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Jane Seymour Says Cucumbers Keep Her Cool at Christmas — Here’s How (Plus 5 More Hot Takes From Dr. Quinn)

The award–winning actress shares her secrets for a joyful and healthy holiday season.

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At 71 years young, actress, artist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Jane Seymour is busier than ever. This holiday season alone, the former Bond girl and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman star has signed on for another season of Acorn TV’s hit Harry Wild and is looking forward to her Lifetime holiday movie, A Christmas Spark.

In the midst of the hustle and bustle (as well as being a mother and grandmother), one would think the holidays would be a stressful time, but Jane says it’s quite the opposite. “I don’t really stress out,” she shares with FIRST for Women. “I like to keep the holidays simple, fun, and creative.” How? By keeping the meaning of the season top of mind. “Christmas is where family is, so focusing on that makes me happiest. The most important things for me are joy, family, and an incredible amount of gratitude!” Here are Jane’s tips for a healthy, happy, and peaceful holiday season — and beyond.

For a Satisfying Snack: Cucumbers

“I just love Persian cucumbers!” Jane shares. “I slice them thin, then put in a dish with Japanese rice wine vinegar. Top with roasted sesame seeds, and oh my gosh — it’s delicious and curbs cravings!”

For a Holiday Sip: Passion Fruit Juice

To ward off cravings, nutritious party favorites are Jane’s go-to. “I’m all about crispy English potatoes, especially at the holidays,” Jane says. “I slice sweet potatoes or parsnips and roast them with sea salt and olive oil. Any roasted vegetable is lovely — it makes the season warm and magical. I also love passion fruit that we make into cocktails: non-alcoholic and alcoholic! I’ll add it to water too. It’s tasty and keeps you going.” In fact, the antioxidants in passion fruit may decrease the risk of heart disease, boost immunity, and even preserve eyesight.

For Relaxation: Spending Time Outdoors

“I love to be in nature — it makes me so relaxed and keeps me moving,” Jane shares. “Nature puts it all in perspective, even when it’s chilly outside. I find a spirituality through it. I cannot control the world or people in it, but I can appreciate the beauty of what’s out there.” Jane also brings nature into her day-to-day by growing her own fruit and vegetables. “I have this thing about watching things grow. I feel the great antidote to all the stresses in life is to be able to grow anything. One of my greatest joys is picking from my garden and making a fabulous dinner from what I grow to serve loved ones.”

For Mindfulness: A Creative Group Activity

“Art is my biggest meditation,” says Jane. “It’s something I’ve taught my children and grandchildren too. We do this thing we call ‘the line game’ with paper and a Sharpie. We sit around the table and everyone closes their eyes and moves the Sharpie around. We then open our eyes and color it in, and my goodness — amazing art comes out of that! At Christmas, we have everyone sign their doodle and exhibit it. It’s a wonderful memory!”

For Holiday Cheer: A Fold-up Christmas Tree

“I have one of those fluffy fold-up Christmas trees that makes decorating so easy,” says Jane, who stores it in the garage with her holiday decor. “I’ve had my tree decorations for as long as I can remember: I love looking at them and remembering what they mean. I have ornaments my children and grandchildren made. It’s beautiful!” For an extra dose of cheer, dab a few drops of cypress or spruce essential oil onto a wooden or felt dollar-store ornament and hang it on your fake tree. Not only will your tree smell real, the aroma can help to lower stress.

For Keeping Family Close: Charity

Though Jane is busier than ever, it is her Open Hearts Foundation that reflects her passion and the reminder of her mother — who is always near to Jane in spirit, but especially around the holidays — to always keep an open heart.

“My mother taught me to think with an open heart when life gets tough,” Jane recalls of the philosophy that led to the creation of her jewelry line. A portion of each sale is donated to her foundation, which provides grants to various nonprofits. “She always told me to be present, open, and to reach out to be a service to others.”

Jane keeps that message close — and loves to reflect it in her gift-giving during the holiday season. “In the movie I just finished, the wardrobe people had me wear some jewelry from my collection,” Jane says. “They also had me wearing my scarves and my koi fish pajamas. I love to give that wearable art as gifts: my jewelry, scarves, pajamas. They’re fun and practical!” For information, visit JaneSeymour.com.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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