How To De-Stress During The Holidays

The holidays are a time to get together with family, be thankful for everything you have and celebrate. With so much seasonal goodwill and joy being pumped through every media outlet out there, though, it can feel like being happy is the only acceptable way in which to pass December and while the holiday season is certainly one to celebrate, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel a little blue. As you’re hit by party after party and feast after feast, you might feel like you’re struggling to balance your regular responsibilities, job, family life and social calendar alongside it all and if that’s the case, then you’re probably not alone.  

This time of year is one of the most joyous and celebratory but also, it can be one of the most stressful. When you’re thinking about everything and everyone apart from yourself, it can be easy to neglect your basic needs and end up wallowing in a whole lot of holiday stress. Take a breath. De-stressing this holiday season is one of the best ways that you can ensure you give all of your loved ones your all; sometimes you have to be a little bit selfish in order to really give back.

But what are the best ways in which to destress and come out of the holiday season shining? After doing these things, you might just be the most relaxed person in the world.

Let It All Out

While screaming at your nearest and dearest might be the very thing that you’re trying to avoid, venting your frustrations can actually be one of the healthiest ways in which you can destress. If you’re feeling the pressures from all sides, letting someone know about it might make you feel a whole lot better. While you don’t have to erupt in a volcanic-like rage, you can grab a cup of coffee with a close friend and have a non-seasonal “discussion”. Simply putting all of your holiday-related anguish on the table will make you feel much better and able to keep going through the season. Sometimes, you need to be a bit of a Scrooge in order to carry on the festivities.

Smell The Roses

Our favorite scents can often be the most calming and comforting and simply being surrounded by them can dramatically reduce our stress levels. Taking time out to light a candle, or make yourself a mug of seasonal glogg can be like getting a warm, fuzzy hug, without actually having to talk to anyone at all. Spritz a pashmina or squashy scarf with your signature scent and drape it around yourself when you feel your blood pressure rising. One whiff of your favorite perfume will set the world right again.

Take It Slowly

The holiday season is all about multitasking and balancing chores but when you’re trying to juggle 50 things at once and you’ve run out of limbs with which to do it, the whole thing can be a little overwhelming. Focusing on one task at a time is the best way to not only reduce stress levels but also, ensure that the job gets done right, the first time. The holiday season is not about being a worker bee; take your time, linger in the moment and enjoy the time while it lasts.

Focus On Yourself

While you’re busy looking after everyone else’s needs and cooking daily feasts, who’s caring for you? Taking a little “me” time during the festive season is essential should you want to get anything done; sometimes, being selfish benefits everyone. Try doing one thing for yourself everyday, no matter how small it might be. Buy yourself a festive coffee, or linger in the bath a little longer during the evening. Allowing yourself small indulgences will remind you just how delightful the holiday season can really be. If everyone else is indulging, why can’t you too?

Find The Light

As the nights creep in and the days peter out, it can be easy to get really depressed about the holiday season. The sheer lack of natural light is enough to make even the most positive person feel a little less than their best selves and as a result, it is easy to let the little things build up. Your body clock can be negatively affected by the sheer lack of natural light during the winter months, so finding an alternative source is a great way of keeping your head above the water. Luckily, there are many light therapy solutions out there to keep your brain flooded with a sort of natural light, and your mood buoyant.

The holiday season is a time to be thankful for everything that you have and to celebrate with loved ones. Rather than letting the little things take over, try focusing a little more on your own needs and spreading a little festive joy where you need it the most. After all, what are the holidays for?

7 Tips For Stress-free Holiday Shopping

Holiday shopping time is here but the thought of traffic, crowds, and chaos is enough to keep us homebound. There are several ways you can make holiday shopping less stressful and more meaningful this season.

  1. Make a list, no need to check it twice. Make a list of people in your life you would like to express gratitude to this holiday season. Although it can be difficult to narrow down, try to keep the list modest to those people who truly mean something to you. Now for the hard part. Stick to that list and don’t stray away. It will feel uncomfortable when you receive an unexpected gift from an acquaintance. Naturally, you want to reciprocate but a last minute present hunt for the individual is not only exasperating, it’s disingenuous. If you would truly like to exchange the good gesture, offer to take them out to lunch or for coffee at their favorite local cafe. Sometimes, an authentic conversation is the best gift of all.
  1. Love at first site. Online shopping is your saving grace this season. While the concept of online shopping is nothing new, there are millions of sites and online vendors to choose from. Opt for online retailers with optimized holiday shopping sites to make the experience a pain-free process. Sites like UncommonGoods offer an array of gifts for everyone on your shopping list. The website allows you to shop by recipient, price, interest, or collection to find a thoughtful gift that matches the unique personality of your loved one. Another site that offers whimsical gifts at a wide range of price points is Pink Olive. From home goods to accessories, you’ll find something for the chic people in your life. Procrastinators beware: Double-check those delivery dates. If you wait last minute to order, your Christmas treasures will become an after New Year’s present.
  1. Concierge Shopping. If you are completely overwhelmed by holiday shopping, you can try a personal concierge service. These services are designed to fight the crowds on your behalf, saving you time and headaches. To find assistance near you, Google “concierge service” or “personal shopper” and your city. If you have room to splurge, try a personalized event service like TRULY Experiences. TRULY creates bespoke experiences for their clients from extraordinary dinning dates to luxurious spa days.
  1. Pinterest Please. Avoid the madness of the mall altogether and make the perfect gift. With sites like Pinterest, a world of DIY ideas awaits you. Design one-of-a-kind accessories or paint an original piece of art. Nervous about your crafting skills? Sites like Amazon offer complete kits with everything you need for your project along with directions. Newspapers, magazines, brown shipping paper, and even scraps of old wrapping paper can be utilized for an unconventional and creative way to wrap your crafty gifts.
  1. That’s a Wrap. One of the biggest nightmares of the holidays is the challenge of wrapping all those items. When you make your purchase, ask the cashier if they offer gift-wrapping. Stores that offer complimentary gift-wrapping don’t typically advertise it, so it’s worth investigating. Research charity gift-wrapping drives in your area. Local schools and non-profits will usually host these drives around town wrapping all your gifts in exchange for a charitable donation. If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a festive gift bag and tissue paper.
  1. You Time. The person you neglect the most during the holidays is yourself. Between the shopping, the crowds, and the parties, make time for yourself these holidays. Schedule a massage or incorporate hot yoga into your day. Create a relaxing environment in your home with spiced scented candles and light your rooms with Christmas lights. The ambiance will make you feel warm and calm, just the way you should feel around this time of year.
  1. It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s easy to lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of the season. Don’t lose sight of what the spirit of the holidays is all about. Invite friends and family to cozy up around the television and watch It’s a Wonderful Life. Released in 1946, the film focuses on the life of George Bailey (James Stewart) who was given the opportunity to see how life would look like without him. George discovered what an amazing life he truly had and found a new appreciation for his loved ones just in time for Christmas. The heart-warming movie will lift your spirits and put you in a wonderful mood.
How to Maintain Your Youth and Beauty

As we age we can find it difficult to maintain our inner young and spirited self along with our ideal “perfect body”. Not to mention, we see and hear all the pressure of botox, facelifts, and cosmetic surgeries every time we look in a magazine or turn on the television. Fear not, There are ways we can go around the costly and harmful botched cosmetic procedures and get results the good ol’ natural way. A lot of these practices come from within, we just need to make them a routine which will in turn make the outcome more rewarding in the long run. So, here’s a list of 5 alternatives to maintaing your young and beautiful self.

Keep your skin hydrated: Apply moisturizing lotions every day or better yet a couple times a day! It’s best to apply after taking a warm shower when your pores are open and will absorb every drop. In no time you can get your skin back to feeling nourished and balanced. (note: When purchasing a new moisturizer, find one to go well with your skin type.)

Always use sunscreen in the sun: Using sunscreen is vital to protect your lovely skin. It helps to prevent facial brown spots, skin discolorations, and not to mention SKIN CANCER. Yikes!using sunscreen can also slow down the process of aging skin. Do not forget put it on before you go out into the sun or bring it with you as a reminder.

Exercise: That’s an obvious one! Exercise allows you to sweat out all the toxins in your body leaving you with a healthier and brighter complexion. Doing even just a short workout in the morning or when you have extra free time can significantly increase your energy levels. Those factors alone could make you look and feel young again.

Vitamin and mineral intake: Keep your skin happy by indulging in as many Vitamin A,B, and C rich foods. A balanced daily diet are some of the key ingredients to maintaining a beautiful and youthful body who will thank you every day you choose to practice good eating habits.

De-stress: Stress is apart of life, we all face stress one way or another whether it’s emotional or physical. Unfortunately, dealing with a lot of stress can cause us to feel older and age more quickly. Learning how to combat your stress levels and find relaxing techniques or helpful tools such as taking deep breaths or stretching can be a huge help. Fight those everyday stress urges ladies, our youth and beauty is counting on it!

 

The Benefits of Planning Meals

We are all naturally good at planning. Whether it’s planning our work week, scheduling to pick up the kids from school, or getting together with friends for mid-week dinner parties, we all have to plan.  

Although It could feel great to keep up our productivity level and rush to get onto the next task, sometimes we forget to think about what and where our next meal will be. By not planning our meals, we can easily slip into a pattern of indulging in unhealthy foods. Fortunately, with these easy tips, you can turn a hectic week into something stress-free while improving your own personal health and the health of your family.

Saving time: There are numerous advantages to planning your meals. By taking one day out of the week to prepare meals for the week with appropriate portions, you can better manage your time. The rushes you were previously in to fit in time to eat will reduce and will help you have a stress-free day.

Eliminating last minute stress: Believe it or not, you waste a lot of time each day contemplating what to make for dinner, and it’s stressful. You go back and forth between recipies trying to figure out if you have the right ingredients or if it would take too long to cook. If you have a meal plan, you can take care of things in advance and all that is left at the end of a long day is just getting it on the table.

Helping you avoid unhealthy choices: Instead of picking up last minute unhealthy foods for dinner, you can plan to include healthy choices such as complex carbohydrates: whole grains, fresh or frozen veggies, fresh fruit or frozen berries, whole wheat bread, low fat or fat free dairy, lean meats, olive oil, salads with balsamic vinegar, etc.

Short grocery trips: Meal planning helps you stay organized when shopping for groceries. Write a list and pick up all the ingredients you need for the week or month during a single trip to your local market.

 

3 Easy Ways to Balance Your Diet

When we think of healthy foods to eat, we immediately think about fruits and vegetables as the foundation of a healthy diet. We can’t rely on only produce to give us all our essential nutrients and protein. There are many other factors towards our diet that we need to keep in mind such as lean protein and whole grains.

Learn how you can balance out your diet in 3 easy steps:

Step 1. Foods are categorized in 5 main food groups based on their nutrient content. It’s necessary to your balanced health to eat from these five groups every day.

  1. vegetables and legumes/beans
  2. fruit
  3. grain
  4. dairy and alternatives
  5. meats and alternatives

Step 2. Eat in moderation. This could be difficult and a huge test on your self control but it is extremely beneficial. You can easily decrease overeating habits by limiting the amount of food on your plate and opting for more veggies and grains instead of loading on extra unhealthy calories. (Tip: If you need additional motivation and/or guidance, writing a meal plan at the beginning of each week could be your savior. Planning your portions and which types of foods you will eat can significantly reduce the need to overeat and mindless munch.)

Step 3. Limit your liquid calories. Drinking alcohol and other liquids that have sugar and calories such as: beer, mixed drinks, wine, sodas, sweetened tea or juice could throw off your balanced diet.  

  1. Juices that say they’re 100 % fruit juice still contain a high amount of sugar in them. If you’re going to drink juice, think about only consuming it occasionally and in moderation (for to six ounces).
  2. Eliminate sodas. If you’re drinking them for the caffeine try to stick with coffee and tea with slim milk and little to no sweetener.
  3. Limit the amount of alcoholic bevarages you have each week. The relatively high calorie count in alcohol can easily lead to weight gain and can produce nutritional deficiencies if consumed excessively. women should drink no more than 14 drinks per week, no more than three drinks in any one day, and have at least two alcohol-free days a week.
  4. A glass of wine or the occasional glass of sweetened tea is OK. Again, it’s important to enjoy these items when consumed in moderation.