As we head into the holiday season, the stress of juggling festive cocktail parties, shopping for loved ones, and family travel can really take a toll on us. Feeling run down from all the busyness of the holidays can affect our health and also start to wear on our physical and mental states.
Rather than missing out on all the fun, sometimes we just need a healthy pick-me-up to keep our energy levels high, spirits bright, and appearances youthful.
Here are a few healthy, simple, and cost-effective solutions to holiday revival—other than sitting it out, of course.
Tip #1: Indulge In More Red Foods
Red foods such as watermelon and tomatoes contain lycopene, a potent antioxidant with anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties that also gives the fruits and veggies their rich hue. Lycopene is not only effective at halting the aging process and boosting brain health—thereby aiding in recovery from holiday cocktailing—but some studies have shown that it can lower your risk of certain types of cancer.
Tip #2: Relax With Some Tea
Soothing herbal teas such as mint, chamomile, lavender, lemon, green tea, and ginseng can help relieve stress and nerve exhaustion, while reinvigorating your health, mind, and body. Teas are also hydrating, which is key to looking and feeling more youthful. (In fact, studies show that green tea can help us retain skin elasticity as we age.)
Tip #3: Reduce Dark Circles And Puffiness
Sometimes just a quick glance in the mirror after a night of little sleep can make us feel older and trigger the holiday blues. For early mornings at the office, reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness with a non-toxic, specially formulated dark circle cream such as Zax’s Dark Circle Eye Cream.
Tip #4: Laugh It Off
Feeling run down from all the holiday action? Watch a comedy on Netflix or a funny Youtube video. It will cost you almost nothing, except for a few minutes of your time, and is scientifically shown to instantly reduce stress, boost energy, and make you feel more youthful. When you laugh, your heartbeat and blood pressure rises, which causes you to breathe faster and sends oxygen to your cells. Consider it a mini-workout! Laughing also helps to boost health and the immune system by increasing the levels of Immunoglobulin (IgA), an antibody that fights infection.
Tip #5: Volunteer Your Time
The holidays are a great time to give back to others, since many food banks, soup kitchens, children’s hospitals, and convalescent homes open their doors to public support. Even if it’s just for an hour, a recent study showed that the simple act of volunteering boosts mental health, and makes you feel healthy, happier, and more youthful.
Tip #6: Don’t Cram Your To-Do List
Be realistic about what you can physically do, especially during the holidays when your time is being pulled in every which direction. According to Ronald Kotler, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the stress hormone cortisol can speed up the aging process and wear you out. Try to pre-plan or allocate tasks to your spouse, co-workers, or teenagers to alleviate some of the stress.
Tip #7: Wear Something Out Of Your Comfort Zone
For the ladies, studies show that skipping the jeans and dressing up may make you feel more youthful and ward off depression. So, rather than slipping into your favorite denim and a pair of boots this winter, put on something slinkier for a quick (and cheap!) mood boost.