Happy New Year’s 2018 – Resolution Time!

Top 6 New Year’s resolutions that can help you feel better in 2018:

2018-newMore shut-eye

Many of us certainly don’t get near the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation over the long term can raise risks for health problems including obesity, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and depression. Here’s how to get a better night’s sleep: Get on a regular sleep schedule and your body will adjust, turn off all electronics & screens leaving them out of the bedroom, reading a non-digital book or listening to soothing music or whitenoise will increase your chances of gaining more deep sleep each night. Go to bed and wake up around the same time each day.

10,000 steps

Walking 10,000 steps a day, or about 5 miles, is a low-impact way to improve your health. Here are tips to get you moving: Use a free app such as Pacer and Stepz to help you keep track of steps. Take the stairs, not the elevator. Park in the back of the lot when you’re going to the supermarket. To keep it interesting, find new places to walk each week and take photos along the way.

Journaling

Journaling has several benefits for your overall health, and particularly your emotional health. It’s relaxing and helps you better understand your thoughts. Sometimes it feels like our minds are going a mile a minute, especially during periods of high stress. Putting those thoughts and emotions down on paper makes them more manageable.

Your personal journal is a permanent record of your thoughts and the events in your life. When you keep a journal, you can look back on important life events to read about how you felt at the time. You may be able to learn from these past experiences, but it’s also just nice to have a record of your past. Our memories become less clear and vivid as they fade farther into the past. Recording our lives helps us better remember them.

Flossing

So many New Year’s resolutions are centered on diet and exercise but we fail to remember dental health. Flossing is an important tool in preventing gum disease and decay. But only four out of 10 people floss at least once a day, and 30 percent say they never floss. Develop a morning and evening flossing routine, and watch your dental health soar!

Limit Screen Time

Many of us are guilty of letting phones run our lives. Make a decision to turn off or put your phone into “do not disturb mode” an hour before bed this year and completely remove it from the bedroom altogether. Read or listen to quiet music to allow your brain to turn off and promote relaxation. Remove the TV set from the bedroom as well, it is incredibly destructive to REM sleep especially for those that leave it on all night. Get a white noise machine instead if you need to have filler noise.

Clean eating

Many vow to eat healthier and lose weight every year. We have a habit of setting the bar too high with unrealistic goals and ultimately give up. One way to improve our diets is to eat “clean.” Shift your diet to focusing on whole foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains and healthy proteins and fats. Clean eating also means avoiding processed foods, refined sugar, preservatives and artificial additives.  One of the best strategies for cleaner eating is trying to stick with eating a rainbow each day in the fruits & veggies category paying attention to their colors.

DON’T FA LA LA LA FRET

Cooking and cleaning and hosting, oh my! Broken wine glass shards as far as the living room? Kitchen sink spitting up last month’s pot pie leftovers? Aunty Shissa sprained ankle on the kids’ long-lost Lego piece? Get through the final holiday season without a hitch, and make it seem flawless.

Before Guests Arrive:

Clear your entryway! The people will come, and they come with THINGS. Lots of things. Purses, shoes, presents, tupperware, scarves, jackets, cats in doggy bags…give these things a place. Whatever you have going on in your foyer, de-clutter it. Then add extra hooks.

Add a few extra lights. YOU know where the hallways begin and end, where the steps are and how steep. But your guests do not, and it gets dark early now! Add motion detecting night lights inside and outside so no one goes home with a broken hip.

Zhuzh up your powder room. With the eggnog and spiced wine flowing, your guests will find their way here…often. Aside from the kitchen, it may be the next busiest room. Make sure it’s fully-stocked with toilet paper, hand soap, clean hand towels, tissues, and…air neutralizer…plunger. A scented candle provides nice ambience.

Create extra seating. Especially around bars, coffee spots, and kitchen islands. The masses congregate here. No one should have to call “seat backs”!

Cook a few appetizers in advance. This keeps your guests happy and you with less to do/more time to chat and concentrate on the main dishes. Keep wine and glasses out for guests to serve themselves!

Prep a guest room. Just in case you get the tipsy friend who simply shouldn’t drive, get a bedroom ready in advance. Clean bedding, a ceiling fan, and matching footed PJs are all they need!

Garbage cans. Double or triple line them. It’ll make clean-up so easy during and after the party!

Troubleshooting 101:

Dish disaster. First, use as many “oven to table” dishes as possible to avoid doubling up on what needs to be washed. Next, set up a soaking station for those inevitable hard-to-wash dishes. Quick tip: use a trashcan as your soaking spot, and stick it under your sink. That way it can hold a lot but is also out of the way.

Oven issues. How to avoid the possibility of your oven “gone fishin’” on the most critical day of the year? Set the SELF-CLEAN to AFTER the holidays. That way you’re less likely to blow a fuse or a thermostat. Don’t Turducken this up.

NUTS. Any type of food allergy. A simple heads up with a small sign that says what has nuts, dairy, etc. in it could mean a much-appreciated trip saved to the ER.

Fires. First and foremost, do not overload outlets. You and your guests don’t want to be left in the dark, or worse, in the midst of a house fire. And for those outdoor hanging icicles and blow up Santas, stick to exterior specified extension cords.

Plastic. It’s not so tacky anymore. Super wine glasses and lovely dishware come in plastic or even disposable! No more shattered glass or paranoia over grandma’s fine china.

Party Is Over:

Doggy bag. Purchase little doggy bags for your friends and family to leave with leftovers. They get a tasty treat the next day, and your fridge isn’t left overloaded.

Clean your kitchen first. That is important. Get dishes going, trash out, and spills up. But your guest bath or linens can wait. Categorize by what needs to happen right away vs. in a day.

Double check electronics. Make certain the stove is off, you’ve unplugged the fondue machine, and your after-dinner coffee maker isn’t still heating up water.

Get the kids to help: You don’t have to do it alone! Crank up the Carols and make it fun!

Your guests will love how effortless your festivities were, and how comfortable they felt. Happy merry holidays, Island.