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Help For The Holidays: Self-Care

It's that time of year again … yep, the holidays.

While the holidays can be stressful, they can also be a lot of fun. Extra time with family and friends and getting to eat all of your favorite foods … what’s not to love?

Except, maybe, those extra pounds. I eat a lot more during the holidays, and it's not necessarily more of the healthy stuff either. More desserts, more carbs, more calories. Not only do I eat more, I’m also too busy to get much exercise. We’re always over-scheduled, and I worry all the time about making sure everyone has an amazing time. The end result? My self-care slips away. The combination of poor eating, little exercise and added stress takes a toll on my well being … and my skin suffers, too.

So what are some of the things I do to avoid (or minimize) these unpleasant results?  Here are some strategies that have helped:

1. Incorporate more fresh vegetables into every meal. Always roast or steam your veggies. They maintain their nutritional value that way, and they taste delicious. Asparagus, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and sweet potatoes all have major nutritional value. Adding more veggies adds extra fiber to your diet and helps you feel fuller, longer. Veggies are high in vitamins and minerals and abundant in antioxidants that help stave off free radicals and aging. That's great for skin health!

2. Try your best to practice portion control and moderation during the holidays. If you know you are going to eat a big dinner, then eat a light salad for lunch. When it's time for the big meal, don't pile on the food. If you eat slower it helps you feel fuller.

3. Take a walk. It’s a good way to hear your own thoughts and get some alone time.

4. Exercise. Exercising helps release stress, making it especially worthwhile during the holidays. It keeps you more energetic, too. Sweating regularly also helps purge toxins and cleanse your pores, so it’s great for your skin health.

5. Get sleep. Lack of sleep takes a toll on your health and your skin. Try to get at least seven hours each night.

6. Drink at least 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of water a day. Drinking enough water helps maintain the balance of body fluids, which are important for digestion, absorption, circulation, nutrient transportation, body temperature maintenance and more. Drinking enough water also helps your skin look good.

7. Take time for yourself. Whether that's 10 minutes to meditate or take a relaxing shower or bath. Anything that you find enjoyable and relaxing.