How to Stay Sane Through the Holidays (It’s Possible!)

There’s a misconception that the holiday season should always evoke visions of peace, joy and goodwill — but you know it’s more complicated. All of the shopping, wrapping, planning, cooking, cleaning and family-seeing can be stressful. In fact, according to a recent Healthline survey, 61 percent of millennials, 62 percent of baby boomers, and 65 percent of generation Xers report increased amounts of stress during the holidays.

Every year, holiday consumerism becomes more and more omnipresent and unavoidable. This year, I saw a Christmas commercial in September! Both conscious and unconscious pressure to create a perfect and memorable holiday season for your loved ones can be burdensome and cause undue stress. (Don’t be tricked by rampant consumerism, though — your mantra for the holidays should be simple: “I am worth more than what I buy.”) Here are four very do-able tips for a mindful, peaceful, more sane — and less stressful! — holiday season.

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The Checkup: The 4 Elements of a Hangover-Fighting Breakfast 

• To help quell everyone’s post-election hangovers, the folks over at Science of Us put together a guide to surviving the workday with a hangover — and for many of us, that starts with a hangover-fighting breakfast. According to them, you’re going to want to reach for some eggs, which contain cysteine, a substance that helps us metabolize harmful chemicals (hi, alcohol), some vitamin C, which may help you process alcohol more efficiently, a banana to help with dehydration (thanks, potassium) and something carb-y to up your blood sugar. [Science of Us]

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What Crying at Work Says About You

About six months ago, a coworker and I were on a hike through the Wissahickon, passing our time traipsing through the woods with a game of Would You Rather, (because how else does one pass time on a hike other than with inappropriate hypotheticals?) when I asked her this question: “Would you rather our boss sob in front of you — like hysterical, ‘Do you need me to call a doctor?’ sobbing — OR would you rather sob, in the same fashion, in front of him?”

Her answer threw me: “I’d rather he sob in front of me. 100 percent.”

In jaw-dropping news, my friend had never once cried at work, let alone in front of her boss. This also threw me, as I assumed everyone on planet earth had shed a few tears in front of their boss at some point. The first time I cried in front of my boss was when I was 19 years old, and the story actually makes me laugh now. I was working the graveyard shift at a diner, and one of my tables accused me of weight shaming them for asking if they wanted mayonnaise with their burgers. (It was the restaurant’s policy to ask if customers wanted mayo with burgers, because mayo was served in ramekins prepared in the kitchen and asking during ordering made everyone’s life easier.) I was frustrated that a question I had asked hundreds of people could be so massively misunderstood. And my reaction was tears. From then on, the floodgates have been pretty open. And every single time since then, when I’ve cried in front of a boss — or at work in general — the tears have been two things: caused by frustration and entirely uncontrollable.

So when my coworker told me she wouldn’t want to cry in front our boss for fear of relinquishing any power she may have, I was surprised. Of all the times I have cried at work, I have never once thought I’d all of a sudden transformed into a powerless weakling in the eyes of my superior or my coworkers. I figured all those times I’d cried (let’s say 10 total), the person on the receiving end had just been concerned with how they could get me and my ever-reddening face out of their office as quickly as possible. But this conversation got me wondering what people think when they see others (me) cry at work. Do they think I’m unhinged? Bad at my job? Weak?

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The Checkup: The Simple Trick Dietitians Swear By to Avoid Overeating 

• Raise your hand if, come lunchtime, you’re ready to shovel your entire tupperware of quinoa salad into your face in one forkful? Same. But dietitians suggest you take a different approach to ensure you don’t feel uncomfortably full and bloated for the next few hours: Halfway through your meal, take a 10-minute break. Then, after your body has had a bit of time to start digesting your meal, decide whether you are still hungry for the rest. [POPSUGAR Fitness]

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The Checkup: Words for All the Emotions You’ve Never Been Able to Explain

• Humans are strange creatures and our brains are filled with all sorts of odd thoughts (“I wonder what Missy Elliot is doing today”) and emotions (“I’m not sad, exactly — my heart just feels like a train ran over it, then reversed back onto it, pressed the brakes and stayed there”), many of which we have a hard time describing. To help us out, the folks over at Science of Us have created a handy list of real words  from around the world — like pronoia and malu — for emotions you never knew how to describe before. Guarantee: The list will have you saying “Ahhhhh-ha!” for a good five minutes. [Science of Us] Read more »

The Checkup: The 7-Minute Workout You Can Definitely Fit Into Your Busy Schedule

• Feeling a little competitive this Monday morning? This seven-minute HIIT workout has its own point system, allowing you to challenge your fittest friend, and it makes for a great way to get your heart pumping in a short amount of time before heading to work. Plus, it’s only seven minutes long, so don’t even try to tell us you’re too busy. [Greatist] Read more »

The Checkup: The Smart Smoothie Trick to Save Tons of Time

• ‘Tis the beginning of everyone’s favorite season: smoothie season. To get your breakfast sip on without spending your mornings figuring out what to throw in the blender — then chopping, then blending — prep individual freezer bags filled with smoothie ingredients on Sunday night. Then, throughout the week, you can just pull one out and pop it in the blender, saving yourself lots of time, and a bit of mental energy (because everything takes more effort before coffee). Easy as a pumpkin pie smoothie, right? [Self] Read more »

The Checkup: 7 Healthy Foods That Can Completely Sabotage Your Workouts

• You may think you’re doing yourself a favor by noshing on some hummus and crackers before you hit the gym, but these healthy-eating experts disagree. Same goes for leafy greens, raw seeds, and a slew of other seemingly good pre-workout foods, thanks in part to the bloat and stomach discomfort they can cause while you’re mid-lunge jump. [Women’s Health]
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The Checkup: Why You Should Just Skip Your Workout When You’re Hungover

• If St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have you feeling green this morning (see what I did there?), you should probably just skip your lunch-break spin class. As one doctor, who happens to be an expert on hangovers explains, the endorphin rush can make you feel a little bit better momentarily, but the dehydration that accompanies your sweat session could make you feel a whole lot worse. [POPSUGAR Fitness] Read more »

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