve because when people say they do not love themselves, the only advice we can give to them is to love themselves. 

What does it mean to love yourself? I define the love for myself with actions. For me, it is meditation in the morning and exercise, in the evenings going for a walk and reading a book, well, and protecting myself from burnouts. Everything else that happens between – whether it’s activities or work, they do not matter, because the most important thing for me is to perform those morning and evening rituals. They depend on nothing else, only I can control them, and it shows me that I love myself.

-What about loving others?

- When it comes to loving others, I think we should consider turning a love for yourself upside down. If we feel something that might be love, we often find ourselves stuck because we don’t know what exactly love is. Same with happiness, what is it, how can we achieve it? Love for others and love as a word means action – love is to do something. If I love, then I take care of my loved ones, ask them how they live, help them when they need it, protect them from misfortunes, give them something. These all are small things that express warmth, closeness, and they all form love in one way or another. 

Love is essentially a word, and some may need to hear it, some may need actions, maybe others need gifts to feel that they are loved. All these are okay, but it seems that if you love someone, you should do something for them, sacrifice your time or instead prioritize it, spend more time with your loved one than others, and thus show that they are essential to us.

-No wonder you mentioned time. Almost a year ago, we faced quarantine for the first time, which was accompanied by huge uncertainty. From one perspective, we had plenty of free time, but from another point of view, we had none. As you relate time management with loving yourself and loving others, how these relationships changed during quarantine?

- It seems to me that nothing is too different, nothing has changed. Quarantine is just a circumstance, a certain twist in life. It’s just like someone would have an illness, experience a job loss, or get a new job. Those twists and turns come and go, and they don’t change anything too much. If people devote their time to other people, they will continue to dedicate it regardless of their circumstances. We could always find some excuse – it’s quarantine, we can’t meet eye-to-eye, but relationships don’t have to be live all the time. 

We can stay connected in any way, no matter how far we may be from each other, we still can create a connection. Any kind of reminder of yourself and your relationship is a connection anyway. Some people may feel that communication change as it will be harder for them to keep in touch because it naturally takes time to get used to those technologies. It really wasn’t hard for people my age to keep connections alive, and quarantine did not affect that. 

Those people who have taken quarantine as a difficulty to overcome limit themselves and reduce their own freedom of actions. Such an interpretation is neither appropriate nor useful, but it is enough to change the attitude in many cases. If people don’t like the way they are forced to communicate with other now, but that doesn’t mean that such communication is bad or worse than before the quarantine – it just changed a little, so we should not emphasize the change. What is the difference in maintaining the connection through a computer or phone camera? Even though you can’t touch a person you talk with, you can still stay in touch with them. Of course, live chat is much more valuable than online, but times of uncertainty will pass, and we will return to live communication.

Those who used to have a hard time keeping in touch with others will still have a hard time doing then when everything goes back to normal. People who had less social support before quarantine, they redeemed it by work and communicating with colleagues. They may not have had so many friends, but the workplace was the environment people surrounded them, so they naturally received social support. Now that it is impossible to go to work, they can only communicate with those people only on work issues, so it is even more difficult.

-Have you noticed those communicational and emotional changes in your patients?

-Only a tiny proportion of my patients had difficulties dealing with the current situation. There were even those who enjoyed it too because then they didn’t need to go somewhere or interact with someone. However, those were also a small proportion of my patients, so I cannot make assumptions about everyone. There were indeed many people who experienced difficulties, insecurity at work, in relationships, being at home alone, with a partner or with children, studying or working remotely. Among my patients, there are no people whose psychological situation has dramatically deteriorated.

-How was your quarantine experience?

-Quarantine was neither a positive nor a negative phenomenon for me. I adapted to it, got used to having to communicate with patients online. Now a lot of events take place online, which saves me loads of time. I can take part in one event and can consult the patient two minutes later. Before quarantine, I would have needed half an hour to go to the venue, an hour to give out my presentation, and another half an hour to come back to my office or home. Quarantine saves me time, but I miss communication at live events, just because contact with people is different. In consulting patients, I don’t see much difference whether we meet live or online, so I guess my quarantine experience falls in the middle between positive and negative.

-It’s quite surprising you mentioned two points of view, since a substantial proportion of people associate quarantine with the collapse of the established order. Now, we are on the verge of possible falling back to the former and familiar practices. How should we evaluate these two events emotionally?

-No doubt, it became more difficult for people because they have never experienced it before. It was new, and strange things are often considered dangerous and threatening. Moreover, there is also a feeling of uncertainty as we do not know how long the situation will last; we do not know whether the predictions will come true. We are not and cannot be sure that there will be no new strains of the virus for which existing vaccines will not be suitable, and new ones will have to be developed every year. However, I would emphasize the ability to adapt to the various situations because the world is changing, and the feeling of insecurity is becoming the new norm. We don’t know what will happen, and we need to accept it and learn to survive. 

-What advice do you give to your patients to improve their emotional health?

-Each of my patients has their own needs and problems, so their advice is quite individual. I would instead look at the general state of how I can help myself psychologically, so that help would come through three things – sleep, physical body, and what we pay our attention. Therefore, to achieve psychological balance, we must first ask ourselves whether we sleep regularly and for the required number of hours a day. 

Next comes the question do we use our physical bodies and how we use it, how often we exercise, play sports, go for a walk, etc.? During quarantine, we are forced to work remotely, so we spend even more time sitting down. As we had gone to work before, we literally had to go, either to the car or walk around the offices. There was more movement than working from home where it only takes five steps to go from one room to another. We need to move more because it helps stabilize a person’s psychological state and stimulates various brain processes. 

The third aspect is attention management; what information do we use and how much real-time we spend resting? It’s not healthy to work at a computer for eight hours a day and then spend the other eight using the same computer or other smart devices. In such cases, our attention is restricted to one object only, and we are unable or unwilling to release it. To overcome this, we need to learn to relax and take regular breaks from tasks we usually do. It is excellent if we can combine two or more activities into one. For example, when we go for a walk, we focus our attention elsewhere and move the body, but breathing fresh air contributes to better mental health. 

We could also add food to these three aspects, but I think this point is already quite essential and well-known. Eating healthy and natural food also contributes to our well-being, so even when we are at home, we shouldn’t eat fast food alone only because we can. It’s okay to eat burger or fries from time to time, but there is no need or value to make junk food part of your daily diet. 

-You mentioned exercising and meditating in the mornings. Which of three previous aspects your mornings empower? Attention management perhaps?

-It is indeed attention management, but it’s more about devoting time to spend with myself. It seems to me that most people, when they go to work, think that they are working not for themselves but others, only to make money and buy something that would not inspire them but other people. For this reason, meditation and exercise are for me only; it is not interesting to anyone else; it does not impress them. In parallel, others may feel some benefits. If I meditate or do exercise, I feel more refreshed, but how it is possible to know that it was influenced by my morning exercise, meditation, or because I slept well? 

It is more to show myself and my mind that I care for them, that I make a special effort to help and serve them, to show that I love myself. For me, twenty minutes spent exercising and twenty minutes spent meditating is not much, maybe for others that may appear as such, but for me, it is a way to show my love and responsibility to myself. The morning ritual can be fundamentally different for each person, but it is essential to find the most appropriate one and do it regularly, every day. In this way, every day you do something for yourself, and even if you do nothing useful all day, you will have a good and valuable day for yourself, your body and mind. 

-You also mentioned going for a walk in the evenings and reading books. Maybe you have some book recommendations for our readers?

-Part of what I read, I doubt it will be useful and understandable to readers. I will share a few book recommendations right away, but I have a few reading tips to share before that. It is always most valuable to read books that are of interest to the person himself. When reading professional literature, it is necessary to realize that it is not a recreational reading, but an improvement, thus, the reading is not for ourselves but more for others. I really like novels, but most recently, I read a few books on writing books on creative writing. I read them, and a fire ignites inside me.

My recommended books are not from self-help shelf in the library, they are interesting to me from a Buddhist perspective, so reading them at least once would not hurt anyone. One is ‘Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality’ by Anthony De Mello; although the book reads as Buddhist, its author is an Indian Christian priest. Nevertheless, the book itself is a lot of fun; it makes you laugh and think, how do the author himself can have such thoughts? Also ‘Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation’ by Bruce Tift; this is a book on Buddhism and psychotherapy, there are many useful connections between these two topics revealed. Another one is ‘Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha’ by Tara Brach; it is a book about the acceptance, the whims of which have come in part from Buddhist thought. It is full of advice on how to accept yourself and those around you, the environment. 

If you want more fun and too non-binding literature, during January I read ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert and Seth Godin’s newest book ‘The Practice: Shipping Creative Work.’ Both books are for creators, basically for all people, because the main idea of both is that we all can create; thus, these books are more inspiring, motivating to do that.

-While listening to your book recommendations, I got a clear view of the importance of Buddhism. Whether that influence is visible only when taking a look at your bookshelf, or in other areas of life as well?

-Actually, almost everything we talked about today is coming from Buddhism, which is very strongly associated with cognitive behavioural therapy. In psychotherapy, we emphasize that if there is a problem, we then solve it, and if we cannot solve it, we change our attitude to it. Buddhism also speaks similarly, saying that it is necessary to live here and now, because the more we think about the past and the future, the more we will suffer in our lives. We can choose to feel suffering or not, but who needs all of that? 

Of course, sometimes we cannot choose that, I – like everyone – think a lot about what’s coming, maybe I think less about the past. Simultaneously, I need to accept mindfulness, accept the present as good, and Buddhism teaches a lot about that; the second book I recommended sends that message. When we live under the illusion that we will achieve something in the future, we lose today and replace it with tomorrow, losing the chance to feel the moment. 

We can look at quarantine from the same perspective – we will not change it, so there is no need to get nervous and pass the anger on to the whole world. We need to accept today because we don’t know what will happen in a minute; we just hope that our wishes about what can happen will come true in a minute, but we cannot be entirely sure about it. We are the people who believe in their ability to control everything, but Buddhism teaches us not to rule but to accept as it is. If we want to change the things going on, we can change them, but the babbling hasn’t helped anyone yet. Trying to change for yourself what is happening around is taking responsibility and eliminating suffering because suffering is essentially accusing others of our failures. Some people are just scared to take responsibility for their own lives, so thinking about everything we chatted today, taking responsibility is similar to loving yourself. 

-Thank you, we are more than glad that you agreed to share your experiences and knowledge with our readers. 

Mental Health Tips to Save You from Christmas Depression!

Long, cold, and snowy winter evenings fall into the list of the most unpleasant things, and only the laughter and warmth of family and friends gathered together can improve the situation at least a little. Well, this was the case for the last year and many years before - the reality now is far different. This year, the world will be visited not only by Santa Claus but also by the extremely contagious virus, which has forced millions of people to spend the happiest celebrations at home and alone. What to do so that the house does not turn into a kingdom of sorrow during Christmas? We at Biomedicanna decided to share some tips that will save you from holiday depression and the meanest of them all – the Grinch!

What is Holiday Depression?

During Christmas, everything seems to be elevated: even the smallest, least important things and details are getting decorated, and every corner both in the city and at home must shine brightly. Emphasizing festivities make people forget how much time and effort it takes to prepare for Christmas and New Year, and here we are not talking about physical preparation. As the mentioned celebrations are always associated with joy and love, holiday depression quickly robs both of these emotions out of every living spirit and leaves no place for mental health. The widespread depiction of Christmas forces us to set too many and too high expectations for ourselves, which often fail even before we manage to blink.

In 2020, the situation got even worse due to the Coronavirus pandemic crushing people’s hopes and dreams; therefore, it should come as no surprise that the already high level of holiday depression in the world is even higher. Besides, as people usually spend this Festive season meeting friends and families, get-togethers cannot do without the consumption of alcoholic drinks, which only exacerbates the situation and evokes negative thoughts even more. Sadly, holiday depression and the beginning of the New Year are the equivalents of getting up from the bed by stepping the wrong foot on the ground - it makes people feel worthless and depressed, lost in hope, experience high levels of anxiety.

Is There a Cure for Holiday Depression?

Well, do not get your hopes too high - holiday depression is not a sickness that can go away after taking only a few pills every day. If you think that holiday depression vanishes out of one’s life after the festive period, you have never been more wrong in your life. Holiday depression and any mental health problems must be taken very seriously and treated only under the supervision of medical professionals. Mental health experts before prescribing any medication to the patient, will always offer considering therapies and try to talk about the problems. Of course, talking about everything that worries you is a great help; however, some patients are often too scared to think about their actual problems, so a way to solving them is never easy. 

Is There Any Chance You Might Help Yourself?

Of course, there is! We decided to concentrate more on a different approach and help everyone by offering them several tips on what to do during Christmas so one’s mind would be too busy to think about negative stuff. We first advise you to create a daily routine involving enough sleep, time for eating, doing sports, and pampering yourself with natural body care resources ! And now let’s talk about mental health-improving measures meant only for spending Christmas alone!

If we ask the people with whom they associate Christmas, many will answer that they can’t imagine celebrating it without home-made food! Even if your chef skills are not that incredible, only you will be able to complain about eating different Christmassy dishes. Start with ordering food preparation sets, which come with every ingredient and a recipe you may need to come up with a delicious meal. However, cooking requires not only ingredients or recipes but also a pinch of imagination and creativity, and there is no better way than to elevate these skills by preparing Christmas gingerbread biscuits! Even though you may have tasted the same meals prepared by your mother during the Christmas period for many years, do not be afraid to try something new this season and create your own festive kitchen traditions!

National lockdowns during Christmas made it difficult to communicate with other people eye to eye - modern technologies come in handy as they help maintain connections even if thousands of kilometres are in between two people. We advise you to try to connect with other members of your family by having a nice Christmas Eve dinner while facing each other on a group video call!

As a phone call can be a helpful solution, one should not forget that during Christmas, you can also show attention to another person by giving gifts. It is not that significant what exactly you will gift them as the main focus is on safe shopping online and delivery. Do not forget to protect both yourself and your loved one – choose gifting health  as it is the only thing that you cannot buy. Besides, a strong immune system and overall health nowadays are really important.

Christmas cosiness in the home depends not only on the variety of tastes but also the sound and smell. Music can be a great backdrop for both baking various delicacies and engaging in other activities while you are home alone. We are not forcing you to listen to only Christmas songs during the season as they can only irritate us even more - try to listen to something acoustic or classical as these music styles have proved to be the most calming. In terms of smell, all the house will be full of the smell of baked goods, but in case you do not like it, try burning scented candles and not food in the oven. Order different scented candles from online retailers or invest in a modern scent diffuser, in which you can pour essential oils. It takes only a few seconds to fill your home with pleasant smells and, at the same time, precious memories!

Although it is quite easy to give in to the shopping mania during Christmas, we advise you to think about what you need the most. We mentioned rewarding yourself several times on purpose – being healthy, in terms of mental health, begins from listening to what your body and soul actually need. Sometimes all you need is to relax and be left alone with your own thoughts. More joy, especially when experiencing holiday depression, is given not by material things but by small moments and hope that every bad thing will sooner or later pass.


Christmas Gift Shopping – Rewarding Everyone With Health

We dare you to take a look at the calendar, in which you will see that there are less than 50 days left till the most wonderful time of the year – Christmas! Joyful and legendary songs sound not only in our homes but also in the shopping centres where we look for Christmas presents for our family, friends, and, of course, ourselves – as Santa rewards only the best, some of us must themselves take care of the gifts. It might be easy to choose a gift for ourselves, but what is precious enough to reward parents, siblings, best friends, or loved ones? The best gift idea is health! We made a list of physical and mental health-enhancing gifts to save you some time and money as all of the presents that we advise you to buy has great and heartfelt do-it-yourself alternatives. Christmas gift shopping starts now!

Idea No. 1 – Christmas Decorations

What is more Christmassy than snow, baubles, wreaths, and pine trees? Well, nothing beats pretty Christmas decorations and blinking lights, and it’s never too early to start filling your home and heart with festive magic. However, store-bought Christmas decorations are quite expensive, but the good news is that you can invite your loved ones over for a little cosy decorations workshop! Any DIY project works very well as mental and physical therapy – picking and gluing small bits and pieces improves hand motility and helps people having problems with concentration. The little get-together will allow you not only to catch up with old friends, create handcrafted gifts but also reuse things found around the house as such activities encourage eco-friendliness!

Idea No. 2 – Vitamins and Supplements

Vitamins and immune-boosting food supplements are one of the most popular Christmas gifts ideas. However, what helps one, may not be suitable for another person, so we advise you to get rid of the idea of gifting pharmacy-bought vitamins and opt-out for natural goods – foods and drinks that are considered vitamin bombs. Including different types of meats, grain, vegetables, and fruits into one’s daily diet can strengthen their immune system and overall health more than any medicine. We encourage you to invite your loved one to dinner or organise a cooking workshop, in which you will be able to cook and taste ingredients and dishes you have never tried before. If you are on the lookout for more modest food-related gifts, a recipe book is always a good idea!

Idea No. 3 – Spa Experience

Show us a person who would decline a weekend getaway offer! There is none! As everyone wants to run away from their problems sometimes, weekend trips to various resorts, spa centres, and hotels are very high on demand. It is a great gift idea too! However, we advise you to gift a voucher for such pleasures instead of booking your loved one’s weekend before even asking about his or her availability. In case you cannot leave home even for a weekend, why not enjoy the luxuries of a spa in your bathroom? Online or in small shops, you can find loads of different scented bath bombs or foams, scrubs, masks, and many more quality spa attributes. You can even try to make them yourself but before, make sure products and recipes, which you are using, are safe both for the environment and yourself! Make it, pack it, and gift it to the ones you care about the most!

Idea No. 4 – Quality Sleep

Humans spend one-third of their lives sleeping; thus, it would be unfortunate to sleep uncomfortable. Gifting a quality sleep experience to someone for Christmas does not mean inviting them over to try your mattress or a pillow, but it is okay to consider buying such gifts only if you know your loved ones lack them. However, great rest does not only depend on expensive sleeping equipment. We advise you to encourage your relatives not to use mobile phones in bed and read a book instead of endlessly counting sheep. As insomnia takes the happiness out of many people's lives, you can help your loved ones solve this problem by gifting CBD Oil Drops to improve their sleep quality and overall health. Do not forget to try these ideas yourself - you should lead by example!

Idea No. 5 – Romantic Date Experience

Admit it, Christmas is a bit too cold for counting stars, and with an ongoing situation, any ideas for a nice date involving crowded places are not safe as well. Therefore, there is no better place for a romantic date night than your home. Most of the time, cosy moments with your beloved don’t have to be pricey as the best memories require only creativity and time. Recreate your first meal together and prepare a three-course dinner, including fancy desserts or fill your living room with pillows and blankets to create a movie theatre. For this season, we advise you to gift a Christmas karaoke experience or a set of scratch cards with the names of best movies, meals, or games written underneath! Remember, any date night is perfect when the feelings are real – consider a healthy relationship a top priority and the best gift of all times!

Idea No. 6 – Board Games, Puzzles, and Books

With plenty of time on our hands, playing board games, reading books, and completing intricate puzzles helps us survive those long and cold winter evenings and relax. However, the majority of puzzles and books are interesting for only once, and while board games are fun to play with friends and relatives, they can also become boring after several plays. Buying and gifting new ones is always a great idea; however, they can empty your wallet if you decide to send them to all people on your Christmas list. We advise you to create personalised memory books, photo albums, or writing a story about how you met the exact person, how happy you are to have them in your life. You can also try to create a small-scale treasure hunting experience with a nice little gift at the end – the journey to the treasure itself is the greatest gift!

Idea No. 7 – Gym Subscription

Next Monday? Next year? Is the person you know speaks about the sports and wellness of their body using these phrases? Why not giving them sports equipment for Christmas so they can start exercising immediately, you may think? Do exactly that, and you will never be more wrong in your life. Committing to everyday gym sessions and exercises is hard; thus, receiving any sport-related gifts, except for tickets to a match, can be understood as an insult. Here as well, you should lead by example – we advise you to invite the person to join you for a quick jog in a park or a hike in a forest. Sports and other physical activities will be a great gift to yourself, but you would receive much more than that – it’s the relationship with another person that you get through doing sports together.

Idea No. 8 – Therapy and Meditation Sessions

Christmas is a time of gathering, sharing stories, and listening, what funny has happened to others throughout the year. However, the most important things are the ones your body is trying to tell you; thus, some quality self-care moments will cheer your body and soul the most. We advise you to gift such joy to others as well – invite them to paint therapy classes, meditations workshops, or reward them with subscriptions for the best mobile relaxation applications there are. Such gifts will help your loved ones relax, calm down, and reduce levels of stress. Besides, regular use of CBD oil also helps relieve anxiety and lessen depression. Well, as such gifts can sometimes turn out to be greater than your budget, use free online services, and introduce your friends and family to them!

Idea No. 9 – Themed Gift Boxes

Is there a person among your friends to which you find almost impossible to choose the right gift? You will never miss rewarding them with a unique and universal gift set, which represents their personality traits, lifestyle, and favourite hobbies. As a great number of small presents and things can be put into one gift box, try fitting love, happiness, and health there as well. For this Christmas, we have created four different sets of health-enhancing , immune-strengthening , skin-moisturising , and muscle-relaxing gifts, which will make your loved one incredibly happy. All four gift boxes include CBD Oil Drops Raw and other CBD healthy goods such as Silk Balm, Face and Body Cream, or Cooling Gel. We guarantee that a healthy body, mind, and overall wellness are the greatest gifts that will wait for you and your loved one underneath the Christmas tree!

Idea No. 10 – Attention and Warmth

Besides all other gift ideas on the list, we would be very wrong excluded this one from the list – a sincere and attentive conversation with your relatives and friends is sometimes all they need! Christmas is about love, support, warmth, and real connection with the ones you love the most in your entire life. Conversation with a cup of tea may last till the evening; however, such moments are irreplaceable for talking things that bother out, discussing problems and concerns, looking for solutions, and pieces of advice. We do not seek to belittle the work of professional psychotherapists and psychologists, but firstly, it is worth to speak openly about mental and physical health with people that are closest to your heart.

Gifts are traditional attributes when celebrating many different occasions: birthdays, anniversaries, achievements, etc., but spending ridiculous amounts of money may still not buy the things that will cheer their souls up. This Christmas, reward your loved ones with gifts that matter the most – health.


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