Unwrap your ultimate holiday survival kit
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- Previous Next6 of 10Courtesy of Kusmi Tea
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9 Stay-Sane Essentials1 of 10
By Brienne Walsh
The holidays are just getting started and you're already wondering how you'll make it to the end of the week. To help you cope with the chaos, we've put together a price-conscious list of things you can do for your mind, your body and your wallet. Sanity, here you come.
Write On2 of 10
Avoid a holiday shopping panic by planning ahead. "Write down a list," recommends RetailMeNot's lifestyle and shopping expert, Trae Bodge. "You may think you have it all in your head, but as soon as you step into a store, you completely lose focus." Once you have it final, try out an organizing app like RetailMeNot's new offering, which features geo-fencing, a technology that sends you deals on the products you're buying.
Making Cents3 of 10
"You should budget about 1.5 percent of your annual income for the holidays," says Holly Perez, a Quicken personal finance advocate. So if you make $60,000, that's $900 to spend on gifts. If you haven't stuck to a budget this year, then get a heard start on next year's finances. Quicken allows users to set different budgets for different months, as do many online personal finance sites like Learnvest.com and Mint.com.
Special Delivery4 of 10
It's not just buying gifts that max out your holiday budget—a constant stream of celebratory nights on the town can also chip away at your bank account. But there are lots of ways to be social without footing that triple-digit bar bill. "Rather than going out to a restaurant, my girlfriends and I get together for a pizza potluck," says Perez.
No-No Dieting5 of 10
With so much talk about people packing on pounds during the holidays, it's tempting to diet ahead of time. But worrying about shedding pounds will only increase stress—and make you feel guilty for having that single slice of pie. During December, work on maintaining your current weight, says Patricia Nicholas, a registered dietitian at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. You'll have plenty of time to focus on slimming down in 2013.
Tea Time6 of 10
Over the holidays, many people turn to cocktails to take the edge off a rough day. (No judgment.) The next morning, fight off a potential hangover with teas full of natural stimulants and antioxidants, like those in Kusmi's Wellness line. The brand's popular Detox brew contains an exotic blend of maté, green tea and lemongrass to help you recalibrate.
Take a Breather7 of 10
The first step to surviving stress is identifying that you are feeling it. "Shallow breathing, feelings of anxiety and trouble sleeping can all be signs," says Amy Wechsler, M.D., author of The Mind-Beauty Connection. Her advice? "Schedule time exercising outdoors, or with friends who make you feel positive." If that's not an option because of strict time constraints, then "breathing exercises can also be effective as an immediate solution," she says.
Take a Whiff8 of 10
No longer just for hippies and health food stores, essential oils are an increasingly popular tool for tweaking your state of mind. The Pick Up Fix Kit, from 21 Drops, has four scents tailored to specific times of the day. Our favorite is the cedarwood-and-ginger Willpower (aptly named for the holiday season).
Spa-Aaah!9 of 10
Sure, leftovers from your holiday meals can make for great sandwiches, but the antioxidant properties in certain seasonal ingredients can also be used to feed your face—and for a whole lot less than a typical spa treatment. Erika Katz, beauty expert and author of Bonding Over Beauty, recommends mixing pumpkin, which is rich is vitamin A, with honey and cream to create a potion that will heal dry winter skin, and make it look fresh and bright for holiday parties.
Milking It10 of 10
Forget about drinking a warm glass of milk before bed. Instead, try bathing in a pool of it to help you decompress at the end of a long day. Dr. Wechsler recommends adding 2 to 4 cups of whole milk to warm water, and then soaking in it for 20 minutes. "Whole milk is a super soother for chapping, windburn, sunburn, eczema and other skin irritations," she says. "Milk's lactic acid in particular weakens the glue that lets dead, ready-to-be-shed cells stick to the skin's surface, making it look dull and dry."
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