9 Experts on How to Survive the Holidays

  • Written By:Christina Valhouli
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'Tis the season for enjoying the company of friends and family while feasting. But the holidays can sometimes feel like a marathon session of battling self-control with indulgence, and it’s easy to feel run down after too many parties. If there is any time of year you need to practice self-care, it’s the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

Whether you’re staying local or hopping on a flight, we asked wellness experts for their top tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays. You already know to drink plenty of water, treat yourself to a sheet mask or two and wipe down those airplane trays (check out the TSA friendly PlaneAire, made from six organic essential oils) but here are more tips on how to keep your skin, body and mind in peak shape.

Get Physical

Doing some type of physical activity or outdoor games with your family can help you stay active during the holidays. Exercise is not only great for burning extra calories, but will also distract you from eating and help you enjoy quality time with your family. I recommend holidays runs, sledding, or touch football.

When you do eat, savor every bite! Also known as mindful eating, this process helps you be aware of the way your food tastes and feels, stay satisfied longer, and appreciate the flavor. - Ana Snyder, Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Model and Competitive Bodybuilder

Embrace Aromatherapy

I change my diffuser game once flu season settles in. I reach for anti-viral essential oils like sweet basil leaf, bergamot peel, blue cypress wood, immortelle flower, ravensara leaf, and pink peppertree fruit, which all help to boost the immune system to prevent colds and flu as well as to recover from them faster. I always gets the diffusers that nebulize the water into a cool vapor, which carries the essential oils into the air better. Just stay away from thick, viscous oils like vetiver and myrrh, as they will clog your diffuser worse than a single stall bathroom during a late night Christmas concert. - Mathew Milèo, founder of Milèo New York Face Oil Elixirs

Put Yourself First

Don't let your reserves get too low — whether that means sleep, alone time, or nutrition. Getting knocked out by a cold halfway through the festivities certainly doesn't help anyone, so pay attention to your own self-care. 

Believe it or not, holiday foods can actually be a positive boost for your nutrition. When you eat things that are outside of your regular routine, you intake nutrients that you may otherwise be missing. Yes, that pumpkin pie has a whole lot of vitamin A, and the smoked salmon spread is arming you with omega-3 fats that are otherwise tough to get enough of. - Allison Baker, Dietician and VP of Baze

Mind Your Cravings

Mind your cravings. Cravings are a powerful force, especially during the holiday season. They connect us to past experiences and are often a way to access past good times. By being present in the moment and connecting cravings to deeper life desires you can obtain the more desired life outcome, instead of reaching for that which symbolize a deep life desire. - Meribel M. Goldwin, Nutrition and Cravings Specialist

Start a Snowball Fight

Try a snowball fight. Not only is this fun but it's a great activity for the family and burns up to 300 calories per hour! Channel your inner child and build a snowman! Once you have created your masterpiece you would have also burned over 200 calories in just one hour. Or try the snow shuffle. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart begin shuffling your feet in the snow while briskly moving your arms front and back. The resistance of the snow adds an additional challenge. - Nadia Murdock, founder of Nadia Murdock Fit

Keep Skin Balanced

Our skin is our only organ on the outside and it’s there to protect us from environmental attacks. We need to remember that it needs time to adjust from climate changes and weather changes. We often think about anti-aging and hydration for the skin but the fist level of defense is your PH level. 

Keeping your PH slightly acidic allows your skin to effortlessly create a protective barrier.  Our PH+ Enzyme Essence AM and PM will give the skin a slight exfoliation to keep new healthy cells replenishing as well as help bring the skin to its slightly acidic state. Eating good sources of B vitamin (green leafy vegetables, shellfish, Swiss cheese and eggs) while traveling, regular lemon water (to assist your liver and kidneys) will also assist with detoxing the skin. - Kat Burki, founder of Kat Burki skincare 

Eat Your Veggies

My number one tip for staying healthy over the holidays is to eat a higher percentage of raw vegetables, such as salad. Always eat before you go to a party so you don’t overdo it. Don’t slack on your exercise routine no matter how many parties you are planning to go to. If you’re traveling, try doing workout videos that just use your body weight and core. And if you’re thinking about starting a new fitness routine in the New Year, do it now so you can just ease into it in January. - Kirk Charles, Certified Personal Trainer and author of “The First Aisle”

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Hydrate & Exfoliate

On the skin, I recommend a hyaluronic acid moisturizer as part of your morning and evening skincare routine. Hyaluronic acid attracts water to the skin, plumping it up at the surface while nourishing it below. I also highly recommend treating your skin to a HydraFacial a few days before a special holiday party. HydraFacial uses patented Vortex Fusion technology to cleanse, extract and hydrate and is highly customizable to your skin's needs.

Exfoliation will keep dead skin cells on the go and keep pores from getting clogged. In addition to regular use of retinol, I recommend a chemical exfoliant every 7 to 10 days. I love the Skin Better Science Exfoliating Peel Pads, which use glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids with their patented retinoid, AlphaRet, to exfoliate the skin. These won't leave you dry and overly stripped, thanks to lactic acid, which moisturizes while exfoliating to support hyaluronic acid.  - Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson, Board Certified Dermatologist, Modern Dermatology of Connecticut

Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Cook with more anti-inflammatory foods this holiday season. Tomatoes, spices, salmon, spinach, blueberries, cranberries, brown rice, barley, sweet potatoes, and russet potatoes all help with inflammation in the body. During the holidays, you don't know what others are cooking with. The anti-inflammatory foods are going to help counteract all the vegetable oils, the sugars in the drinks, the high fructose syrups. And the bonus for eating these type foods? They also help with weight loss! - Stacie Zollars, Baker and founder of Sugar Face Bakes  

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