New Year's marathon: 31 days, 31 useful advice
Keep a diary for all days remaining until the New Year, and make a list of upcoming affairs, dividing them by importance.
The 1st of December
Mark the days when you have to cook before guests, clean the apartment, shop in stores
And then minimize the number of those activities and activities that always bring more stress than joy. Stop shopping, and instead make part of your online purchases. If the children are sufficiently independent, let them take on part of the pre-holiday “obligations”.
Reduce travel time on the subway. If you do not have a car and you have to use public transport, try to reduce the time spent in the subway if possible. The most convenient form of transport has serious disadvantages: low oxygen content and high carbon dioxide, high noise and vibration. Plus the crowd.
You were invited to visit and you do not want to eat too much in the evening? Have a good breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat a good breakfast eat less during the day.
Pre-holiday chores can cause insomnia, so try to prevent sleep disturbances. There are quite simple but effective ways, for example, half an hour of pleasant music. It can be classical, jazz or pop music, but be sure to be quiet, relaxing and melodic, with a rhythm frequency of 60−80 beats per minute. This rhythm helps to normalize the pulse and breathing. Half an hour before going to bed, go barefoot, then take a slightly warm foot bath with sea salt and herbs. Massage your feet from your fingertips to your knees. And do not forget to ventilate the bedroom.
5th of December
From today, get up on the scales more often, this will help you not to gain extra pounds. Studies at the National Institute of Health in the United Kingdom have shown that approximately ¾ of the weight a person gains over a year falls on New Year and Christmas holidays.
Try to avoid unpleasant surprises that can ruin your holiday. For example, such as red spots on the face, which may be a reaction to the cold. Cold allergy is not so rare and is accompanied by itching or burning. Therefore, if such symptoms appear, consult an allergist and keep an antihistamine on hand. And in cold weather, dress in such a way as to protect yourself from frost and wind as much as possible: wear scarves, gloves, hoods. Use a day cream and hygienic lipstick with protective properties.
Around everyone get sick, and you try to resist? Add sourness to the diet. One of the most vulnerable parts of the immune system is the digestive tract. If the natural microflora is disrupted, the body becomes almost defenseless against the numerous infections raging in the winter. Therefore, for prevention, it is useful to include in your diet, firstly, dairy products (kefir, yoghurts, yogurt). Secondly, sauerkraut or soaked apples. And thirdly, green onions or leeks, sweet peppers and kiwi - these foods are rich in vitamin C.
Decided to abandon flour and sweets? Keep in mind: a low-carb diet not only depletes, but also seriously affects mood. This is explained by the fact that serotonin and dopamine, the so-called enzymes of happiness, are delivered to the brain through carbohydrates. Brown rice, oatmeal, and pasta made from durum flour will help replenish the carbohydrate supply without harming your figure.
When shopping, be sure to take a 30-minute break and enjoy flavored tea with cookies in the cafe. Firstly, if you sit a bit, you will rest and calm down. Secondly, tannins and polyphenols contained in tea leaves relieve fatigue and tone well.
Singing your favorite songs in good company in a chorus is not only fun, but also good for health: loud singing boosts immunity
During large feasts, try to eat as slowly as possible. Firstly, when you have food left on your plate, it’s much easier to refuse the supplement. And secondly, if you eat slowly, chewing food carefully, then the hormones that are responsible for the feeling of fullness are released almost twice as much. And you can protect yourself from overeating.
Do you have a cough? Do not forget about time-tested folk recipes. Add 1 teaspoon of honey to a glass of warm milk or tea, stir and drink in small sips for half an hour before bedtime. This is a reliable remedy for night cough (especially in children). If you or your child is allergic to honey, you can replace it with black radish syrup (make a deepening in the radish, add sugar, let it brew for 24 hours - the resulting syrup softens the throat well).
On holidays, everyone eats more than usual, and because of this, they gain weight. Want to fix the situation? 20 minutes of gymnastics at a good pace - and you can burn 230 kcal.
A typical situation where people are very worried about excessive costs. And stress can cause overeating (and the appearance of excess weight), sleep disturbances, depression, headaches and digestive problems. Do you want to prevent this? Before you go to the store, set reasonable limits for yourself, plan a budget, and then stick to it. And pay only in cash.
Citrus fruits will help protect the whole family from colds and flu. Grapefruits, oranges, lemons are rich in vitamins C and PP, fiber and pectins. Drink freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast, add slices of oranges to the salad for lunch, and eat half a grapefruit after dinner.
An aperitif is a good idea for a festive treat. Australian scientists have come to the conclusion: if you drink a little dry white wine, your desire to eat flour and sweets will significantly decrease. However, do not overdo it: the best option is to have a light bite and then drink dry wine in small sips along with a hot dish. And do not forget that alcoholic beverages themselves are very high in calories!
Hurry to do good. Sort things and give those that were no longer needed to the nearest church or charity, donate some money to the orphanage or nursing home. Altruistic actions activate the same areas of the brain that turn on when we eat something tasty. However, the joy of a perfect good deed will remain with you for a long time.
Spend an evening with your family. If you are tired of running around New Year's Eve, set aside your business and spend a pleasant evening with your family. Stock up on nuts and dried fruits, make mulled wine (wine can be replaced with ordinary cherry juice, and even children can enjoy the aromatic drink) and watch your favorite New Year's movie together.
Do not get involved in tasting. The more varied the table, the more temptations. It is not easy to resist the desire to take “a little bit of everything,” and as a result, we overeat. Our advice: choose two or three of the most attractive dishes, and try to refrain from everything else.
Have a karaoke party with your children. Invite relatives with children or friends to visit and sing your favorite songs from the heart. Collective singing raises not only mood, but also immunity.
20th of December
Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach! If you take part in a feast with alcohol, first try to protect your body from the effects of alcohol - be sure to eat before the party. Protein products protect the gastric mucosa and pancreas well. Chicken broth, boiled meat or fatty fish, a bacon or butter sandwich help slow down the flow of alcohol into the blood.
Family problems have become a source of stress? Walk for half an hour alone. This will help restore peace of mind.
Make up for the lack of light. Today is the shortest day and the longest night of the year. In winter, we do not have enough light and heat, and if you belong to those 20% of people who are depressed due to a lack of sunlight, try to be outdoors as often as possible and take vitamin D - this will also help you safely winter .
Ensure maximum comfort in the car. If you have to spend a lot of time behind the wheel, try to arrange yourself the most comfortable position. Adjust the seat so that your knees are just above your hips and your head is exactly in the center of the back of the chair and is slightly tilted back. You can use a special inflatable pillow, which is recommended for long flights.
Wake up from hibernation. Cold long winter nights and the shortage of sunlight that we have already mentioned naturally provoke us: in complete solidarity with nature - move as little as possible and sleep as much as possible. This is especially true for women: it is known that the need for the weaker sex to sleep in winter longer than the male by about 1.5−2 hours. Therefore, to increase the emotional tone not only to oneself, but also to relatives, is a difficult task, but feasible and useful. By the way, on the quality of your emotions it depends directly on which group of hormones will be more actively produced - stress-forming or pleasure hormones. Organize meetings with friends, joint trips to the theater and to exhibitions. Go with your whole family to nature: sculpt snowmen with your children, ski and skate together, wallow in the snow, fool around, just don’t hibernate. In winter, an active life requires additional efforts, but it is necessary - and not only during the holidays!
Do not abuse drugs. Pre-holiday stress can cause an attack of tension headache. But do not rush to immediately drown her with an analgesic. If pain is tolerable, try to give up medication. For example, in some cases, the headache disappears after a good sleep, walk, or change of activity. If the pain violates your plans, annoys and does not allow you to concentrate, you can take a pill of a simple pain medication. Just do not forget that abuse of them can lead to sad consequences. American scientists, for example, have proved that people who often take analgesics for headaches achieve the opposite results: addiction can occur, as well as increasingly frequent attacks of pain. When taking analgesics, remember the main rule: try to get by with the minimum effective dose of the drug, try to take half of the pill first. And only if your condition does not improve, you need to take the rest.
Try spending a day without a TV with your family. Psychologists came to the conclusion that those women whose husbands and children are happy to take part in family holidays and pay tribute to the New Year traditions feel most happy on holidays. For this evening, plan something nice for all family members. And all your favorite TV shows, sports games and cartoons that your family does not want to miss, record and watch later.
Use invigorating scents. Are you tired and can't wait for the winter break? Add ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground cinnamon to tea or coffee, include a milk dessert in the menu, for example, cottage cheese or pudding with a leaf of fresh mint. Peppermint and cinnamon are known for their beneficial and tonic properties, they increase immunity and cause a surge of strength. It is a pity that the invigorating effect of these substances lasts no longer than 30 minutes.
27th of December
Buy a rubber expander, it will help to tighten muscles and reduce body fat. According to experts, the effectiveness of expanders is not lower than that of expensive simulators, and it is very simple to use them. You can do several approaches while waiting for the kettle to boil, or during a commercial break. In 20 minutes of exercise, you will consume about 100 kcal.
Try to give less useless souvenirs. Give up the endless shower gels and symbols of the year that you bought just in case to solve the gift problem. Psychologists say that pleasant impressions bring people no less, if not more joy, than the most expensive things. Therefore, give tickets to the theater or concert, gift certificates to a sports club or beauty salon - they may turn out to be the most desired New Year's surprise.
Use reasonable caution. Influenza and SARS are the most common viral infections, especially in the fall and winter. These diseases are very contagious: even if it’s “just a runny nose” and if someone is sick at your place, be careful. Try to isolate the patient and allocate personal dishes for him. Keep in mind that the flu is infected the first 3–4 days.
The healing power of the walk. If fatigue and tension reach their climax, take a break, no matter what you do, and go outside for 30 minutes. Take a walk in the fresh air and you will feel better.
31th of December
Take the time and money to choose good, high-quality champagne for the New Year, and this can only be brut. Dry, semi-dry or semi-sweet are varieties of sparkling wine. By the way, a glass or two (no more) champagne is good for the heart, especially if you bite it with bitter chocolate. Good champagne improves blood circulation, and a small piece of dark chocolate activates hormones of joy, that is, you are guaranteed a wonderful holiday mood!
Text: Based on Sari Harrar
Photo: Shutterstock, Unsplash