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Self-care Tips to Get You Through the New Year

It's so easy to get caught up in the food and companionship (and food) this time of year and easily let our Self-care rituals get thrown to the wayside.  
However, in order to look and feel your best through the New Year, and to be the best possible partner and parent that you can be, you will definitely need to show yourself some Love.
Read on for a few simple tips to incorporate into your end-of-the-year celebrations, so you can wrap up 2015 gracefully.
1. Make it a point to drink an 8 oz glass of room temperature water at least half-hour before eating.  This will help you feel fuller and eat less; a bonus with all the focus on food this time of year.
2. Especially helpful when your jam-packed social calendar includes lots and lots of food, minimize your portions without depriving yourself by including 1-2 tablespoon-sized portions of the many mains and sides you would like to try.  
3. Keep in mind that it takes 3 weeks to shrink your stomach by consuming less, but only 3 over-eaten meals to stretch it.  If you take your time to chew, sip water, and eat slowly, your body will alert you when your stomach has reached its natural capacity by eliciting a burp. 
1. The same rules apply as for dining.
2. Recent research has shown that if you don't imagine yourself eating a forbidden fruit (i.e. chocolate fudge cake with cream cheese frosting, yum yum!), you are less likely to eat it.
3. Fat, in all forms, is addictive.  The more you eat of it, the more your body craves it.  It's a negative cycle that will only harm you and wreak havoc on your hormones.  Do yourself a favor by limiting the amount of sugar and junky foods you take in, and fill up instead on lemon water or herbal tea sweetened with raw honey.
1. When the inevitably dreadful moments come to pass (snarky comments, sibling rivalry, or just too much of everything), take a moment to reflect on the meanings of these holidays we are celebrating.  Make a mental list of some things you're grateful for.  My list often includes the following: Gratefulness for fully functioning organ systems, limbs and joints; 5 working senses; a clear and sensible Mind, and strong Spirit.  Your list can include anything!  Don't be afraid to think about the minutest details in your Life, as it will make the largest impact.
2. Just because your family's schedule is jam packed with travel plans, dinners, Christmas pageants, family gatherings, and shopping, shopping, shopping, doesn't mean it's OK to forego exercising to keep your stress low.  It's as simple as 10 minutes every day, with some help from Spark People's magnificent catalog of challenges and free streaming videos.
3. It's all in the little things we do, like steaming our face, manicuring our nails, and soaking our feet!  Don't be afraid to set some time apart to show yourself some Love.  You will thank yourself for it later when you're on the other side :)
And remember, when we actively take care of ourselves, we're generally happier.  When we're happier, we're more likely to take good care of ourselves.  It's a win-win! 
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