New Year, New You

January is the perfect time of year to purge what isn’t working in your life and establish some positive intentions for the days ahead. Here are few local businesses dedicated to providing simple tools, products and therapies to help refresh your mind, body and home.

By Maria Allen

Free Your Mind

Did you know that just a few minutes of meditation a day can help decrease your blood pressure, lower cortisol ( a stress hormone), ease anxiety and improve your quality of sleep? Meditation can be done anywhere, but like any new habit, it takes practice. If you’re a newbie who is just learning the ropes, it may be a good idea to seek out an accountability partner or group.

Hingham resident Trish Hart leads regular wellness workshops on everything from stress management and mindfulness to breath work and sleep hygiene. The owner of Hart Mind Body, she is particularly passionate about meditation and will be offering several three-day workshops in January specifically designed to teach participants about the foundations of meditation. Working with small groups, Hart will explain the basics and the science behind meditation’s health benefits. These workshops are designed for beginners, but are also appropriate for anyone who would like a refresher. Participants leave with the tools to establish and maintain a daily meditation practice. Following the course, Hart invites participants to take part in a 21-day meditation challenge and supports them as they learn to incorporate meditation into their everyday routine. 

For more information, visit hartmindbodysolutions.com.

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Breathe Easier

If your New Year’s resolution involves self-care, a trip to the Scituate Salt Cave may be in order. Halotherapy, also known as salt therapy, is a spa-like alternative wellness treatment that involves inhaling salt-infused air. When you visit Scituate Salt Cave, you can expect to spend 45 minutes lounging on a zero-gravity chair inside a dimly lit cave constructed from 30,000 pounds of glowing Himalayan salt bricks.  Soothing music and twinkling lights on the ceiling contribute to the mood. 

A device called a Halogenerator is used to disperse medical grade salt into the air inside each salt cave. The micro-particles of salt land on the skin and are inhaled, clearing toxins from the lungs and nasal passageways. 

“You don’t see or feel the salt on your skin, but you definitely taste it, like taking a sip of a margarita.” says owner Cristina Curreri. The treatment is said to boost immunity and have healing effects for anyone with respiratory issues, allergies or skin conditions. 

For more information, visit scituatesaltcave.com.

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Turn Over a New Leaf

Working on your green thumb is a simple and gratifying New Year’s resolution that has lasting results. Houseplants bring the beauty of nature indoors and promote an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Some studies claim that being surrounded by plants can improve your concentration and creativity while reducing feelings of stress and depression. 

Whether you’re already a houseplant enthusiast or just starting out, it can be helpful to tap the knowledge of your local houseplant guru. Enter Maryann Gibbons, owner of Plants and Ponytails in Hanover. In addition to selling houseplants, she offers virtual plant consults as well as personalized houseplant support and home-based plant styling services. 

“We believe matching plants and accompanying vessels is an art form that can transform your space and showcase your individual style,” says Gibbons. “This 55-minute personalized session helps a houseplant hobbyist build their pant collection and gain a strong sense of what plants need in their space to thrive for long-term enjoyment.” For more information, visit plantsandponytails.com.

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Live More Sustainably

We all want to do our part to make the world a healthier, happier place, right? If you’re an environmentalist at heart, you probably already recycle and use a refillable water bottle. But there are other simple lifestyle choices that can help cut down on the amount of plastic and other trash that gets throw away. In October, Charissa Wade of Hull opened the Zero-Waste Refill Shop in Cohasset with a simple mission: to reduce the number of plastic bottles ending up at the local landfill. Her business is designed to make a low-waste lifestyle more accessible to South Shore residents.

“What happens when you run out of dish soap? You toss the empty plastic bottle then go to the store and buy a new one—another plastic bottle that is exactly the same as the one you literally just threw out. Let’s break the cycle by refilling our empty bottles instead of tossing them,” says Wade. 

Zero-Waste Refill Shop sells a range of natural plant-based cleaning products, such as dish soap and laundry detergent, as well as an assortment of bath and body products, like eco-friendly toothpaste tablets. Soaps and other products are sold by weight. Customers can either bring their own clean containers to refill or fill one of the shop’s “forever” glass bottles. To further reduce her carbon footprint, Wade sources many items from South Shore makers (like goat milk soaps from Hippy Farmer in Middleboro). She also accepts donations of clean glass or plastic bottles—even old pasta jars—that can be repurposed as containers for other products. For Wade, it’s gratifying to know she’s helping to save the environment—one bottle at a time. 

For more information, visit 130 King St., Cohasset, zerorefills.com.

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