With the dawn of a new year people often times set goals for themselves, better known as the elusive "new years resolution." Whether it be to read more, lose weight, or save money, people go into the year determined. But ultimately a couple weeks later get caught up in everyday life: tired and stressed out with a weakening immune system.
But not to worry! These budget-friendly alternatives can be kind to your wallet and your mental well-being, helping you pick back up and slow back down.
1) Fighting Fatigue and Puffy Eyes
Hitting the proverbial mid-day wall is sometimes inevitable, but instead of reaching for a cup of coffee, tea could be a better alternative. Green tea specifically is considered a healthier alternative to coffee. Although it has about half the caffeine (20-45mg), it has just enough to give you a boost and get you through the day.
It is also considered one of the least refined teas and therefore holds the most antioxidants. When unsweetened the drink has zero calories allowing you to have your tea and drink it too.
But the best part is that after you're done with your tea bags you can let them cool and then place them under your eyes for a few minutes. The caffeine absorbs into your skin, decreasing puffy bags and allowing you to feel refreshed.
Depending on the brand, most teas are a fraction of the cost of coffee (especially when you add in the cost of creamer, sugar, or that extra shot of expresso at the coffee shop).
2) Putting A Restless Mind to Bed
Laying down at night to a racing mind isn't uncommon for a lot of Americans. In fact the CDC conducted a study, in which over 49 million Americans had difficulty sleeping due to a restless mind. And even though the National Institutes of Health recommends seven to eight hours worth of sleep for adults, sometimes there just isn't enough time.
Natural scents and foods can help calm the mind, like the smell of lavender, which has been said to calm anxiety and insomnia. There are also certain foods that contain tryptophan (like your Thanksgiving turkey), that aid in the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps to balance and regulate your sleep cycle.
Opting out from buying expensive sleeping pills on a weekly basis can be kind to you and your bank account.
3) A Little Under the Weather
The flu season is here, and the illness peaks in the winter months specifically December through February. But little things can help protect you, like hand sanitizer (which comes at a low cost), or going out and getting some fresh air.
If it’s too late for precautions try reaching for an orange instead of another snack. While it won’t prevent you from getting sick studies have shown that an increased vitamin C intake can help shorten your sickness by a day or two.
Combining zinc with vitamin C has also been reported to shorten a cold, but there’s no need to buy any expensive medicine. Many foods are high in zinc, such as poultry and lean beef, or for the vegetarians, nuts and beans are a great alternative.
Zinc interferes with rhinoviruses in your body (pesky little guys that cause 80 percent of all colds), making you feel better faster. So go out and conquer that cold before it conquers you!
Green tea health benefits examined. medicalnewstoday.com. Retrieved Jan. 20,2015.
Insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. Center for disease control. Retrieved Jan. 20,2015.
The flu season. Center for disease control. Retrieved Jan. 20,2015.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid). WebMD. Retrieved Jan. 20,2015.
Zinc may prevent and shorten colds. WebMD. Retrieved Jan. 20,2015.
Reviewed January 26, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN