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    A Socially Distanced Trip to the Mountains Showed Me Resting and Resetting Takes More Than Getting Away

    Whenever I feel overworked, overwhelmed, and burnt out, the first thing I do is plan a trip. Traveling has long been my escape, but as we all know, changing scenery has been tricky during the pandemic. After seeing a friend post photos of her trip to Getaway House—a community of socially-distanced cabins 80 miles from Atlanta in Suches, Georgia—I wanted in. I had reached my breaking point, and my anxiety was on at its peak. I just knew escaping for three days was what I needed to reset, especially since the cabin was WiFi-free and the website hinted that cell service could be spotty. To me, that translated to that even if I wanted to work or obsessively check my email, I couldn’t.I packed a few bare necessities and items to induce relaxation like books, a puzzle, sheet masks, a journal, wine, and loads of snacks from Trader Joe’s. If you notice, I didn’t mention my computer. My freelance career has helped me create an unhealthy obsession with work and deadlines, because when I’m not working, I’m not earning an income. Some would call this the scarcity mindset—and they’re right. This mindset has made me a workaholic without any boundaries. Leaving behind my laptop felt like leaving my phone at home. I thought that no WiFi and a boatload of items proven to calm the mind would make relaxing easy.
    Boy, was I wrong.

    On the first day of my trip, I woke up and went for a walk. Truthfully, because it was so quiet, I was afraid that the boogie man or a bear would get me. But since I have lived to tell this tale, you can see I proved my anxiety wrong and made it back to civilization just fine. After my walk, I committed to spending the day reading a book I’d been carrying in my purse for months. But as I read the words on the page, my mind kept wandering. All I could think about were the emails I must be missing, not to mention that I was having social media withdrawals. My need to check-in felt so urgent that I walked for about 20 minutes and held my phone in the air until I got enough service to check my email.

    My relaxing trip was starting to feel like torture. I couldn’t understand why relaxing was so difficult. I mean, shouldn’t it be enough that I took a break? I quickly realized that escaping to new scenery didn’t guarantee relaxation because I don’t make caring for myself in everyday life a priority. Self-care is hard and something to work at daily. A trip can’t change our habits or how we treat ourselves, even if we’re in a space curated for the very reset we so crave.
    By day three, I was finally starting to shake the work and social media FOMO. I didn’t worry about capturing the moments for Instagram, and I felt less anxious about not having access to emails and started to get used to the silence. I recently spoke with my therapist about my daily bad habits of checking emails the moment I open my eyes, and she said something so simple but profound: “This means you’re putting the needs of others above your own and not caring for yourself.” I felt that. For the first time, someone had put into words that my habits were indeed unhealthy and in need of tweaking.

    Do I still sometimes wake up and check my emails? Yup. Do I let the last-minute requests stress me out at times? Yup. However, there is something that has changed. I recognize that my emotional reactions to these things are mine to change, and that I don’t have to say yes to everything that comes my way if it means busting my boundaries. Self-care and relaxation aren’t just about doing something nice for yourself—like a bubble bath, face mask, or a nice meal—it’s about setting boundaries and creating good habits in your day-to-day life so that when you do have an opportunity to take a well-deserved break and change your scenery, you can actually enjoy it without guilt.
    What I’m about to say might be a hot take, but it was an important takeaway from my trip: I don’t have to share every trip I go on—well, at least in real-time. Take photos because you want to, not for likes. I understand what I’m saying could be perceived as coming from a judgmental place, but it’s not. I am learning to adopt this mindset because my work intertwines with social media. I sometimes find it challenging to turn that creative part of me off, but it’s essential.

    Find a way to shift how you relax that works for your lifestyle.

    It’s the little changes to your life that can make a big impact. When I want to relax and notice myself multitasking or mindlessly scrolling social media, I put my phone in another room and allow myself to be in the moment with limited distractions. Find a way to shift how you relax that works for your lifestyle. I promise you, it makes a difference. More

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    7 Ways to Stay Your Healthiest Through Winter, According to Ayurveda

    Winter is not typically our healthiest season of the year; we’re eating Christmas cookies more often than vegetables, staying in pajamas all day, and stressed out 24/7 (thanks to endless gift shopping, triggering relatives at holiday events, and busy work schedules). It’s safe to say that New Year’s resolutions are typically a cry for help after a holiday season of bottomless eggnog and weather-induced laziness. But just because your fridge is stocked with pumpkin pie leftovers and it’s too cold to go on a run does not mean that you can’t prioritize your health until spring.Studying ancient belief systems in college (who says I wouldn’t put my Religious Studies major to good use!?) helped me realize that we can learn a lot about our bodies and how to keep them healthy from other cultures, time periods, and philosophies. During times like winter, when motivation and healthy habits fade, I turn to Ayurveda to help keep me healthy, and there are many tips that could help you stay healthy too (yes, even if you’ve already drank your weight in hot chocolate and PSLs).

    Source: @crystalinmarie

    What is Ayurveda?
    In technical terms, Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest systems of medicine. In Sanskrit, ayur means “life,” and veda means “knowledge,” so the word itself literally means the knowledge of life. It was developed over 3,000 years ago in India and is still widely practiced all over the world today. AKA it’s some of the original holistic medicine. To briefly summarize for the sake of this article (but like, how do you fit 3,000 years into 1,500 words!?), Ayurveda teaches that every person consists of different proportions of the three governing principles of nature: vata (air), pitta (fire), and kapha (earth).
    But it’s not only humans who hold a particular dosha; seasons are also closely linked to doshas, and our needs change based on time of year and the weather outside. In winter, the body and mind require different things than they do in the summer or spring. By balancing your diet and lifestyle with the seasons, you’re setting yourself up for optimal health all year long. What I love most about Ayurveda is that it serves as a reminder to stay connected to nature because human beings are nature.
    Thanks to busy workdays and modern technology, we can have any food we want when we want it, stay awake even long after the sun sets, and sometimes go days without sunshine or fresh air. But our bodies are meant to be in alignment with nature, not our work schedules. There are many Ayurvedic practices I love for staying healthy through the season, but the overall idea is that the body and mind achieve optimal health when operating in tune with nature. Here are seven health tips I learned from Ayurveda that can help you stay healthy through winter:

    Source: @missenocha

    1. Eat for the season
    Ayurveda not only teaches eating for your dosha type, but it teaches eating for the season you’re in. “In the colder months, our bodies change along with the weather,” said Sahara Rose, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Best-Selling Author, and Host of The Higher Self Podcast. “The temperature cools down and the air dries out, so our bodies follow suit. We begin taking on more qualities of the Vata dosha, comprised of air and space energy. This is why we begin craving pumpkin spice, cozy teas, and butternut squash soup. Our bodies require more grounding and warming foods to counterbalance Vata’s cold and dry energy. Root vegetables are grown under the ground, so they have the most warming qualities.”
    Basically, indulge in whatever is opposite of the season to balance out the effects of the weather. For winter, that means eating warm foods with hearty in-season vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, and turnips. Take a break from raw salads or cold sandwiches and opt for nourishing soups, stews, or bowls. Besides just the temperature, also be mindful of the humidity in your area. Some geographical areas (or even some days) are wet (snow, rain, etc.), while some are dry (leaves falling off of trees, lack of humidity that causes dry skin, etc.). If it’s raining or snowing, eat more dry foods like roasted vegetables or nuts and seeds. If the weather feels very dry, load up on soups and stews.

    2. Get more rest
    Animals hibernate during winter, so it’s no surprise that we’re more inclined to focus on rest too. Increased darkness and earlier sunsets are obvious signs that the body needs more sleep this time of year, so try to limit the late-night Christmas movie binges and keep up with an earlier bedtime that aligns with the earlier sunset (you know you’re tired by 5 p.m., anyway!). No, you don’t have to get ready for bed at 4:30 p.m. when it starts getting dark (although that sounds nice, doesn’t it?). Instead, focus on starting your wind-down routine 30 minutes or an hour earlier than you usually do.
    Meditation is another important Ayurvedic practice year-round, but take extra time during winter to turn inward, sit in stillness, and indulge in more quiet time, like the mental version of hibernation (back to that mirroring nature thing!). “Meditation is important for all the doshas, all year long, but it’s especially important this time of year as we re-focus goals and set intentions,” said Larissa Hall Carlson, co-leader of Yoga Journal’s course, “Ayurveda 101,” and previously the dean of Kripalu’s School of Ayurveda.

    Source: @yunah.lee

    3. Load up on herbs
    Ayurveda says that digestive fire (or agni) is strongest during winter, which is why we typically eat more than we would in the summer (well, that and holiday party leftovers). Spices like cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, and black pepper not only help keep up that digestive fire, but are also thought to warm the body, which we could all use a little more of during the cold winter months. While these warming herbs are crucial year-round (especially depending on your dosha), they are extra beneficial and necessary from November until spring. Add cinnamon and nutmeg to your coffee, sip on ginger tea throughout the day, and sprinkle turmeric or black pepper into soups, curries, and sauces. 

    4. Wake up earlier 
    Ayurveda teaches a daily routine called Dinacharya that determines when is best to do certain activities throughout the day, based on both personal dosha and what doshas are associated with times of day (yes, even times of day have doshas). Since it starts getting lighter earlier this time of year, Ayurveda suggests that–you guessed it!–you mirror nature and wake up when the sun rises.
    “While it’s easy to stay in bed because it’s cold and dark out, hitting snooze is what gets us into winter funks,” explained Tiffany Chen, an Ayurvedic Health Counselor. “It’s important to rise before the sun to give ourselves plenty of time to get our morning routines in so that we set ourselves up for success.” Instead of jumping into work or exercise, fit in a peaceful morning routine that will help you feel centered, calm, and ready for the day. If you want to go all out for bonus points, try tongue scraping and/or oil pulling first thing in the morning to help the body get rid of toxins.

    5. Drink wisely
    Sorry, iced coffee drinkers: Ayurveda recommends drinking only warm liquids whenever possible through the entire season. Warm liquids will not only physically warm the body during cold weather, but they can help the body digest food properly (AKA the best reason ever to have a Hot Toddy). Drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning, sip on hot tea throughout the day (like green tea in the morning if you want some caffeine and chamomile or ginger in the afternoon), and avoid drinking anything straight out of the fridge. If you are drinking a liquid that you wouldn’t drink warm like a green juice or wine (whatever floats your boat!), resist drinking straight out of the fridge, and let the liquid get to room temperature. You probably already know this, but winter is not the season for frappuccinos. 

    Source: @devyn.p.miller

    6. Fit in movement everyday
    Since winter is a kapha-heavy season, we’re more prone to feeling lethargic. To counteract a lack of energy, fit in frequent movement throughout the day, whether it’s stretching or yoga flows. In Ayurveda, walking is the ideal exercise since it is considered tri-doshic, meaning that no matter your dosha type, walking will help balance your body and mind. As a bonus, walking after meals helps to aid in digestion, so it’s especially important to walk after the heaviest meal of the day (which Ayurveda recommends making lunchtime, but if you’re like most Americans in the 21st century, it’s probably dinner).
    Plus, there’s more benefits than just counteracting seasonal lethargy. “Daily movement is important to stimulate the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is imperative in the functioning of our immune system, and it does not inherently have pumps to move its contents,” Chen said. “The two things that move lymphatic fluid is daily movement and warm oiled self-massage” (more on self-massage below). Since needs are different for every body and dosha type, the bottom line is to listen to your body: if you’re feeling exhausted, go for vata-balancing exercises like walking, stretching, or gentle yoga. If you’re feeling lazy or lethargic, then balance out kapha with more energizing practices like jogging or dancing. 

    7. Try self-massage
    Good news if you haven’t seen your masseuse since the stay-at-home order started in March: self-massage is not just a self-care activity in Ayurveda; it’s an essential healing practice. Abyanga (or Abhyanga), or self-massage, is a form of medicine that involves massaging the body with dosha-specific warm oil. You know that massage boosts relaxation and hydration of the skin (thank you, massage oil!), but Ayurveda sees massage as a form of medicine because of its belief that warm oil massage can improve circulation, body strength, lubrication of internal organs, sleep, and overall health. “A daily Abyanga practice restores the balance of the doshas and enhances well-being and longevity,” Sandhiya Ramaswamy, an Ayurvedic practitioner, educator, and chef, wrote for Chopra.  
    To practice for yourself, heat sesame oil (which is considered the best oil for winter since it’s warming to the body) between the palms of your hands. Ramaswamy recommended applying oil first to the crown of your head and massaging down to your feet. Sit with the oil for 5-15 minutes so that the oil can absorb and penetrate into the deeper layers of the body, and then enjoy a warm bath or shower. Now that’s medicine we can get behind.

    Which of these tips from Ayurveda would you incorporate into your winter self-care routine? More

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    11 Health Hacks to Get You Through the Holidays Enjoyably

    The holidays are a time for celebration, family, and an excessive amount of eggnog. For many people, they’re also a time of dread because busy days, holiday meals, and lots and lots of sugar are not necessarily a recipe for health. Maybe you get food-guilt and anxiety about over-indulging, or maybe you feel sick, lethargic, and all-around worse in your body because healthy habits go out the window with the Thanksgiving leftovers. Because the holidays should be merry and bright (not guilt-ridden or lethargic), here are 11 health hacks that will help you feel your very best through every turkey dinner and cup of hot chocolate.PSA: the following list is not intended to be used to “earn” indulgences, “make up for” extra Christmas cookies, or prevent “holiday weight gain.” The holidays should be enjoyed to the fullest, and that includes the foods and traditions you love. You don’t need to earn or make up for; instead, just enjoy. These health hacks are intended to be used in addition to savoring all the wonderful traditions that come this time of year. Instead of resisting, stopping, or shaming, the goal is to help you feel your very best so you can optimally enjoy the most wonderful time of year with the people you love most. Read on for hacks that do exactly that:

    Source: Wait, You Need This

    1. Set intentions based on what makes you feel good
    New routines or a crazy season might mean we forego our regular healthy habits. It’s absolutely OK to pause some of your rituals, workouts, or routines as your daily schedule changes and you’re trying to enjoy the holidays. However, to feel as good as possible, plan ahead by identifying a couple of things that make you feel your very best. Whether it’s getting in a meditation every morning or going for a jog three times a week, identify your non-negotiables and then prioritize them, no matter what. Keeping up with only a couple of crucial rituals and routines will be much more manageable than hoping to keep every habit. More importantly, it will help you feel better throughout the season.
    Also, set limits based on how you feel, not what you think you’re supposed to do. For example, limiting yourself to “no dessert” can lead to a deprivation mentality, binge eating, and a negative relationship with food. But if you know that you start feeling nauseous around the second or third Christmas cookie, or eating the entire wheel of brie on the cheese board makes you feel uncomfortably sluggish (I’ve been there), set intentions by enjoying one or two cookies and only as much brie as you’re actually enjoying until you start mindlessly devouring (again, I’ve been there). Know your limits based on how they make your body feel, and set intentions to keep up healthy habits that are important to you.

    2. Load up on veggies first
    There’s a good reason restaurants offer the salad course first: sure, it’s a lighter course, but it’s also typically the most nutritious (whether or not that is the restaurant’s reasoning, IDK). Even though we’re not eating out, stick to the salad-first mentality to make sure you get the nutrients that make you feel good. If your meal is more buffet-style (or you’re cooking for one and a salad feels excessive), eat the Brussels sprouts side or the sautéed carrots first before diving into the rest of the meal.
    It’s actually not better for you to show up to a holiday meal super hungry with your turkey pants on. When we’re starving, we eat quicker, enjoy less mindfully, and over-stuff ourselves, so eat some veggies as a pre-dinner snack. Eating veggies first ensures you can enjoy any foods you want, but you’re still getting in the nutrients your body needs. Plus, you’ll eat less of the stuff that doesn’t make you feel good (because you’ll be filled up by the good-for-you veggies, not from a place of deprivation). 

    Source: Not Your Standard

    3. Get up and move in the morning
    It’s all too easy to lay around in pajamas, sip on hot chocolate, and binge Christmas movies until nightfall every day from now until January 1. While that does sound like an ideal day, getting in a little bit of movement can boost energy, motivation, and mental health. Fitting it in first thing in the morning means you won’t have to interrupt your Christmas movie binge to go on a jog or do a yoga flow (and let’s be honest: after a few movies in, the chance of stopping goes way down). 
    FYI, I do not mean attempting a two-hour HIIT class as a means to make up for what you ate the night before or plan to indulge in that day. That’s not how the body works, and it’s also unnecessary. Go on a run or a do full workout if it makes you feel better and your body is craving movement, but if you’re feeling sluggish and lethargic like the rest of us during holiday break (especially following big meals), a walk or some stretches does the trick. The goal is to prioritize movement to make you feel like your best, happiest self, not as a means for calorie burn.

    4. Try healthier versions of your favorite holiday foods
    PSA: you don’t have to stick to the exact mashed potatoes recipe you make every year or buy frozen pie crusts instead of DIYing your own. When planning holiday meals, opt for homemade over processed foods (yes, buying from a local bakery or takeout from a healthier restaurant counts for you non-chefs), but also identify where you can add more nutrients into the foods you love. Start by trying these plant-based recipes for every comfort food craving or healthier versions of holiday go-to’s like pumpkin pie and green bean casserole. If you’re not ready to try a new recipe, small swaps will make a difference. For example, replacing conventional butter with organic butter reduces some of the added chemicals and toxins, and adding chopped spinach to a pasta sauce can boost nutrients. Healthy cooking doesn’t have to sacrifice taste, and eating healthier does not have to mean you forego your favorite foods.

    Source: Love and Lemons

    5. Eat healthy fats
    Dry skin woes, rejoice! The perpetual battle between your beauty goals and dry winter climate (read: endless sheet masks, intense oils, and every serum on your skincare shelf) doesn’t have to be so difficult. The one factor in seasonal cracked skin that you may have been missing is what you can be eating to help. Both dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe and nutritionist Kimberly Snyder told Coveteur that healthy fats like avocado, omega-3 fatty acids, and coconut oil are essential for skin health and increasing hydration. Brianne Thornton, a registered dietitian, agreed, explaining to U.S. News & World Report that omega-3 fatty acids keep water from escaping the skin. Eat foods like walnuts, chia seeds, flax, and salmon to get your omega-3s and load up on other healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and nuts and seeds to get a variety of health benefits. Helping dry winter skin will just be a much-welcomed bonus. 

    6. Drink more water
    Speaking of hydration, drinking water seems to be the cure-all for everything, and with good reason. Staying hydrated can improve energy levels, relieve digestive discomfort like constipation, and overall help you feel your best. Just because it’s not hot outside doesn’t mean we need less water, but we often forget to stay hydrated it’s cold out. I get it–you’d rather drink hot chocolate than a glass of good old fashioned water, but your body needs proper hydration to operate at its best. Especially if you’re feeling hungover (whether it’s a food hangover or a real hangover, because they both happen often during this time of year), drink lots of water to ensure your body is hydrated at all times. Try drinking a big glass before your first cup of coffee in the morning and sipping on tea or warm lemon water throughout the day for a hydrating refreshment that will also keep you warm. 

    Source: @trulyjamie

    7. Stick to your regular sleep schedule
    I don’t know about you, but a lot of sleep is a given for my holiday breaks. I’m back in my childhood room, I’m wearing cozy AF pajamas, and I don’t have to wake up at 6:30 a.m. for work–the odds of good sleep are very much in my favor. Luckily for my health goals, that extra sleep is not just a perk of a national holiday; it can also help me stay healthy. Getting enough quality sleep is beneficial for many reasons, like improving mood and energy. Plus, sleep can help you make better food decisions. Cravings (especially sugar cravings) can be worsened by lack of sleep, so if you’re not getting a good 7-9 hours, that gingerbread cookie or pumpkin pie could sound a lot more appetizing. 
    However, during past holiday breaks, those nine hours edge more towards the 1-10 a.m. range as opposed to my typical 10:30 p.m. bedtime. Getting enough quality sleep and sticking to a normal sleep schedule are both important for keeping you healthy. Going to bed and waking up around the same time will improve sleep quality, both now and after the holidays. Some studies have shown that irregular sleep schedules can lead to poor sleep quality, fatigue, poor eating habits, and lack of energy that can take time to reverse. Go to bed and waking up as close to the same time as you usually do and get 7-9 hours every night for peak health. Bottom line: the holidays are a time of laughter and family, but also use them as a time to rest and restore.

    Source: @mylittlebooktique

    8. Find balance with alone time and socializing
    I know I sound like a broken Andy Williams record saying that this year is different (you get it: 2020 is weird), but you probably don’t have the same overbooked season of holiday parties, family gatherings, and gift exchanges you typically do. If you are spending the holidays with family, make sure you’re still fitting in alone time to prioritize yourself. Go on a jog in the morning, take a bath at night, or find any time you can to recharge.
    If you’re spending the holidays alone, try to schedule a socially-distanced gathering outdoors or a virtual holiday party with your closest friends. Having social events on the calendar will give you something to look forward to, but scheduling it will also ensure you’re spending time with people you love, even if it is virtual or socially distanced. Alone time to prioritize ourselves and time with loved ones to laugh and connect are equally important, so focus this year on finding the balance of both, depending on what you need more of.

    9. Make new (outdoor) traditions
    2020 is the year of new traditions. While we’re foregoing traditions like holiday parties or in-person shopping this year, it also allows us to start new traditions that are not only good for the soul, but good for the body too. As the temperatures drop, you may be less inclined to spend your time in the great outdoors, but there’s a reason that so many holiday classics mention “snow,” right? (Let it Snow, Baby It’s Cold Outside, White Christmas… need I say more?). Taking advantage of the winter weather can not only bring fun new traditions, but can be good for your health. For example, bundle up and take a socially-distanced walk with friends or family, go ice skating at your local rink, or grab snow boots and play in the snow with your younger cousins or siblings. You’ll get your body moving without even thinking about it (and isn’t that the best kind of hack!?). 

    Source: @theyusufs

    10. Listen to your body during meals
    Frequently check in with yourself during meals to identify what your body wants and needs. Maybe you’re not hungry, but you would enjoy every bite of a slice of pumpkin pie because it’s your favorite holiday dessert, or maybe you realize your digestion is feeling off and you haven’t had enough veggies that day. Notice when you start feeling satisfied and are no longer enjoying each bite to know when to stop, rather than mindlessly eating until you’re uncomfortably stuffed. Aim for a balance of favorite holiday foods and nutrients that will make your body its best; yes, it is that simple. When we’re in-tune with our bodies’ needs, we eat until we’re satisfied (not stuffed) and crave a mixture of energizing nutrients and less nutritious foods we’ll enjoy every bite of (rather than mindlessly gobble down).

    11. Know that health is more than diet and exercise
    If you’re still under the impression that one meal (or a few holidays) can drastically affect your body long-term, you should also know that health is not a two-part formula of diet plus exercise. The podcasts we listen to, the people we spend our time with, the shows we binge on Netflix, the accounts we follow on Instagram, the way we speak to ourselves (and others) are all things that feed us too. If you’re not as focused on the ways you’re being fed and nourished besides the food on your plate or the ways you’re burning energy besides exercise, you’re missing key pieces of the puzzle. Bottom line: you could eat whatever you wanted and not work out once, and still have lots of opportunities to nourish yourself. Focus on how your relationships nourish you, the compassion you’re giving yourself, and how you’re spending your free time to truly become your healthiest self.

    Let us know–what healthy habits do you take into the holidays? More

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    Too Much Spiked Eggnog? Here’s How to Treat Your Skin After a Hangover

    Everyone talks about the headaches, the nausea, the “water is the best-tasting liquid on Earth” feeling at 2 a.m., the DADs, and of course, the blinding light coming in from the windows. But we don’t talk about the ways a hangover botches your face nearly enough. Redness, puffiness, inflammation, breakouts, dryness—the morning after is not kind to our faces.I’m not suggesting we all drink to excess this holiday season, but I am saying that if it were to happen that one too many spiked eggnogs, hot cocoas with peppermint schnapps, or my personal favorite, Santa Claus-mopolitans, made their way into your hands during that office holiday Zoom party, I’ve got your back when your skin inevitably misbehaves the next day. Consider this the ultimate routine to follow after your big night out in 🙂 

    First of all, drink some water. Like a lot of water. 
    Guzzle down at least 32 oz of water—especially before you drink any coffee. We also highly suggest coffee. And ibuprofen. 

    Use an ice roller
    There’s a reason rolling cold spoons or ice rollers (or plain old ice cubes when you’re in a pinch—we’ve all done it) feels amazing: alcohol dilates your blood vessels, and a cold compress can help regulate that, reducing redness and depuffing skin. 
    If you can’t ice roll or want to take it to the next level, put your skin care products in the fridge. Think of it like taking your skincare on the rocks. 

    1. Oil-Cleanse
    Oil cleansers are magic. Not only do they lightly moisturize your skin in the first step of your routine, but they remove dirt, oil, and any extra makeup that could be leftover (because we all know we’re a little less than diligent about removing our makeup when we’ve had a glass too many). Make sure to emulsify the cleanser with water to remove everything easily.

    2. Second Cleanse
    When your skin is fragile, the first thing you should do is opt for a gentler cleanser. Some estheticians and dermatologists argue that your cleanser is the most important step in your routine; it’s what sets you up for success later in your regimen. When your skin is properly cleansed and not left feeling stripped or dry, you’re ready to get a little deeper. 

    3. Chemical Exfoliator
    A chemical exfoliator is a really great way to give your skin a boost, especially if you’re dreaming of glowing skin. You can try a toner, a mask, or a peel—as long as it has exfoliating acids like mandelic (the most gentle), glycolic, salicylic, lactic, and malic acid. Get rid of all those dead, alcohol-damaged skin cells to reveal skin that looks like before you ever took your first sip! 

    4. Clay Mask
    A good detoxifying mask not only helps heal and treat any breakouts that may have already started, but it’ll stop others in their tracks. Opt for something that won’t dry out your skin further, like these:

    5. Moisturizing Mask 
    Alcohol deprives the skin of water, so a lot of it usually leaves us pretty dehydrated (hence thinking “water is so good” every time you wake up hungover), and that includes our skin. My favorite way to get your skin ultra-hydrated is applying layers of moisturizing products; unless you’re really oily, it usually isn’t enough to slap on a moisturizer to make up for dehydrated skin. Rehydrating your skin will make it look bright, even, clear, and help to start healing any breakouts, redness, and dry patches—AKA it’s everything you could ever need and want after a hangover. 
    A sheet mask is my go-to to get this done, especially because you don’t have to wash it off. To make your sheet mask ultra-relaxing, follow this Reddit-approved tip and keep your mask in the fridge. It’ll be really refreshing and keep up those themes of putting cold stuff on your face! 

    6. Moisturizer
    Now’s the time to go in with the big guns. None of those “gel creams” or “light moisturizers with SPF.” No, what you need is a thick, rich, DaddyTM moisturizer that’s going to lock in everything you’ve done above, atone you for your sins, and buy you diamonds for Christmas. Your skin is the largest organ in the body, and we know alcohol basically wreaks havoc on every vital organ (how rude for something that feels so good), so you’re giving it the R+R it deserves right now.
    If you’re dealing with oilier skin than normal (not uncommon when you’re combining drinks with late-night pizza and tacos—the best kinds of nights, amirite?), you can try a moisturizing toner, like my current favorite from Laneige. It’s a toner/moisturizer hybrid, and for oily skin types, it’s likely enough to stand alone as your moisturizer. And for dry skin, it’s a great added step to really hydrate your skin.
    And while you’re at it, don’t forget eye cream. Those puffy eyes are calling out to you in sheer agony over the night you just made them endure—treat them extra well. 

    7. Do a facial massage
    Boost circulation and blood flow by doing a lymphatic drainage facial massage. You can use a tool like a gua sha or your fingers—either works as long as you prep the skin with an oil that won’t tug on your skin as you do the massage. Keep a major focus on the lower parts of the face and the under eyes, as those are the key areas where excess alcohol puffs up your face. The way your McDonald’s hash brown tastes is exactly the way a facial massage feels for your skin. Behold: my current favorite massage tutorial and routine to follow. 

    8. Follow with SPF
    If you’ve used an AHA or BHA, you need to use an SPF to protect your skin from the sun as these acids make your skin even more susceptible to sun damage. Make sure to apply your SPF once any oils have settled into your skin, or use a powder SPF over your makeup. More

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    Why You Don’t Need a Thanksgiving Detox (and What to Do Instead)

    So the leftover turkey is in the fridge, the recycling bin is full of empty wine bottles, and you’re planning to be in sweatpants for the next 48 hours because pants that button sound implausible RN. Welcome to the day after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as the day of painful bloating, undeniable sluggishness, and mild (or extreme) regret. We’ve all fallen victim to exclaiming, “I can never eat again!” after Thanksgiving dinner, or feeling lethargic and regretful for days after.It’s no surprise that the Thanksgiving detox is a popular trend following the holiday (if you’ve never heard of it, Google to find hundreds of hits). Juice cleanses boom, workout classes skyrocket, and guilt-ridden dieters download MyFitnessPal and eat salad for lunch as a means to atone for their sins. But no matter what you eat on Thanksgiving (or how much of it), a Thanksgiving detox is unnecessary (and might even be damaging). Read on for reasons you don’t need to cleanse or detox after overeating that turkey, and six things you should do instead if you are feeling uncomfortably full and sluggish the next day. 

    The body repairs itself
    No matter how many calories you gorged or how many slices of pumpkin pie you gobbled down, the body will process everything you ate within 24-72 hours. Everything from the saliva in the mouth to the enzymes in the stomach is meant to digest food, get the nourishment it needs from that food, and then get rid of excess through waste. Gross, but true! Yes, this is anatomy 101, but it’s important to keep in mind that the body is built to repair itself. Your body will digest all that sweet potato casserole and snickerdoodles on its own, whether or not you try to help it the next day. Likewise, you don’t need juice cleanses to “flush out toxins;” it’s the liver and intestine’s job to detoxify the body, so they’ve got you covered. Bottom line: the body is meant to repair itself, and it doesn’t need cleanses or detoxes to get the job done. 

    Source: @celebratingsweets

    A healthy diet should include indulgences
    Maybe your idea of a healthy diet is specific macronutrient percentages, or maybe it’s more about what you’re not eating (no sugar, no gluten, no refined carbs, etc.). There’s a lot of confusion, uncertainty, and debate about what a “healthy diet” really means. In reality, a healthy diet looks different to every single person; it’s whatever honors what your body needs (including foods that you love), and it’s about making intuitive choices with whatever is available. Enjoying cornbread or pecan pie does not mean you “broke” a healthy diet; it simply means your healthy diet includes foods that feed your soul and honors special occasions. 

    Nutrition is more than just what’s on your plate
    If you think your body needs a detox to help it get back to “healthy” after one meal, know that health is not just about the foods we eat. Yes, fruits and vegetables nourish the body, but so do the people we spend our time with, the music we listen to, and what we see when we scroll through Instagram. Leafy greens and lean proteins are important, but how we spend our time and who we’re around feeds us too. If you’re not also focused on the ways you’re being nourished besides the food on your plate, you’re missing key pieces of the puzzle. Keep your stress levels down, regularly indulge in activities you love, and surround yourself with people who make you happy, and your body will respond accordingly. 

    Source: @noelledowning

    1. Listen to your body during the meal
    Instead of a free-for-all come Thanksgiving at 4pm that you’ll regret the next day, why not just keep up healthy habits and listen to your body? Before eating, check in with yourself to identify what your body really wants and needs. Maybe you’re not hungry, but you would enjoy every bite of a slice of pumpkin pie because it’s your favorite holiday dessert, or maybe you realize your digestion is feeling off and you haven’t had enough veggies with your meal. Notice when you start feeling satisfied and are no longer enjoying each bite to know when to stop, rather than mindlessly eating until you’re uncomfortably stuffed. Aim for a balance of favorite holiday foods and nutrients that will make your body feel good, and stop eating when you’re satisfied.

    2. Drink a lot of water
    Water seems to be the cure-all for everything, and with good reason. Staying hydrated can improve energy levels, relieve digestive discomfort like constipation, and overall help you feel your best. Especially if you’re feeling hungover (whether it’s a food hangover or a real hangover), drink lots of water to ensure your body stays hydrated so that it can do all that repairing it’s meant to do. If you want to be #extra like me, I always start the morning with warm lemon water and a little ginger whenever I eat a lot the night before and my digestive system feels off. I swear that simple hack makes my body feel 100 percent better. If it’s hard for you to remember to drink water (or you’re an overachiever and want an additional challenge), try an herbal tea like peppermint, which can ease indigestion or painful bloating. 

    Source: @kayla_seah

    3. Stretch and (gently) move the body
    Please do not attempt a two-hour HIIT class first thing Friday morning as a means to “erase” or “make up for” what you ate the night before. First of all, that’s not how the body works, but also it’s unnecessary. Go on a jog or work out if it makes you feel better and your body is craving movement. But if you’re feeling sluggish and lethargic like the rest of us after Thanksgiving, try going on a walk and doing some stretches to relax the body. Movement, no matter how low-impact, can boost energy, motivation, and mental health, which is especially important if you’re feeling that post-feast food guilt. 

    4. Add in extra veggies 
    A “detox” or “cleanse” implies that you’re subtracting and streamlining your diet. Instead, you should really be thinking about how to add more nutrients to give your body what it needs to get energy and help with digestion. Vegetables are loaded with good-for-the-gut fiber and immune-boosting antioxidants that help your body stay healthy. No matter what you feel like eating for the next few days, focus on incorporating even more veggies with each meal. Have a side salad or add spinach to your omelet, get all the steamed veggie sides when ordering out, and try a green juice or veggie-packed smoothie for an afternoon snack as an added boost. 

    Source: @kateogata

    5. Take a nap
    The ultimate lazy-girl activity is healthy and a great way to help your body recover from Thanksgiving indulgences. As another example of the body repairing itself and DIY detoxing, sleep is a crucial time where the brain can cleanse itself (according to a 2013 study). A 2019 study agreed that sleep may be the key to detoxing our brains, AKA the best thing that happened to the day after Thanksgiving since the leftover turkey sandwich was invented. So if you’re feeling lethargic and don’t want to get off the couch all day, don’t force yourself to work out or be productive. Give the body time to restore and repair by getting a full 7-9 hours of sleep at night and taking a nap if your body is feeling tired during the day.

    6. Indulge in some self-care
    Whether the way you best care for yourself looks more like 20 minutes of meditation, dry brushing before a steaming hot shower, or approximately five different face masks, spend some extra time making yourself feel pampered and cared for the day after Thanksgiving. Not only will a little extra TLC help you feel physically better from that food coma, but it can help ease the stress from any food guilt. Remember that stress and guilt after eating are worse for your body than pumpkin pie or green bean casserole could ever be, so prioritize self-love if you’re feeling the regret kick in. Try taking a bath, reading a book that makes you happy, DIYing a spa day, or staring in the mirror and giving compliments to remind yourself that one meal (or any meal) doesn’t change how worthy you are. Detox your thoughts; your body’s already got you covered.
    How will you care for yourself during the holidays? What do you think of the Thanksgiving detox? More

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    Instead of Worrying About What You Eat on Thanksgiving, Try This…

    Turkey, gravy, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, mac n’ cheese–it’s about time for that Thanksgiving food coma (and the guilt or anxiety that comes with it). While this feast-focused holiday is an endless parade of indulgences and carbs that will leave you sluggish for days, there is absolutely no reason to worry about what you eat on Thanksgiving (say it again for the people in the back!). One meal (or a few, if you include leftovers) won’t affect you in the long-run, but the worry about it will. The more we relate food to anxiety and use labels like “good food” and “bad food,” the less we can listen to our bodies and enjoy special occasions (which is the point, after all). Rest assured, the fear-mongering around calories and holiday meals says more about our culture than it does about our bodies. In reality, our bodies are smart; they are meant to be resilient. So go ahead: savor every last bite of that turkey or pumpkin pie, totally guilt-free. Here are 10 things to do instead of worrying:

    1. Redefine what a “healthy diet” means
    We all think we have a pretty good idea of the definition of a healthy diet: lots of produce, clean protein, and limited additives, carbs, or sugar. Maybe your idea of a healthy diet is as specific as macronutrient percentages or caloric limits tracked on MyFitnessPal. But in reality, a healthy diet is much more flexible than a food pyramid graphic. A healthy diet looks different to every single person; it’s whatever honors what your body needs (including foods that you love), and it’s about making good choices with whatever is available. Enjoying pumpkin pie or buttery cornbread does not mean you “broke” a healthy diet; it simply means your healthy diet includes foods that feed your soul and honors special occasions. 

    2. Enjoy the real thing
    Sure, cauliflower mash is a delicious alternative for mashed potatoes that has some extra nutrients and maybe fewer calories. But let’s be honest: cauliflower mash is not a classic Thanksgiving food. If you live for your mom’s mashed potatoes year-round (or you just don’t appreciate cauliflower posing as potatoes), then eat the real thing. It’s one meal, which won’t affect you any more than one healthy meal would change an unhealthy diet. If you’re cooking, you can experiment with plant-based versions of classic dishes so that you feel better, but when it’s a food you love or want to enjoy, eat the damn mashed potatoes. 

    3. Skip what you feel meh about
    You already know to load up your plate with veggies that make you feel good and to indulge in the foods you love, totally guilt-free. But those dishes and foods you feel indifferent to? If they don’t excite you, skip them. For me, cranberry sauce and gravy are just so meh. I’d rather get extra sweet potatoes and cornbread, and forego the foods or toppings that aren’t exciting. If you could take or leave the dinner rolls, skip them so you have more room for veggies that will fill you up with nutrients or the foods you’re going to enjoy every bite of. There’s no Thanksgiving rule that states you have to eat turkey, stuffing, or green bean casserole, so if you don’t love it, don’t eat it. It will allow you to be more intuitive about what you’ll truly enjoy. 

    4. Know that nutrition is not just what’s on your plate
    If you’re still under the impression that one meal (or a few holidays) can drastically affect your body long-term, you should also know that nutrition is not only the food we eat. The music we listen to, the people we spend our time with, the shows we binge on Netflix, the accounts we follow on Instagram are all things that feed us too. If you’re not as focused on the ways you’re being fed and nourished besides the food on your plate, you’re missing key pieces of the puzzle. You could completely stop caring about diet for a day and still have lots of opportunities to nourish yourself. Focus on these other areas instead of what you’re eating. 

    5. Add in extra nutrients 
    Perhaps you’re worried about what you eat because you feel sluggish for days after Thanksgiving, or a big decadent meal can leave you feeling sick. Instead of worrying about the aftermath during the meal, show your body love by treating it with the best before and after. Have at least two meals rich in protein, healthy fats, and fiber before dinner so that your blood sugar isn’t low and you’re not starving (it will help you from overeating and prevent that sluggish feeling). For the days after, add in extra leafy greens and a variety of produce that will give your body energy. Trust that your body can repair itself, when given half the chance.

    6. Change the goal to be “fulfillment” instead of “perfection”
    If your goal is to avoid the “bad foods” and stay “good” (whatever the hell that means), try changing how you think about the Thanksgiving meal. Instead, the goal should be to feel satisfied and fulfilled. Focusing on what you shouldn’t eat, whether in certain foods or quantities, means you’ll obsess over what you can’t have instead of enjoying the meal (it’s true for bad boys, and it’s true for pumpkin pie). Instead of vowing not to overeat or only eat certain foods, practice intuitive eating, and eat for the sake of fulfillment and satisfaction, not perfection. You’ll eat less and stop before you’re stuffed, but, more importantly, you’ll actually enjoy the meal. 

    7. Take care of yourself
    One way to stress less during the holidays (and especially a food-heavy holiday like Thanksgiving) is to take care of yourself like you would every other day. Get lots of sleep the night before, go through the key pieces of your morning routine that make you feel your best before turning on Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, take a bath or go for a walk if you find yourself stressed out during the day, and have a new face mask or luxurious pajamas to look forward to after the Thanksgiving feast is over. You know you should prioritize yourself 24/7, and a family holiday is no exception. Take care of yourself, and you won’t feel so out of control when it comes to food choices. 

    Source: @mylittlebooktique

    8. Unfollow or mute any account that’s posting “diet mistakes”
    Is it just me, or is everyone else’s Instagram feeds flooded about “Thanksgiving diet mistakes,” hacks on how to slash calories from traditional holiday foods like Eggnog, or “pre-Thanksgiving” workouts to earn your food. (PSA: you do not need to earn your food–not on Thanksgiving, and not ever.) The preemptive goal with this “health” advice is to prevent holiday weight gain as if it’s something we need to nip in the bud. But this messaging is “damage control,” as if the holidays are inherently damaging. Honestly, we just don’t need that kind of negativity RN. Holiday traditions and happy family meals are worth so much more than a number on a scale, and we should unfollow or mute anything that tries to make us think otherwise.

    9. Listen to your body’s cues
    When I tell people to “listen to their bodies and eat what their bodies want,” they often tell me they would eat all the mac n’ cheese and pumpkin muffins insight, and not pick up one vegetable or “good-for-you” food. However, when you overeat until you’re stuffed or opt for only the foods that make you feel sluggish or sick but taste delicious, that’s only in response to ingrained food rules that make the “off-limits” food sound more enticing. When we’re really in tune to our bodies’ needs, we eat until we’re satisfied (not stuffed) and crave a mixture of energizing nutrients and less nutritious foods we’ll enjoy every bite of (rather than mindlessly gobble down). Listen to what your body wants and feed it accordingly (yes, it really is that simple). 

    10. Bottom line: If you’re thinking about what you’re eating, you’re wasting precious time
    Listen, I’ve been there: you feel stressed out the day of, knowing it’s going to be a “bad” meal. You anxiously scan the buffet table, acknowledging what you shouldn’t eat or identifying the foods you know will make you feel guilty. As everyone sits down to eat, you’re comparing your plate to your siblings’ or cousins’ as if the way other people feed their bodies somehow gives meaning to the way you feed your body. For days after, you feel guilty about little things or add in an extra workout to counteract the calories. I’m exhausted after all of that–aren’t you!?
    Yes, diet culture is so ingrained in us that it’s sometimes hard to ignore, and we all want to treat our bodies well. But all of that thought, energy, and mental capacity could have been used for other things. If you’re busy worrying about your food choices, you’re missing out on time with your family or the ability to feel gratitude (AKA the point of the holiday!). If you’re stressed about eating, it’s a sign that you’re too focused on yourself. Be more engaged in the conversations with your family or call up a friend to check-in if you’re spending the day alone. If all else fails, donate money to a food bank, and you’ll remember there are bigger problems you can spend your energy on than eating too much turkey.

    How do you prevent food guilt or anxiety on Thanksgiving? More