We’re already into the new year getting back into the swing of things. Back to our regular routines with work ,home and family. During the time off, many of us entertained, cooked and partied with a host of family, friends and guests that left us overwhelmed, stressed (in a good way) and run-down without resting and rejuvenating our minds, bodies and spirits for getting back to our normal scheduled lives.
AOL’s Stylelist offers 10 ways to get back on point post-holidays that you can apply to your live to get you refreshed and rejuvenated for 2011. Check them out!
1. Set a bedtime. The biggest mistake people fall prey to while making New Year’s resolutions is assuming that a complex new plan must be hatched, when simply returning to basics can have the strongest effect on both your health and energy levels. “Probably the best advice is to encourage people to get back to their normal routines, ASAP. Simple solutions like committing to eight hours sleep by giving yourself a bedtime makes a huge difference,” says Dr. Susan S. Blum, MD, founder and director of the Blum Center for Health, in Rye Brook, N.Y.
2. Cut sugar and alcohol. Revamping your diet doesn’t mean you have to subsist on carrots and celery or miserably drink green sludge for days on end. Just cutting alcohol consumption and those sugar-filled treats that can morph into a daily habit during the holidays will allow your system to more effectively flush out the toxins that are making you feel groggy, bloated and fat.
“Sugar causes your blood sugar to go up and down, which puts stress on your adrenal glands to make cortisol to help balance it. Also, when your blood sugar drops, you get tired, and the adrenals pump out adrenalin for an energy boost. Your adrenals can eventually get tired of this work and become unable to respond. This is often why people become dependent on eating more sugar to keep them going. Alcohol acts like sugar in the body, and therefore does the same as above,” explains Blum.
3. Rock out. Savoring some tunes on your iPod playlist or best-loved CD can relax your whole body, lighten your mood and refresh your brain so that you can catch a second wind. “Spending 10 minutes at the end of the day listening to your favorite music, and even allowing yourself to dance or move with it while cooking dinner, is a great stress buster,” advises Blum.
4. Bathe and breathe. Turn your bathtub into a haven by indulging in a favorite bubble bath or adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to warm water. While you’re blissfully enjoying your soak, practice deep breathing.
“Most of us are shallow breathers and breathe into our chests instead of into our bellies. Deep breaths can be enormously helpful in reducing tension, anxiety and depression,” says Teri Dourmaskin, who holds a health education Ph.D. from Columbia University and is founder of the all-natural La Vie Celeste skin-care line.
“Take a deep breath in, focusing on filling up the belly. Then exhale through your mouth. You can also add sound as you exhale with an ‘ah.’ In order to get the hang of it, you can practice first by lying down and placing a book on your stomach to ensure that you’re breathing through your belly. The book should bob up and down with each inhale and exhalation,” instructs Dourmaskin.
5. Laugh. It’s not just sweet talk to say that laughter is the best medicine; catching a funny flick with friends or playing with a pet who makes you giggle are both ways to help your body produce more “feel good” chemicals, which are scientifically proven to make you both healthier and calmer. “Laughing can increase endorphin levels and other neurotransmitters. It helps reduce stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine — which is adrenaline — and dopamine. It may also increase the number of antibodies and T-cells, which may in turn boost the immune system,” adds Dourmaskin.
6. Meditate. To instantly de-stress wherever you are — even if it’s a few minutes you catch in the car or train while running around — simply close your eyes and repeat a soothing mantra in your mind that centers your thoughts.
“Some people may find meditation difficult because their minds wander too much. For them, I highly recommend Deepak Chopra’s CD “The Soul of Healing Meditations.” All you have to do is sit and listen. Deepak’s words are incredibly powerful and the music is intoxicating,” says Dourmaskin.