5 Easy Ways to De-Stress During the Holidays

 

By Nicole Kwan

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The end of the year (and everything that brings) is sneaking up on us– fast. Before you let yourself get super-overwhelmed, take stock on what you can do for your own self-care so you always have little ways to find calm. Bring these with you when you’re rushing toward that end-of-year work deadline, dealing with family travel plans, or exhausted from back-to-back holiday parties (lucky you!).

Here are a few of my favorite ways to stay sane through the holidays, and a few items on my destress wish list.

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1. Add plants to your home.

 

Bringing greenery inside can turn your place into your own little refuge, especially when nothing is flourishing outside. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that interacting with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress. Plus, NASA research found that houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins, so you’ll have cleaner air to breathe.

The Philodendron Green plant above from The Sill is good for beginner plant parents!

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  1. Curl up to a (fake) fireplace.

No, I’m not talking about the fireplace channel on your TV. I found this Wildwood Candle Co. soy candle in Portland, Oregon and the crackling wood wick and fragrance make me feel like I’m in front of a roaring fireplace. A study from the University of Alabama found that sitting by a fire reduced blood pressure, and for me, even the one candle does the trick. The Firelane I candle has notes of smoked woods, balsam, and pine, making it perfect for a city apartment wishing it was in the country.

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  1. Drink booze-free cocktails.

Drinking to de-stress is a common default, but alcohol really isn’t the best long-term solution. Non-alcoholic cocktails at bars are becoming more of a thing (Grub Street said so!), and you can do the same for yourself at home. Seedlip calls itself the “world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits.” Their Spice 94 is aromatic, earthy, and woodsy and their Garden 108 is herbal, grassy, and floral. Serve them with tonic or mixers.

Not convinced to go dry? A small British study found that “normal” drinkers who stopped drinking for five weeks reported better sleep and concentration.

 

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4. Indulge in a bath house visit.

Last year, I stumbled upon Aire Ancient Baths in Seville and a visit to the New York City location has been on my wishlist. Going to the candle-lit bath house is like a ritual: You move through each bath at your own pace, experiencing temperatures ranging from 102 to 50 degrees F, and taking a float in a salt water bath. The hot water relaxes muscle tension while the cold water is reinvigorating.

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  1. Hand wash your delicates.

 

Most of the time, you probably throw your bras into the laundry with your clothes, but taking the time to hand wash is worth it (and nicer to your bras!). Plus, most of the time is hands off when you leave your delicates in to soak. I use the Linden wash from Journelle, which is made from plant-derived ingredients and doesn’t have sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, or parabens. I love that the delicate scent lingers and reminds me to slow down.

For me, this covers de-stressing in a number of ways. First, it makes me slow down and practice a little mindfulness by paying attention to the process and noticing everything from the water temperature to the fragrance. Plus, a Princeton University study found that physical clutter increases stress, so checking laundry off my to-do list and moving clean clothes into my drawers is good for my brain.

Fore more ways to de-stress this crazy busy season check out the Hinted list here.

✨Your Weekly Horoscope & Style to Match: Week of October 22, 2018 ✨

By Aurora Tower

Bond, Girl!

Fall vibes move from fun and flirty to sultry and sizzling this week, as the sun slides into mysterious Scorpio on Tuesday. What this means? Do something a little radical! Whatever your hangups have been, let them go and open yourself up to your passions and connecting with people you love. Wednesday’s full moon is cathartic and emboldening. The union of the Sun and Venus in retrograde on Friday promises a very sexy weekend. An ex or crush is likely to make an unexpected appearance. But luckily, with the support of pragmatic Saturn, you remember that plain old fashioned common sense is still your BFF.

Your Weekly Horoscope & Style to Match for the Week of October 22, 2018: Leo
Leo: Mango Satin Gown, $149

Strike while the iron is hot, Leo

An unexpected and exciting job opportunity could come up. Even if the surprise factor is exciting, figure out if it’s truly in alignment with your long-term goals.

Your Weekly Horoscope & Style to Match for the Week of October 22, 2018: Virgo
Virgo: Avec Les Filles Wrap Puffer Jacket, $149

Indulge your wanderlust, Virgo

You aren’t known as the ‘throw caution to the wind’ spontaneous type, but you could get the urge to book a one way ticket this week, so embrace your travel fantasies. And pack something chic and warm.

Your Weekly Horoscope & Style to Match for the Week of October 22, 2018: Libra
Libra: Novis Faye Pleated Evening Skirt; Image: @shopbop

Buddy up, Libra

If you have been wrangling with a big picture financial situation, a solution could finally emerge, but it likely won’t be what you thought, so stay open to an even better option.

Your Weekly Horoscope & Style to Match for the Week of October 22, 2018: Scorpio
Scorpio: Moth Bow-Backed Sweater, $128

Listen to your heart, Scorpio

This is your time, and the spotlight is shining hard and bright on you and your closest relationships, so be candid about what you truly desire, even if it’d been evolving.

Your Weekly Horoscope & Style to Match for the Week of October 22, 2018: Sagittarius
Sagittarius: DVF Ruched Turtleneck, $298; Image: @Nordstrom

Wait for it, Sagittarius

You’re open to the unexpected, but even you could be surprised by the revelations you have this week! Don’t ignore that nagging suspicion. Instead, act on your intuition.

Your Weekly Horoscope & Style to Match for the Week of October 22, 2018: Capricorn
Capricorn: Ulla Johnson Jolee Dress, $575; Image: @shopbop

Trust your heart, Capricorn

Your network and alliances are very important to you, Capricorn, and some of those special relationships appear to be shifting. One may even be headed in the L-O-V-E direction.

Your Weekly Horoscope & Style to Match for the Week of October 22, 2018: Aquarius
Aquarius: FP Loveless Midi Dress, $148; Image: @freepeople

Go your own way, Aquarius

You can be very decisive when you make up your mind about something, Aquarius, and this week could be when you reach your limit. Try to be sensitive with your feelings, and everybody else’s, but do what’s best for you.

Your Weekly Horoscope & Style to Match for the Week of October 22, 2018: Cancer
Cancer: IRO Equate Dress, $850; Image: @shopbop

Prepare to be lovestruck, Cancer

If Cupid finds anyone this week, it is going to be you, so don’t bother looking too much farther than your already trusted friend group for that special spark.

Aries
Aries: Gal Meets Glam Maggie Dress, $148; Image: @galmeetsglam

Time to decide, Aries

You don’t like to overcommit if you can help it,  but you may be forced to pick a lane and stay in it this week, Aries. Think of it as a way of helping you simplify your strategy for the win.

Your Weekly Horoscope & Style to Match for the Week of October 22, 2018: Taurus
Taurus: Halogen Faux Fur Cape, $149; Image: @nordstrom

Keep on truckin’, Taurus

When the ball is in someone else’s court, you can feel frustrated, but if you’re committed to finding a win-win solution now, you can bust through major obstacles and come out on top.

Your Weekly Horoscope & Style to Match for the Week of October 22, 2018: Gemini
Gemini: Gal Meet Glam Collection Diane Mock Neck Fit & Flare Midi, $168

Choose a positive perspective, Gemini

You tend to dislike routine, but if you can re-frame your choices as something empowering, you will recognize how much of a boost it gives your body, and your spirit.

Your Weekly Horoscope & Style to Match for the Week of October 22, 2018: Pisces
Pisces: Nooki Design Star Faux Fur Collar, $78; Image: @anthropologie

Say cheers, Pisces

Renewed interest in a passion project or educational opportunity could fire up your enthusiasm this week. If messages get mixed, try not to take others’ responses personally. Stay positive and cheerful.

Got the Cold Weather Blues? These Jewel Tone Outfits Will Give You a Lift

Fall is definitely here, which is obviously cause for excitement. The seasonal change has us living for all things autumn: Rich jewel tones, sweater weather, cute new scarves and hats, the fact that our makeup isn’t constantly melting off our faces and… pumpkin spice everything (duh).

But what we don’t talk about as much when it gets a little more mystical outside and temperatures start to drop is seasonal affective disorder. It ain’t a myth! It’s a scientific fact that the gloomy weather that starts in fall can bum us out. But it’s also been scientifically proven that there are certain colors that affect mood—which is why we are advocating for wearing the aforementioned jewel tones even more than usual.

If you’re needing some jewel-toned inspo (and a little mood boost), we have just the list for you. 12 Ways to Wear Jewel Tones to Boost Your Mood is giving us life right now. Whether you’re seeking to feel more empowered or looking to add a little love to your life, there’s a perfect outfit for you to wear to help you level it up.

More: Everything’s Better In a Sweater!

Colors That Affect Mood: Jewel Tones For the Win

Sidenote: To get the full effect of wardrobe color therapy, you don’t need to wear a certain color from head to toe. A simple forest green clutch, ocean blue drop earrings or cobalt beanie might be all you need to get your mojo going.

Colors That Affect Mood: Emerald Green Jumpsuit
Bow Long Jumpsuit, $99.99; at Mango.

But if you are looking to drape your entire body in good juju, this Bow Long Jumpsuit by Mango will have you looking put together in a snap (we love how one-and-done jumpsuits are when we’re rushing to get ready for work in the morning). And did we mention emerald symbolizes rebirth, growth, and reflection—so it’s perfect to add to your wardrobe when you want to start fresh in a new season?

Another option: The Halogen Tie Waist Dress from Nordstrom is just the ticket when you want to be pulled together for work, but are also dying to show off those hot new boots you bought for fall. The amethyst hue of this dress is one of those helpful colors that affect mood and stands for strength, courage, and relationships. It’s especially great when you want to fortify yourself and others.

Colors That Affect Mood: Ruby Red Dress
Reformation Rosehip Fit & Flare Dress, $248; at Nordstrom.

Need a little confidence bump? We suggest Club Monaco’s elegant sapphire Annina Accordion Pleated Midi Skirt. Sapphire has long been connected to royalty and will have you twirling like the queen you are in no time.

This Reformation Rosehip Fit & Flare Dress is the perfect sexy number for a hot date. Ruby red is associated with love, health and wisdom—so you’ll been feeling all the positive vibes that will make you the most magnetic person in the room.

Check out more mood boosting jewel-toned options here.

More:  A History of the “No White After Labor Day” Rule (& Why We’re Ignoring It)

Win the bag celebs are loving right now! 😍 👛

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Photos: Kendall Jenner/Mirror, Blake Lively/Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

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Photos: Emily Ratajkowski/StyleBistro, Bella Hadid/Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

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Photos: Kylie Jenner/Instagram, Chrissy Teigen/Pinterest

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Your Healthy Summer Eating Kit

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The best way to reboot your eating habits: Order this one-week program, called Euphebe, and “Cut the Crap” as the creator likes to say.  Did I mention I love it?

During my first visit to a new doctor, I told him that I wanted to lose weight, get heart healthier and put an end to my bad eating habits — which I fall back into when I’m traveling and running from meeting to meeting. Dr. Hooman Yaghoobzadeh (who is an excellent doctor and who I call Dr. Y for short) suggested I follow a plant-based diet, high in fiber and low in saturated fat, and I nodded, this was the advice I gave out daily, hourly, and monthly as the Editor-in-Chief of SELF for 13 years, it’s just the busier I am the harder it is to do. Enter Euphebe, a program that delivers delicious plant-based meals and a healthy eating coach. Dr. Y is Euphebe’s medical advisor.

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Dr. Y introduced me to Nadja Pinnavaia, Ph.D., Euphebe’s founder and the brains behind the operation. I immediately liked her. She was a scientist who worked in finance, and in a strict British accent she basically laid it out: “We don’t need all the animal products in our food, and we certainly don’t need sugar, added preservatives and all the other junk that ends up in our bodies when we aren’t paying attention. Her motto: “Cut the Crap” sung to me. I wanted to cut the crap, in terms of food, in terms of excuses and in terms of pushing off the start date to getting healthy.

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I decided Nadja and the Hinted team should work together on a fun, healthy Hinted list to unfurl a 21-day plan to help our users eat healthier, lose weight and feel better —  just in time for summer. We talked about how a list for Hinted could be a summer healthy eating version of an “advent calendar” for rebooting your habits for summer and she agreed. The result is a list that includes Euphebe’s food plus healthy habits and exercise to match.

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I ordered my Mini-Boot week of healthy plant-based meals (lunch and dinner for six days with delicious sounding foods). I was nervous but also excited to try it.

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After my first meal, I felt satiated but not full and heavy. Each meal was delicious, and I started to feel better almost immediately. Less bloat, lighter, less puffy in my face, and certainly like this was a do-able, easy, fun project. I committed. No more cheese, meat, dairy and instead I sought plant-based protein and meals at every turn. Cut the crap became my mantra. I was a plant-seeking machine. Bring on the beans.

Nadja made her list and added lifestyle choices to help you get it together, including great ideas for easy ways to add in exercise. I knew I would love this list when she added the Tone it Up workouts that I know and love from my days as Editor-in-Chief of SELF, where the TIU founders Karena and Katrina rocked the community of healthy women and helped them tone up for spring and summer).

Euphebe’s resident RD Abby K. Cannon crafted the list to help you reboot your summer eating plan just in time for the season ahead, and if you follow this plan, you’ll feel better, be leaner and fitter, and lose weight in time for the Fourth of July weekend. In fact just four days into the plan I felt less bloated and my clothes fit better. I was feeling more energetic and like, for the first time in as long as I could remember, I was back on track.

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My suggestion: Start with the mini boot and don’t overcommit to the full month until you know you are ready to eat this way. Get coached. The supportive emails are chock full of helpful information and tips. I know it can help though I didn’t explicitly sign up for the Mini Boot for the coaching. I continue to enjoy (and learn from) the content and knowing I had support helped me stay on track. And do choose plant-based eating whenever you can. That means cutting out my favorite sweet of choice: Ice cream. And enjoying almond milk in my coffee, and turning down cheese — though I am a cheese-a-holic. I can do this for a week, a month, or longer, as long as I have access to the delicious Euphebe foods like Thai Green coconut curry with lemongrass rice, red lentil Pasta with eggplant sugo and Spring Veggie Faux Sotto. I am off to a healthy lunch now. Get started on your reboot today. You will thank me, Nadja, Dr. Y, Abby and the entire Euphebe team later!