31 Ways to Boost Your Mood—and Health This Month
Pack your calendar with fast and fun ways to see your health and spirits soar.
21. Keep your (tight) pants on
To avoid return trips to the buffet (and packing on extra pounds), wear a belt or a pair of skinny jeans as a reminder to keep yourself in check.
22. Welcome winter
To prevent the season’s shorter days from getting you down, try spending more time outdoors in the a.m. and arranging your home and workplace to let in more sunlight.
23. Cool your heels
Pep up tired peds with a peppermint-based foot cream that also smoothes rough patches. Try Bliss Foot Patrol ($18; blissworld.com).
24. Don’t wait up for Santa
Sleep-deprived people are perceived to be less attractive in photos than those who got a good night’s rest.
25. Date your leftovers
When properly frozen, turkey keeps for four months; stuffing should be enjoyed within one. To stay safe, label the container—try the container store freezer labels ($5 for 100; containerstore.com)—and mark it with the date.
26. Hit the sales
Buy yourself a brightly colored fruit bowl. New research conducted by Cornell University’s Brian Wansink, Ph.D., shows people are more likely to eat fruit if it’s in a vibrant dish.
27. Create a family health tree
Ensure better medical care in the future by keeping important deets at hand. Use the My Family Health Portrait tool at familyhistory.hhs.gov.
28. Come to order
Living with clutter has been linked to over- eating. To cut down on the mess (and bad snack habits), start by organizing a corner of the office or one kitchen cupboard.
29. Sing your heart out
Whether you’re belting out “Auld Lang Syne” or “I will Survive,” singing causes a dip in stress hormones, says Graham Welch, Ph.D., chair of music education at the Institute of Education in London. “It can also promote a greater sense of self-worth.”
30. Join a gym
Health clubs are eager to hit their numbers by the end of the year, so you’re likely to get a great deal now.
31. Resolve to be a lark
Early risers are thinner, happier, and less stressed, research has found. Now that’s something to look forward to in the new year!