Each year the progression of celebrating starts with Halloween, followed by Thanksgiving, then the Christmas holidays. While we look forward to all of them for the fun, togetherness, fond memories, and traditions, for me, the New Year always seems a bit sad. There are the extra pounds from all those favorite recipes, and gifts of bountiful cookies and candies. Visiting family has left for home, and there are the chores of “undecorating” and getting the house back to normal. There’s feeling tired from last-minute shopping and wrapping, too many late nights, whether it’s that never-ending game of Monopoly, so many football playoff games, or a favorite series or those movies I’ve been meaning to watch. Then there’s just the letdown of “the party’s over” and it’s time to go back to work or school. For small business owners, it’s the beginning of crunch time preparing for tax season. I’m old enough to know it happens every year, and in that sense, I remind myself to do things that help me get out of the seasonal slump in January.
For the pounds, I’m determined to use the treadmill that mostly collects dust; unless my grandkids visit and use it to burn off some of their limitless energy. In Ohio, it’s cold (or very cold) at this time of the year, which brings me to why I bought the treadmill in the first place. The “cure” for using it on a regular basis is to have a form of entertainment or distraction, which in my case, is scheduling my time on the treadmill to coincide with a favorite program. I owe many thanks to my brother for helping me set up the TV in the exercise room and moving some technology around so I can watch it without increasing my monthly cable bill. I’m also returning to the discipline of low-carb eating, and intermittent fasting.
On New Year’s morning, I was brought “face to face” with all of it -- the effects of too much sugar on my complexion – yes, breakouts occur regardless of your age. In addition to the breakouts, late nights (and sodium-filled snacks) leave my eyes looking puffy. And, I admit, even someone in the skincare business who knows better, sometimes goes to bed without washing her face when it’s past midnight . . . and, we’ve already talked about the scale. My hands looked and felt terrible from so much hand washing, cold weather, and lack of TLC. Not a really good way to feel on the first day of a new year . . .
Later that day, on my bathroom vanity I saw a bar of Erica’s newly formulated charcoal soap, still wrapped. Knowing it would help with my breakout “situation”, I decided to give it a try. Using a small complexion sponge, I lathered my skin and realized how good that felt, and no dry or tight feeling after patting my skin dry.
Usually, at this time of the year, I would follow cleansing with Revitalizing Intensive Daily Moisture, but I decided to use Total Nutrition Night Repair Complex instead, knowing retinol would be helpful. I hadn’t used Total Nutrition for awhile, so using it was like a “first time” experience. I noticed a feeling of firming, and then shortly after, touched my face and realized how soft it felt. The next morning when I cleansed (with Salicylic Cleanser) I could feel a silkiness that let me know the moisture was still present and working. Best of all, sitting in front of my makeup mirror, my skin was already noticeably calmer and much of the redness had disappeared.
Feeling energized by the improvements I saw; I patted some Advanced Eye Serum on the areas of puffiness under my eyes. I opened a jar of our moisturizing salt scrub and gave my irritated hands a spa moment – this is most beneficial at bedtime, but it’s a real treat for your skin at any time. I was so pleased that I decided to put on a little makeup for my grout cleaning!
If you’re that perfectly disciplined person who never gets in a self-care rut, congratulate yourself and keep up the good work. If, on the other hand, you’re feeling a little rundown, both physically and mentally, devote some time to yourself. Getting back on track means taking a little time for self-analysis, knowing what motivates you, and making small changes. Listen to your body and your skin – making seasonal changes in your skincare routine is important. Also, look forward to things that bring you joy, whether it’s an upcoming vacation, a special event, or a hobby. For me, it’s springtime and flower gardening. When it’s snowing outside, I’m looking at flowers online and planning what will fill my heart and my spirit as soon as the weather turns sunny and warm!
A happy new year is made up of moments – of taking good care of yourself; and filling your spirit with things that keep you healthy and bring you joy.
Wishing you all the best in the New Year!