5 Ways To Quickly Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite

Cellulite is as natural as gray hairs, crow’s feet and underarm “batwings.” And, like these three undeniable indicators of age, cellulite is less than welcome. If you are among the 85% of women who seem to develop just a bit more cellulite with each passing birthday, and if you’re tired of feeling a sense of dread every time you check out your bum, stomach or thighs in the mirror, rest assured in the knowledge that cellulite does not have to be forever. With a few easy tricks, you can reduce the appearance of cellulite and go out into the world with confidence once again.

1.    Drink Your Daily 8 Cups

Dehydration can cause even the most taut areas of your body to appear wrinkled and saggy, so it makes sense that, when dehydrated, areas of cellulite appear more pronounced. By starting each day with just half a liter of water and consuming up to three liters per day, you can drastically reduce the appearance of dimpled skin. Rumor has it that if you add two to three lemons to your first glass of water, or by swallowing a teaspoon of apple cider first thing in the morning, you can kickstart the benefits.

2.    Massage the Cellulite Away

Cellulite is often the result of fluid buildup in the lymph nodes in the areas around the dimpled skin. By massaging on and around the areas of cellulite, you can encourage lymphatic draining and, in the process, reduce the appearance of cellulite. Massage can also help stretch the skin and make it appear firmer.

3.    Maintain a Healthy Diet

Despite popular belief, weight and cellulite are not directly related. However, low metabolism and cellulite are. By eating a healthy diet that is rich in leafy greens, whole grains, fibrous foods and other nutritious substances — and by avoiding salt, sugary beverages and processed foods — you can speed up your metabolism and reduce the severity of dimpled skin.

As a bonus, a healthy diet can help you reduce your body fat and achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Though, as already stated, there is not a direct correlation between weight and cellulite, increased muscle tone can diminish the bumpy appearance of fat cells and make your skin look firm and smooth.

4.    Use a Homemade Coffee Scrub

Coffee contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. As such, research suggests that, when applied topically, it can help reduce low-grade inflammation and improve blood flow, two outcomes that can help diminish the appearance of cellulite. If you’re a coffee drinker, set aside your used grounds each morning in a jar or a plastic bag. The next time you shower, use a loofa, washcloth or old toothbrush, and massage the coffee grounds into the problem areas. Let them soak in and really get to work while you wash your face, lather your hair, etc. Then, rinse off as normal.

Another homemade scrub that has promise as a quick cellulite treatment is the coffee, raw honey and cucumber juice mixture. Mix these three ingredients until you form a thick paste, then apply to the problem areas a few minutes before you hop in the shower.

5.    Use Self-Tanner

Though not a permanent fix, tanning lotion can help hide fine lines, wrinkles and cellulite. If you’re only concerned about cellulite when you wear certain outfits, use self-tanners to blur its appearance for the day.

Cellulite is completely natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s always welcome. Whether you want to hide it for a day or get rid of it completely, give the above five tricks a try.

The Necessity of Scalp Care

Most people concern themselves with hair care, finding the right shampoos, conditioners, and treatments, but scalp care often flies under their radar. The scalp is the foundation of healthy hair; however, more than that, the scalp is susceptible to problems, including:

  • Cysts
  • Irritation
  • Itchiness
  • Flakiness
  • Sun damage
  • Acne
  • Hair loss
  • Pain

Scalp Hygiene, Hair Health, and Medical Conditions

The scalp and hair have a symbiotic relationship — if one is healthy, the other usually is. When the scalp is unhealthy, a person can experience different medical conditions, such as atopic dermatitis or seborrheic dermatitis. Both conditions can cause hair breakage, rough texture, hair loss, etc.

Atopic dermatitis is commonly known as eczema. The chronic condition causes itchy and red skin. While there are many potential causes of eczema, atopic dermatitis is often a reaction to hair care products like shampoos or dyes.

Seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff also causes redness and itchiness but can also be characterized by flakiness—dandruff results from dry skin buildup or oiliness.

Maintaining a healthy scalp is about knowing and adhering to proper scalp hygiene. If you experience scalp problems despite practicing good hygiene, consult with your primary care physician or a dermatologist.

Treating the Scalp and Common Conditions

While common, dandruff is a challenging condition to treat. Many over-the-counter products claim to treat the condition, but you must be careful about which items you choose. People are typically better served to consult their dermatologists or doctors for better and more practical remedies.

If you choose to go it alone and use OTC products, shampoos, or treatments, you will need to be selective. You will want to ensure the products have proper ingredients, including:

  • Selsun blue (selenium sulfide)
  • Salicylic acid
  • Dermazinc (pyrithione zinc)
  • Nizoral A-D (ketoconazole)
  • Tar

You do not need to use these products habitually. In fact, consumers should only use the items until the symptoms subside. Using certain products too often can nullify efficacy, meaning the items will not be as effective. Experts recommend alternating treatments every few months to avoid a loss of effectiveness.

If so, you can also try at-home remedies for treating the scalp. Some of the most effective treatments include:

  • Avoidance of styling products
  • Avoidance of products containing alcohol
  • Applying mineral oils to the scalp
  • Applying aloe vera to the scalp
  • Using tea tree oil in shampoo
  • Taking fish oil supplements

Promoting and Maintaining a Healthy Scalp

You may already have a healthy scalp, but that does not mean you are off the hook. Scalp health is an ongoing and ever-changing element. Adopting healthy practices is the only way to ensure or encourage continued health.

One of the best things you can do for your scalp is to avoid shampoos and conditioners with sulfates, alcohol, or fragrances. Certain ingredients in commercial beauty products can irritate the scalp, causing damage and promoting different conditions.

Additionally, do not overwash your hair. Most experts agree that you only need to wash your hair three to four times per week. Washing your hair more often can strip away natural oils, the same oils essential for a healthy scalp. Also, when shampooing your hair, massage the product into the hair, don't scrub. Massaging increases circulation and blood flow to the scalp.

A healthy scalp is vital to a healthy, full head of hair. Caring for your scalp can reduce the risks of specific conditions and improve hair feel, appearance, fullness, and thickness.

7 Tips That Work for Thinning Hair

Many women think that thinning hair is just something you have to accept. Forget that! You may not be able to change genetic factors, but you certainly can repair damaged hair, strengthen your strands and care for your scalp. Follow these seven tips.

1. Massage Your Scalp

A scalp massage feels amazing after a long day, especially in a warm shower with soothing essential oils (try diluted lavender oil for a heavenly experience). Massaging provides several benefits in addition to helping you relax. It increases blood flow to the scalp, boosting the nutrients available for healthy hair. It also helps shampoo ingredients penetrate more deeply.

Avoid the common mistake of massaging your hair, which can cause broken strands. Instead, give all the TLC to your scalp and let shampoo roll down your hair on its own.

2. Choose the Right Shampoo for Your Scalp

Make sure your shampoo meets your particular needs. Some shampoos help with volume, smoothness, root repair, hydration and strengthening.

Again, focus on your scalp, not your strands. Don’t choose a moisturizing shampoo for an oily scalp; pick one that helps with volumizing or strengthening.

What if you have a dry scalp and curly strands? Use a shampoo designed for hydration first. Take care of your curls with a second shampoo or conditioner.

3. Stress Less

Have you ever heard people say that a stressful situation is making their hair fall out? They’re not exaggerating.

The more stressed you feel, the more strands you lose. Stress hormones can alter your hair’s natural growth cycle.

Make time for rest and relaxation every week. Getting enough rest is good for your immune system and overall health, too.

It’s also important to avoid stressing too much about your hair. Seeing a bunch of strands in your hairbrush after bathing doesn’t necessarily mean your hair is thinning. It’s perfectly normal for women of any age to lose 50–100 hairs a day.

4. Take Time for Conditioner

Conditioner does for your strands what shampoo does for your scalp. Shampoo helps with cleansing and nourishing, while conditioner is designed to soften, detangle and protect your strands. That’s a big help in avoiding breakage.

5. Talk to Your Doc

Most women probably don’t think of thinning hair as something to discuss with a doctor, but your physician can be a huge help. Treating hair loss is easier when you know the underlying cause.

Sometimes, the issue is scalp inflammation, such as eczema. Hormone levels or nutrient deficiencies may be to blame. Even certain medications can trigger thinning hair.

6. Protect Your Hair

Treat your hair like it’s your favorite designer dress. Be gentle with it.

Limit washing to 2 or 3 times a week. Don’t be rough when toweling off. Forget about your blow dryer. Even if you’re in a hurry to get to work, your hair deserves a few minutes of your time.

7. Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Iron and Zinc

Your follicles need zinc and iron to produce healthy and strong hair. Most of the strands you lose are because of breakage, so these strengthening minerals can make a big difference. Other hair-healthy essentials include omega-3 fatty acids and proteins. Fish, avocadoes and nuts are excellent sources.

With these easy tips, you can get back your luxurious hair. You deserve to rock the vibrant hairstyle you love.

Giving New Definition To the Term Slacker: 4 Reasons To Try Slacklining

A long piece of webbing stretches the span between two trees in a local park, and a young woman balances on the inches-wide material a couple of feet off the ground. The line bends slightly under her weight as she moves forward and back, at one point appearing still on a single foot. It is incredible, astonishing; it is slacklining.

Despite the reduced risk of injury, with the slackline only two to three feet off the ground, spectators cannot be 

blamed for assuming the girl is a tightrope walker. While the activities are similar, slacklining is more approachable for novices and provides tremendous benefits.

Unfortunately, too many people cannot get past their nerves to try the activity. While there are risks involved with learning, you can mitigate those risks with proper planning. Using padded mats and lowering the line to a comfortable height, injuries become unlikely.

If you have ever wanted to try slacklining, what is holding you back? While it will take time to build confidence and become proficient, the benefits of the exercise make it worth the dedication.

1. Improves Balance

One of the crucial components of health and longevity is balance. People too often settle into a life of desk jobs and limited movement, resulting in worsening balance as they age. Poor balance can be a death sentence for seniors — 21% of people over 60 die within one year of a hip fracture.

Slacklining is a balancing and core strength exercise. Not only will participating in the activity result in better balance, but it will also result in improved posture and strength, enhanced athletic performance, and reduced impacts of arthritis.

2. Benefits the Brain

Many people are freaked out the minute they step on a slackline because it usually starts shaking. They immediately think they are going to fall, and many will. The key to slacklining is concentration and focus. Sure, balance has a lot to do with it, but without concentration and focus, you will fall every time. 

The best part about continued slackline practice is improving your focus and concentration. The brain is like a muscle, and the more you force it to focus on an intense or strenuous activity, the better it gets. In fact, a study published in Hippocampus Magazine in August of 2011 found a direct correlation between slacklining and enhancements in the memory and learning centers of the brain.

3. Promotes Muscle Gains

As slacklining is an exercise and activity, it will lead to muscle gains. The most gains are realized in the core and lower body, which are muscle groups directly associated with balance. The benefits of slacklining are often equivalent or greater than more traditional core and lower body workouts, such as squats and sit-ups.

Many practitioners express tremendous athletic gains because slacklining focuses on the core, gluteals, and quads. Think about it, every sport requires some level of balance, and slacklining is the best balancing exercise.

4. Improves Self-Esteem and Confidence

Slacklining is more than an exercise; it is potentially a life-changing experience. The amount of focus and dedication required to become proficient with the activity can often alter one's outlook.

Challenging yourself and exceeding your expectations or even meeting them is a tremendous confidence boost. Many people find that commitment and improvement on the slackline directly correlate to feelings of self-esteem and confidence.

What's your take on slacklining? Do you think you will ever give it a try?

How Often Should You Wash Your Pajamas

Pajamas. The comfortable apparel people wear to relax and sleep is a staple in many households. Many children wash up after dinner and partake in a nightly routine that includes changing into a colorful sleepwear set. Even many adults still wear complete pajama sets to settle into bed.

While pajamas are a clothing staple, people don't tend to give much thought to when the items are laundered. Some people have strict rules: PJs must be washed after every use. However, others take a more laid-back approach with a simple smell test.

Who is right? How often do pajamas need to go in the wash? For such a simple question, the answers are varied. The answer likely comes down to hygiene and personal preference.

Expert Opinions

According to the American Cleaning Institute, pajamas do not require regular washing. When sleeping, you are less active, less likely to sweat, and unlikely to experience any spills or stains. The ACI suggests washing every three to four wears. Good Housekeeping is a little more lenient than ACI, suggesting one wash per week is sufficient.

However, Martha Stewart, America's domestic guru, recommends washing after wearing bedwear once. For many Americans, daily washing of pajamas seems extreme; according to a Twitter poll, 46% of participants wash their PJs once per week.  

Based on the wide range of opinions, it appears there is no "right" way to wash your pajamas. Essentially. How often you launder your nightwear comes down to personal preference and hygiene.

Necessary Washing

Do you get a shower before bed? Do you sweat while you sleep? What material is your sleepwear? All of these questions contribute to identifying a perfect washing routine for your pajamas. 

The body produces oils and sheds skin throughout the day and evening. If you take a shower in the morning like most people, the debris, oil, and dead skin from the day can transfer to your PJs while you sleep, which means you might want to wash them more often.

You cannot forget about bacteria. Bodies also collect a fair share of germs throughout the day, and some of these bacteria can survive on clothing, including pajamas.

You can wash your PJs less frequently if you shower at night before getting into your nightwear. Additionally, if your pajamas are made from wool or other materials that resist moisture, you can probably adhere to the once-a-week washing rule.

However, do you get night sweats? For people who frequently sweat while they sleep, you might want to take the Martha Stewart approach for washing pajamas.

Finally, it is important to note that smell is not always an indicator of cleanliness. While a pair of PJs might smell fresh, they can still have dead skin cells, bacteria, or other debris lingering in the fabric.

Clean PJs and Sleep

While the wash frequency might be a personal preference, keep in mind that clean pajamas can improve your sleep. Think about how comforting it is to lay down on fresh, clean bed linens; the same applies to clean pajamas. 

While experts might not agree on how often you should wash your nightwear, it seems like all agree you shouldn't go longer than a week. How often do you wash your PJs? Leave a comment.

Save Your Scalp From Breakouts

Nothing ruins a good hair day like discovering a blemish on your scalp. The abundant oil glands and hair follicles are at the root of acne in this area. Over time, a buildup of oil along with dirt and dead skin cells can clog the pores, leading to pimples. Styling products such as gel, hairspray and mousse compound the problem by leaving residue behind. 

If you regularly experience acne around your hairline and beyond, you know how frustrating it can be. These smart strategies can help you banish scalp breakouts.

Switch Up Your Routine

Start the process of clearing up your scalp with a new hair care routine. Any products you use, including shampoo and conditioner, should be oil-free. Look for labels like anti-acnegenic or non-comedogenic to find formulas that won't clog your pores. This also applies to cosmetics like foundation and powder, as well as moisturizers, lotions and other skincare products.

You can try medicated shampoos with ingredients that help with the causes of scalp breakouts, such as:

  • Benzoyl peroxide and tea tree oil, which fight bacteria that leads to acne
  • Ciclopirox and ketoconazole, which combat fungal causes of acne
  • Glycolic acid and salicylic acid, which remove dead skin cells that clog the pores
  • Jojoba oil, which alleviates inflammation associated with acne

Skip hair products when you plan to stay home and try to use fewer formulas in general. Using multiple cosmetic items increases the chances of irritating and inflaming your scalp.

Step Up Your Schedule

If you tend to go more than a day or two without washing your hair, consider shampooing more frequently to stay on top of breakouts. It's especially important to wash your hair after you work out to get rid of excess sweat, dirt and oil. 

When you shampoo, focus your efforts on your scalp to clear away clogging materials. You can also use a soft-bristled brush to gently exfoliate the area. After washing and conditioning your hair, be sure to rinse completely. Soap and product residue can cause breakouts along the hairline.

Keep It Clean

Contact with bacteria causes acne, so anything that touches your face, neck or head should be washed often. This includes pillowcases, bedding hats, headbands, visors and scarves. Clean phones and headsets frequently with antibacterial wipes.

Let the Scalp Breathe

If you spend several hours wearing a headscarf or hat each day, try to choose a looser garment to let air flow circulate to your scalp. When you're at home, leave your head bare if possible to prevent sweat and oil from becoming trapped.

Support Skin Health

Getting the right nutrients helps maintain the health of your skin, which means you'll experience fewer breakouts. Make sure you consume at least the recommended daily amount of vitamins A, D and E, either in your diet or with an over-the-counter supplement. Eating plenty of fresh fruits, whole grains and veggies supports overall wellness, which in turn keeps the scalp healthy.

Take Notes

Scalp breakouts sometimes result from allergic reactions. When you notice a blemish, write down your recent food and beverage intake. You may begin to see a pattern of acne that occurs when you eat certain ingredients, which will allow you to prevent the issue by avoiding these triggers. 

See a Dermatologist

Some cases of scalp acne require medical treatment. Your dermatologist may prescribe stronger acne medications, light therapy, antibiotics or steroids to resolve serious breakouts that don't respond to self-care at home.

Keep in mind that it can take up to six weeks to notice a difference in your scalp with these strategies. See your doctor if your acne continues with treatment or causes more severe symptoms, such as inflammation, infection and hair loss. 

My Top At-Home Beauty Devices

I firmly believe you don’t have to undergo expensive surgical procedures or visit the spa every week to have incredible skin. My skin used to look pretty wrinkly, dehydrated and dull, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. Through trial and error, I discovered which at-home beauty devices work well and which aren’t worth my time and money.

To help you avoid making the same mistakes I did, I decided to compile a list of my favorite at-home beauty devices. They actually work and can transform the appearance of your skin. You’re welcome.

Jade Facial Rollers

OK, I have to admit that I used to think jade facial rollers were just a scam. After all, what could rolling an elongated jade stone across your face possibly do for your skin? But after reading articles about all the benefits jade rolling can provide, I decided to at least give it a try before I dismissed it as a waste of money. I was pleasantly surprised by what I experienced.

Though jade rolling didn’t give me miraculous results right away, after doing it for a few weeks I started to notice a difference in the appearance of my skin. It turns out that jade rolling helps to stimulate lymphatic drainage, reduce puffiness and promote blood circulation.

All of these benefits helped make my skin look firmer and less puffy. Plus, the cold roller feels amazing on your face first thing in the morning.  Since a jade roller is such an inexpensive beauty tool and provides such great benefits, it makes it onto my list of top at-home beauty devices.

Facial Steamers

If you’ve never used a facial steamer before, you’re in for a treat. These fairly simple beauty tools aren’t complicated to use. You just fill the steamer with purified or distilled water, turn it on, and put your face over it. Easy-peasy. Here’s what regular facial steaming sessions can do for your skin.

  • Promote blood circulation
  • Hydrate the skin
  • Open up your pores and soften blackheads so they’re easier to remove
  • Promotes production of elastin and collagen
  • Helps your body absorb skincare products more effectively
  • Relieves sinus congestion
  • Releases sebum that’s trapped in your skin’s pores
  • Soothes and relaxes the skin

There are different techniques you can try to get the most out of your facial steamer. Try putting a big fluffy towel over your head while you’re steaming to trap the steam around your face. For best results, keep your steaming sessions to between five and 10 minutes.

Microneedling Tools

Microneedling is incredible for stimulating the production of elastin and collagen. A microneedling tool (also called a derma roller) is a handheld tool with a roller that’s covered with tiny needles. Though that may sound scary, it’s not very uncomfortable (depending on the size of needles you use). For at-home use, you should stick to derma rollers with needles that are no larger than 0.5mm. This will help ensure you don’t injure yourself or increase your risk of infection.

To use a derma roller, carefully follow the instructions that come with your roller. With appropriate use, you can expect to see improvements in your skin. Some people report improvements in the following:

  • Acne scarring
  • Stretch marks
  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Thinning hair
  • Enlarged pores

If you feel like you could use improvements in these areas, consider investing in a derma roller. Just make sure you carefully sanitize your derma roller before and after each use. This will minimize the chances of infections.

There are so many great at-home beauty devices out there, but these are just a few of my favorites. I recommend them to anyone who is serious about improving the health and appearance of their skin at home.

Top 3 Reasons To Support Cruelty-Free Products

When looking at your favorite little furry friend, cat, dog, bunny, etc., can you ever imagine doing anything to harm them? Animal testing subjects familiar animals and breeds to unnecessary and inhumane torture for the sake of profits.

According to the organization Cruelty-Free International, over 115 million animals, including dogs and cats, are subject to tests and abuse in labs worldwide. The best way to protest such practices is to purchase cruelty-free products. There are at least three reasons to support cruelty-free brands.

1. Animal Testing Is Unnecessary

While many brands, including cosmetics producers, claim animal testing is necessary to prove human safety and efficacy, this is a lie. There are over 7,000 ingredients producers can choose from to formulate their products that are deemed safe. The extensive list is more than enough to create many products, but producers want to make more money.

The only reason manufacturers still favor animal testing is for financial gains. If a company can find a new chemical or compound, it can call itself innovative, regardless of the uniqueness of the discovery. Animals are often mistreated in the pursuit of chemicals and compounds that act similarly or identically to other proven and known compounds, meaning testing is abuse for profit.

Additionally, alternative testing practices, including in vitro and computer model testing, are equally effective compared to animal testing and are frequently more advantageous. Animal testing is unnecessary.

2. Animal Testing Is Cruel

Many people do not realize the extent of the cruelty animals experience during testing. The animals are often locked in inadequately sized cages. They are blinded, maimed, tortured, and killed. Their lives are nothing but suffering and fear.

Governments worldwide are beginning to recognize the mistreatment, torture, and abuse of testing, placing bans on the practice. Israel, New Zealand, Norway, India, and the EU have banned animal testing. Unfortunately, the U.S. still allows the practice.

In many laboratories, beagles are favored as test subjects because of the breed's docile nature. In 2013, 67,772 dogs and 24,221 cats were subjects of tests. As with any other laboratory animal, these domesticated species were deprived of the fundamental rights we allow our pets.

Choosing cruelty-free products is not an immediate resolution to animal testing, but it does send a message to brands that consumers are against the practice. With enough focus and pressure from consumers about cruelty-free options, businesses, politicians, and brands might take a closer look at animal testing and reassess it.

3. Cruelty-Free Is Environmentally Friendly

Many consumers want natural products, items with fewer additives and formulated compounds. Truly natural products can have less impact on the environment when produced or eventually discarded. Average cosmetic products can lead to toxic interactions with the environment when washed down the drain or discarded.

Additionally, the parabens and sulfates used in many products can be harmful to you in the long term. They can lead to increased signs of aging and other skin issues.

Cruelty-free products are better for you, the environment, and animals. The number of animals residing in labs and subjected to abuse and neglect is staggering. You can make a difference.

Do you use cruelty-free products? If not, will you start? Comment below.

Learning To De-Stress This Holiday Season, So You Can Enjoy It

It's the most wonderful time of the year, or so they say. The holidays bring a lot of cheer, but they can also result in tremendous stress. The constant hustle and bustle can get a bit exhausting if you're unprepared, and while it is only a few months out of every year, the time can not go fast enough for some.

However, holidays should be enjoyable, and there is no reason they can't be still, especially if you learn to de-stress and embrace some straightforward changes. While some look at the holiday season as the season of obligations, others view it as a time to share, love, and reflect. Learning to de-stress is about changing your mindset and realizing you still have control.

Embrace the Power of "No"

There is this idea that saying "no" around the holidays is unconscionable, that somehow declining a party invitation will find you disowned by your family and friends, forever alone for the holidays yet to come. The imaginings of a lonely future typically result in people saying yes to any and every invite, leaving little room for self-care and reflection.

You should go to gatherings that you want to, and you should feel free to participate in traditions you enjoy. However, you also need to make sure that you leave room in your schedule to celebrate yourself.

Embracing "no" allows you to set aside time for self-improvement and empowerment, to focus on your health and sanity. You are allowed to say "no" to an invitation even without an excuse. You can say "no" simply because you need a break or want one.

Accept and Ask for Help

One of the joys of the holidays is inviting people over to visit and celebrate the season. The problem arises when an individual takes on the sole responsibility of providing entertainment, food, music, etc.

While you invited people, there is nothing wrong with asking for a bit of help. For instance, instead of taking on the burden of feeding 20 or 30 of your closest friends and family, consider throwing a potluck. Potlucks encourage participation and can help build community. Plus, a potluck will save you a load of money.

Exercise and Meditate

The holidays are notorious for weight gain. People dive into celebrations, enjoying the sweets and possibly drinking a little too much. The problem with over celebrating is that people often forget to maintain their physical health, which can directly affect their mental health.

Physical activity encourages the production of endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Exercise also leads to more energy and a positive mood, which is crucial in the winter, especially with seasonal affective disorder.

Additionally, taking the time to meditate can positively influence mood and stress. Mindfulness is known to reduce the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. It can also provide necessary moments of quiet and reflection.

Learn To Laugh

It is easy to become overwhelmed and stressed out during the holidays, but it is necessary to find enjoyment. Try not to take the holidays too seriously and expect the failure or disruption of plans because life happens after all.

Just take everything with a grain of salt and take a few deep breaths. Remind yourself that stress will pass and that the true spirit of the holiday is celebration, family, and love.

The holiday season is a reminder to cherish all of the important things in life, but it is also a time to celebrate yourself and where you are on your journey. Embrace traditions, but remember to take time for yourself.

What is your favorite holiday tradition? Comment below.

5 of My Best Tips to Avoid Self-Sabotage

Self-sabotage is one of those strange things we tend to do to ourselves when we’re trying to improve our lives. While it may seem impossible to understand why we sabotage ourselves, there are valid psychological and scientific reasons for this type of behavior. But that doesn’t mean we should just accept that tearing ourselves down is normal! If you’re ready to become your biggest fan instead of your biggest saboteur, take a look at my five best tips to avoid self-sabotage.

1. Visualize Positive Outcomes

One of the first things you want to do to stop the self-sabotage cycle is to visualize yourself beating your sugar cravings, building a long-lasting relationship with someone you love, and conquering any other goal you’ve made for yourself.

Too often, we make goals to improve ourselves, but in our minds, we’ve already failed from the start. We visualize how awful it will feel when we cave to our cravings or when we mess up a new relationship. But we need to remember that our thoughts are powerful. If we want to be successful at reaching our goals, we need to visualize ourselves winning at life. This isn’t pride or cockiness. It’s harnessing the power of positive thinking and self-love.

2. Beware the “Start Tomorrow” Trap

Did you know there’s an old song about “going on a diet tomorrow?” Who can’t relate to that sentiment, right? It’s normal to want to put off improving your life, even if it’s just for one day. If you’re like me, Monday seems to be the magic day for turning over a new leaf. But the truth is, putting off improvements until tomorrow, next week, or next month isn’t the best idea. It can squash your motivation and cause your target goals to always stay just out of reach.

So decide today that you’ll no longer wait until tomorrow. If you want to make a positive life change, do it today. Do it now. Taking action is the only way to turn your dreams and goals into tangible realities.

3. Figure Out What Steps You Need to Take

If you have a super vague goal, you’re less likely to reach it. For example, if your goal is something like “get healthy,” it’s too vague to chase. To be successful at improving your life, health and relationships, you need to make tangible goals and outline the steps necessary to reach them.

Think about what steps you need to take to become healthier. Do you need to change your diet? Eliminate certain foods? Add certain foods? Get a certain amount of activity every day? When you outline the steps you need to take to get where you want to be, your goal suddenly becomes attainable.

4. Take Note of Your Self-Sabotaging Patterns

If you want to stop sabotaging yourself, you need to pay close attention to your self-sabotaging patterns. How do you sabotage yourself? Do you procrastinate (this goes back to the “start tomorrow” trap?

Do you quit suddenly because you aren’t progressing as rapidly as you’d like? Do you intentionally binge eat or adopt other unhealthy habits to punish yourself for not sticking to your goals with preciseness? Once you take note of your self-sabotaging patterns, you can develop a plan for overcoming them.

5. Build Yourself Up

My final tip is to treat yourself as you would treat your best friend. We can be so mean to ourselves sometimes, and that will only lead to failure. Learn how to love and accept yourself how you are and praise your efforts every time you get closer to becoming a better version of yourself. Be kind to the person in the mirror and you’ll be surprised how rapidly your self-esteem and confidence improve.

What do you think about my tips for avoiding self-sabotage? I hope they work well for you and help you become the amazing person I know you can be!