VB Hacks: The Wellness Edition

January 26, 2019

Photographed by Clifford Coffin for the June 1949 issue of Vogue, 1949, via Condé Nast

If you're anything like us, you've devoured every "New Year, New You" story that has come through your feed since the ball dropped in Times Square. The meditation and mindfulness guides. The endless lists to cleanse you, inside and out. The best workouts, the beloved health tips. The mantras and how-to's on achieving your! best! self!

Let's be honest—it can get overwhelming. With so many bookmarked and "liked" articles, where do you even begin? It's an avalanche of content that begins to blur…

Good news. We've done the work for you and, as we near the end of the month, have cut through the noise to bring you the essentials. Start with these five wellness hacks and you won't go wrong in 2019. We got you.

Celery: The Super Juice

This one is a favorite of Veronica Swanson Beard, who begins her mornings with a tall glass of the green stuff. Drink it on the early side, preferably on an empty stomach, for a digestion booster all day long.

Why do I need this?
Helps cleanse your liver, strengthens digestion and eliminates the bad bacteria from your gut. Lowers blood pressure; ups energy. Boasts vitamin K and potassium, and is super hydrating because of its high water content (roughly 96 percent).

Pro Tip!
Drink it solo. If you were a kid who cringed at the taste of celery, you can ease into it by mixing other ingredients—cucumber; apple—but your goal should be to eventually drink pure celery juice. Alternatively, you can start with a smaller glass until you can work your way up to 16 oz in one sitting.

The Power of Om: An App a Day…

Of the countless meditation apps out there, our favorites are Calm and Headspace. The latter, founded by a former Tibetan Buddhist monk, is more structured, while the latter offers more variety, including bedtime stories narrated by Matthew McConaughey.

Why do I need this?
Alleviates stress, improves your mood, helps you sleep better… But if you need cold, hard facts, there's this: Harvard studies have shown that meditation can change certain brain regions linked to depression.

Pro Tip!
Meditation isn't one style fits all. Both Headspace and Calm offer free trials, so test them out and see which you prefer.

Push It: Anti-Cough Acupressure

What if you could just press the dreaded winter cough away? You can, thanks to traditional Chinese acupressure (think acupuncture but without the needles). Holding out your index and middle finger, press down firmly on the hollow valley between your two collarbones, about an inch below your Adam's apple. Hold for one to three minutes. Repeat three to five times.

Then move your fingers slightly over to right until they fall just after the collarbone's acromial extremity (those rounded shapes on both sides of the hollow), and then a touch below. With your fingers now on the bottom edge of the collarbone, press down firmly as before, holding for one to three minutes, in three to five reps. Repeat on the left side.

Why do I need this?
Because mainlining cough drops shouldn't be your only option. (Although it goes without saying that this shouldn't replace actually seeing a doctor.)

Pro Tip!
Keep moving up along the collarbone until you find a spot that's more painful to push down on than the rest. It could be on the top edge, the bottom edge, in the middle… Focus on this spot until the pain alleviates.

Turmeric: The Golden Wonder

Veronica Miele Beard swears by turmeric, whose hot health moment has lasted for, oh, thousands of years. A key ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine, nowadays it's a mainstay in supermarkets and health food stores—available in powdered, pill or natural root form.

Why do I need this?
While the benefits of turmeric are myriad, from promoting immunity to aiding digestion, it's best known as a potent anti-inflammatory. Enough said.

Pro Tip!
Turmeric also comes in topical form (pastes, ointments) to help with joint pain and psoriasis. Keep in mind that, when applied to the skin, it can cause a temporary yellow stain. The same goes for when you're handling the root itself.

Beauty Spot: The Fingertip Facial

Here's an at-home facial, courtesy of Clémence von Mueffling in her book Ageless Beauty the French Way, to melt the lines and stimulate circulation.

Eye Area: Dab a spot of eye cream under both eyes, pat and apply a light pressure along the bone of your eye socket. For more mature skin, use one index finger to hold the skin taut while the other finger applies the cream. Next, pinch your brows towards your temple.

Frown Lines: Use both index fingers to create a zigzag motion between your brows. One finger goes right, the other goes left, and so on—simultaneously.

Lips: Hold the left side of your upper lip taut while your right finger glides above the upper lip, with a spot of cream. Repeat on the other side. Then, do the same on the bottom of the mouth.

Why do I need this?
Because you can't always book an appointment with a facialist and an at-home treatment is quick and easy. Plus, this is great when you're on the go and traveling.

Pro Tip!
To help remove fluid and congestion from your skin, place your thumbs under your chin, then use your index finger as pliers as you pinch along your jawline up to your ears. Repeat five times.

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