20 New Year's Resolutions You Can Really Keep
Downscale your expectations and supercharge the results by taking five easy steps in just four areas of your life.
TAKE 5 for Your Face continued...
Wash the day away. Before you go to bed, wash off all the makeup, dirt, and other gunk that's accumulated on your face throughout the day. Then top off your cleansing ritual with a light moisturizer that has fatty acids called ceramides. "A simple moisturizer is important to enable your skin to repair itself," Friedman says.
Get naked. Find a mirror and do a skin check. Red-flag any spot that's changed in color, size, or shape and let your dermatologist check it out. "Skin cancer caught in its early stages is almost completely curable, so it's important to get your moles checked," according to Friedman.
TAKE 5 for Your Mind
Rise and sing. Set your iPod or alarm clock to wake you with your favorite song so you start every morning humming a happy tune. Music is a great stress-buster, especially when you listen to songs you really like.
Be kind. Before you climb out of bed each morning, "Spend 20 seconds thinking of one nice thing you can do for yourself that day," advises Alice Domar, PhD, executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health and co-author of Live a Little. Promise to call your best friend, soak in a hot bath, or treat yourself to a skinny latte at your favorite café. Whatever you do, give back to yourself for at least a half hour each day.
Take a breather. When your job or kids are driving you crazy, go somewhere quiet, close your eyes, and count backward from 10 to zero, taking one deep breath for each number. When you breathe deeply, your heart doesn't have to work as hard and your mind is too focused to race, Domar says.
Phone a funny friend. Laughter is a powerful healer. It can soothe your mind and help heal your body. Cracking up with your BFF for just 15 minutes has the same kind of blood-vessel-relaxing and blood-pressure-lowering benefits as 30 minutes of aerobics, Andersen says.
Strike a pose. Yoga is good for mind and body. It simultaneously stretches away stress and strengthens muscles. "Choose a yoga pose you like that feels comforting," Domar suggests. Assume the tree pose for balance or the downward-facing dog for a full-body stretch. Hold the pose for a few seconds, and feel stress drift away.