The holiday season is finally upon us, and that means dry air outdoors and central heating indoors. But your skin shouldn’t have to take the hit, and there are a few things you can do to keep yourself comfortable. Use a moisture-locking lotion immediately after showering for extra hydration, and invest in a lip balm to keep your lips from cracking. Finally, simply drinking water throughout the day will keep your skin happy and hydrated, so you’ll look and feel great in all those cheesy family pictures.
On average, December sees about 9 hours of daylight per day, and you probably spend the majority of your day in an office and away from the sun. Reduced sun exposure can lower your vitamin D levels, making you feel fatigued and more likely to get sick. To combat the shrinking daylight hours, wake up around sunrise to get one more hour of daytime. Not into waking up super early? Use your lunch hour to go for a short walk outside, or try using a light therapy lamp to simulate sunlight from the comfort of your home.
Sometimes we sign up for more than we can handle. At work, you might be used to some level of micromanaging, but chances are, your coworkers are fully capable of doing the job too. Try delegating some of the tasks you normally get done. It’ll help you feel less stressed and make your coworkers feel empowered. If you’re running to take the kids to sports practice while also trying to prep a holiday dinner, ask another parent to do the driving this time—you can return the favor next time. Giving up an ounce of control may help you get things done faster and also enjoy this time of year. Bonus!
We all do it, but most people actually don’t get enough sleep. We need sleep to heal damaged cells and process all the information our brains take in during the day, so when we don’t get enough, it can make us irritable and affect our memory. What if you can sleep the whole night and still wake up exhausted? It might be time to replace your mattress. The Better Sleep Council recommends replacing your mattress every 7 years. Some other signs that you need a new mattress include waking up sore, stiff, or numb, or if your mattress has tears or other damage.
The holidays are a time when delicious foods surround you: whether it’s turkey and pumpkin pie or hot chocolate and peppermint bark, you don’t want to miss out on the season’s best. But these tasty, high-calorie foods can also make you feel sluggish. Opting for a light snack choice instead of sugary treats can help you feel more energized throughout the day, and maybe even a little less guilty about indulging when you choose to.
It’s science: exercise makes you feel good. Not only does it build your muscles and help maintain weight, a short workout can release endorphins and increase serotonin and dopamine levels, making you feel happy. Exercise reduces the effects of stress—a major component of your brain at the end of the year. It also helps you improve your memory, so you won’t have to embarrass yourself at the office Christmas party when you forget your boss’s spouse’s name.
The holidays are about spending time with the people you love, but the cold weather can make it easy to decline plans and stay cozy at home. For an easy fix, invite an old friend over for game night and hot apple cider, or grab a bite after work. Remind your friends that they are important to you, and they will do the same. In this season of emotional whirlwind and material consumption, the most valuable things in your life are your friendships.