Winter time and the holidays bring a unique range of stresses to your body. Try out these tips to stay energized and fresh.
– Tend to your skin: cold temperatures and dry air indoors can contribute to skin discomfort. We like glycerin and rosewater or shea butter for extra-rich moisturizing during this time of year. Avoid very hot showers and drying soap – opt for natural sea salt scrubs, almond oil, gentle vegetable-based cleansers, or soap-free dermatologist-recommended washes like Cetaphil.
– Walk: Mark recommends exercising a bit more than usual during the holidays to boost immunity and reduce stress. A good way to do this is to incorporate a daily walk. Postprandial strolls with the family in the crisp air are memorable and healthy.
– Don’t overdrink: it’s tempting to drink to excess during the holidays, but take care so you don’t decrease your immunity or put yourself in an unsafe situation. A good rule of thumb is one drink per hour, with 1 or 2 glasses of water between cocktails.
– Increase water intake: this is a very simple way to keep yourself energized and healthy during the holidays. Aim to drink 2 or 3 glasses of pure water beyond your normal daily consumption. Water helps flush toxins, bloat, and the effects of some holiday fare.
– Smart snack tip: cranberries  are naturally antibacterial – eat up!
– Stay healthy: wash your hands often. This is the single best step for preventing colds, flu and other infections.
2. Mind & Spirit
It’s not true that suicides are most frequent around the holidays; it is true that depression rates increase. The holidays are supposed to be a happy time, but they are very stressful to many of us. We’re also inclined to suppress any stressful feelings out of a sense of obligation to “be happy” during this time of year. Here are some helpful tips to feel balanced and calm:
– Make sure the elderly are included: this is often a lonely time of year for older family members. It’s a nice idea to have your children volunteer at the local retirement home for a few hours.
– Evaluate traditions: culling useless traditions that do not serve you or your family, and making new traditions you love, is a meaningful habit to cultivate.
– Simplify: don’t feel obligated to attend every party or event. Simplify gift giving, festivities, and events to relieve stress for everyone.
– Money: we often feel compelled to rack up credit card debt in order to present lavish gifts to everyone we know. But homemade gifts, time spent together, and even kind letters from the heart will create lasting memories. Don’t create extra stress for yourself by overextending your finances.
– Time outs: experts often recommend giving yourself “time outs” of 15 minutes during busy times to restore a sense of serenity. You can pray or practice meditation, or simply look outdoors at something you find appealing.
Now for the fun! Here are some simple, practical tips to stay healthy and safe.
– Follow the golden rule of food prep: keep hot food hot, cold food cold
– Avoid unnecessary illness: put leftovers in the fridge or freezer within two hours
– Healthy flavor: serve large portions of vegetables with interesting sauces rather than starches and sugary foods
– Maid service: consider getting all the relatives to chip in 10 dollars for a one-day maid service. This is a nice treat for everyone and can reduce the stress of cleaning up after a huge feast with guests from out of town.
– Enlist the kids: put those children to work! It builds character. 😉 Little children in particular actually enjoy tasks if they are brief and simple. Things like washing vegetables, taking out the trash, and turning on the Christmas tree lights give kids a sense of accomplishment.
– Unplug the phone: the easiest way to get extra rest and peace during the holidays. Turn off the phone after 8 p.m.
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