How to Recover After the Holidays
Is your brain a bit foggy from all of those holiday indulgences? Too much bubbly and sugar leaving a mark on your energy, skin, and mental clarity? Don't worry—you're not alone. Getting back into the flow of things is a bit harder than expected for us, as well. Luckily, we've figured out a simple system for post-holiday recovery and sustainable healthy living. If you feel the need for a 2016 reboot—and want that reboot to last longer than the first week or two of January—read on.
The holidays are made for imbibing, but may we suggest you put your cocktail glass aside in favor of extra H2O this January? Give your body a break from the alcohol and other sugary drinks. Water goes with everything, and if you're not a water lover, infuse it with mint or citrus. After going dry for a month or so, try to designate certain "dry days" during the week so you don't overindulge in 2016. Trust us: Your hangover-free body will thank you.
Challenge yourself, your friends, and your family to cook at home as much as possible this month. Instead of meeting for a dinner out with your girlfriends this weekend, invite the ladies over and tell them to bring all of their leftover groceries. Cooking together is great entertainment, often healthier than eating out, and the budget-friendliest option.
Your skin really shows that you are what you eat. After a sugar-, alcohol-, and fat-filled holiday diet, it might not be looking too hot. Add to that dry and cold temperatures, harsh A/C, and the recirculated air in airplanes, and you're really asking for a bad skin situation. Try to moisturize as much as possible, drink water (your skin is your biggest organ, and it needs to stay hydrated), apply sunscreen on the regular, and exfoliate a couple of times a week. We love experimenting with face oils and under-eye creams and sleeping with a humidifier.
Whether you were traveling the globe, partying every night away, or hibernating with loved ones, your sleep schedule was most likely impacted by the holidays. Get yourself back on track with a strict sleep regimen. If bedtime is 11 p.m., try to shut off your digital devices by 10:30 at the latest. You'll have a much better REM cycle without the remnants of blue light filtering into your eyeballs. We set a nighttime alarm clock to make sure we know when to start winding down. Having an evening routine also helps prepare you for a satisfying sleep.
Give your gastrointestinal system a break from dairy overload. After too much triple-crème brie and truffle-infused goat cheese, we're pretty full of the stuff. And that's not including eggnog! Try cleaning up your diet by opting for almond milk instead of cow's milk this month, and avoid the temptation of heavy creams, cheeses, and ice cream. Your body needs a chance to recover. Plus, if you have a winter cold, dairy isn't doing your congestion any favors.
We all know sitting is the new smoking, but unfortunately, most jobs require long hours spent working on a computer. Do yourself a huge favor and get moving in the mornings before you start your day. You don't need to do a high-intensity gym workout. Just a walk around the block will get your heart pumping, and the air will clear your head for the day ahead. Sometimes we get so absorbed by our daily routine that we forget to go outdoors. Make outdoor movement a part of your morning routine this year.
We love New Year's resolutions. But more often than not, even our most valiant efforts fizzle by the middle of February. Set yourself up for resolution success by scheduling weekly check-ins with yourself, just as you would with a manager. It can take five minutes. Ask yourself if you're living in line with your resolutions each week, and if you're not, figure out how you can get back on track for the next week. We recommend keeping a journal and jotting down your progress for a couple of minutes each week. This will help your resolutions last all year, not just a month or two.
It's likely your bank account took a beating this holiday season. Rather than feeling guilty about your expenses, think of the New Year as a fresh slate for savings. Set weekly, monthly, and annual goals and try to stick to them. Perhaps you want to save $300 a month to put toward a summer travel budget. Maybe you'll try to skip that grande Starbucks skim latte in favor of coding classes. Having goals and tracking your progress with an app like Mint will make saving money fun. It's like a game where you can compete with yourself, and it's thoroughly rewarding.
One of the best ways to ensure a clean start is to eliminate clutter. Challenge yourself to give away at least one item of clothing for every present you received this season. If you haven't worn something in a year, it might not deserve a space in your closet. Edit your wardrobe, organize it, and add a touch of scent to welcome in the New Year.
What are your tips for jump-starting a healthy lifestyle after the holidays? Share with us in the comments.