Ho-Ho-Holistic Holidays: Survival Tips for a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season

Some people simply love the holidays. Others utterly despise them. The rest of us fall somewhere in between. Food, family and festivities are all part of the holiday season and contribute to our own personal reasons for loving, hating or love-hating the holidays. This article will provide you with some simple, natural strategies for surviving the holidays; body, mind, spirit and planet.

Body: Our bodies take a huge hit during the holidays. We definitely eat foods that we don’t typically eat and we often eat more food and more often than usual. In addition, due to the chaos of holiday shopping, holiday parties, holiday cards, holiday cooking and holiday decorating, we often sacrifice our exercise routine to make time for these events. While we’re on the run, taking steps to complete the tasks just mentioned, we may not take the time to prepare healthy meals. We may find ourselves eating at the drive-through or the food court.

Body Tips: Pack a brown bag of easy to eat, healthy foods to eat while you’re on the run. Assorted, raw nuts are a great, healthy snack that will give you energy, protein, omega-3 fats, and antioxidants to help combat the effects of stress. Throw a couple of apples or pears in there too. Baby carrots, whole grain crackers and a container of hummus also make for a quick and healthy snack. Be sure to drink plenty of water (half your body weight in ounces) to support your health and immunity – especially during times of stress. When it comes to the holiday table, as crazy as it sounds, use smaller plates and serving utensils to reduce portion size. Even using a smaller fork will help you to consume less food. The mistake many people make is they take a portion equal to what they would eat at a normal meal. The problem is there is usually about 3-5 times as much food as usual so you end up taking insane amounts of food. Using a teaspoon or tablespoon instead of a serving spoon will allow you to taste everything without over-doing it.

Mind: The mind probably takes the biggest hit during the holidays. With so many things to remember and do, we get overwhelmed very easily. Combine this with the shorter daylight hours, and you have a recipe for holiday depression. Many of us are so busy making sure that everyone else enjoys the holidays that we over-extend and over-schedule ourselves to the brink of insanity.

Mind Tips: Sit down and make a list of everything that you usually do or try to do for the holidays. Prioritize those items as: “Do”, “Drop”, or “Delegate”. Then take the “Do” items and prioritize them as “Must Do” and “Nice to Do”. Focus on the “Must-Do” items first. On the “Delegate” list, make a list of who you will delegate the task to, write the date that you delegated it, and the date they agreed to get it done by. Follow up on that date or simply trust them to get it done. This is a great time of year to edit your external influences. Stop watching or reading the news. Listen to some classical or spa-type music in the car or while cooking, cleaning or wrapping. Holiday music is fine too, as long as it puts you in a good mood. Understand that others are stressed out too and, even if they rub you the wrong way, wish them “Happy Holidays” and move on.

Spirit: It’s funny when people talk about the holiday spirit because from what I can tell, it’s not the Spirit of Christmas Past, Present of Future; it’s the Spirit of Christmas Insanity. Let me start by saying that if it doesn’t enrich your holiday experience either don’t do it at all or, if you feel obligated, do it to the minimal level possible to protect yourself from negative influences.

Spirit Tips: If you hate your work’s holiday party, don’t go. If you can’t afford gifts, write a note detailing a fond memory you have of that person. Thank them for being in your life. If your family drives you crazy, come late and leave early to the holiday festivities. No one will give you a hard time if you skip out to visit a nursing home, hospital, or homeless shelter. I guarantee that you will have a lot more holiday spirit by putting a smile on a sick child’s face versus trading scratch-tickets and bottles of booze at the Yankee Swap.

Planet: During the holidays, we create a lot of waste that will end up in landfills. We use a lot of extra fuel running around from mall to mall and having presents shipped across the country. Try to keep the planet in mind as make your holiday plans.

Planet Tips: Buy food from local farms or as local as you can get. If you live in Connecticut, buy potatoes from Maine. If you live in Colorado, buy potatoes from Idaho. Don’t buy tinsel; decorate pine cones instead. String popcorn and cranberries instead of using foil garland. Send gift cards instead of heavy boxes. Grab a friend and carpool to the mall. You will have more luck finding one parking space than two and you can divide and conquer. One of you takes a list to the toy store, one of you takes a list to the department store and you rendezvous in the lobby at a certain time. If there are questions, there are cell phones.

The holidays are supposed to be a time for cheer. Take a step back and evaluate your holiday schedule and ask yourself which parts enrich your life, and which parts impair your life. Make choices that will enhance your holiday experience; body, mind, spirit and planet.

Shopping Holiday in Hong Kong – Shop Till You Drop in Retail Heaven

Hong Kong is never quite what you expect. If it’s a piece of Singapore in China or a financial hub that moves at a frenzied pace, you will definitely find it here but that’s not all. Hong Kong defies definition because of the diversity of its multicultural population and the many layers of vibrancy they add to the skyscraper adorned landscape.

This diversity and vitality is also visible in one of its favourite pastimes: retail therapy. Renowned worldwide as a shopper’s Mecca Hong Kong is truly an “everything under one sky” sort of retail experience. Hong Kong Island is of course the home base of the nation’s premier malls such as Causeway Bay which houses super department stores including the World Trade Centre, Island Beverley, Times Square, The Lee Gardens, Fashion Island, Lee Theatre Plaza and Lee Garden Two while in Wan Chai Spring Garden Lane and a host of local markets are located. Some of the must-visit super malls in Hong Kong Island include those in Admiralty which specialize in mainly luxury brands and exclusive items while the Lane Crawford department store and Pacific Place are also worth the time.

The city’s Central District is home to some of the most luxurious shopping venues of all, including The Galleria, The Landmark, the IFC Mall, Alexandra House and Prince’s Building where atriums and marble surfaces create a fantastic shopping atmosphere. Those on the lookout for antiques should head down to Hollywood Road and professional and wannabe photographers will find a wide range of wares on Stanley Street. Test your haggling skills in the busy sidewalks down Sheung Wan, Li Yuen Street East and West.

Kowloon is another retail paradise with Park Lane Shopper’s Boulevard and trendy Nathan Road. Other hotspots include Cheung Sha Wan Road Fashion Street and Apuli Street where consumer electronics and accessories reign supreme. Popular shopping centres in Kowloon include Elements, Harbour City and Festival Walk which is sprawled out across one million square feet. Sham Shui Po is ideal for gadget fanatics while the Golden Shopping Centre is a treasure trove for IT enthusiasts.

The local markets in Kowloon are also not to be missed as they offer much more than fancy goods, local delicacies in a cultural exchange that will be as memorable as the bargains. Tourists and locals alike frequent the Temple Street Market, Fa Yuen Street Market and the famed Ladies Market while the Jade Market houses over 500 stalls full of idyllic souvenirs made of the precious material. Those in search of local flavour should also check out the Goldfish Market in Tung Choi Street and the Flower Market Road in Mongkok where fresh flowers are abundantly available.

The Citygate Outlets Mall offer mind-boggling bargains and discounts throughout the year while other highlights in Lantau include the SkyPlaza and the Hong Kong SkyMart. Shopping in downtown Macau is also a shopaholic’s dream come true as it is the go to locale for those luxury items. Home to one of the largest Louis Vuitton outlets on the globe, Coloane Island also hosts several colourful shopping areas and markets while jewellery connoisseurs should go to Taipa Village while Taipa Island offers global brands at duty free rates.

Tsim Sha Tsui in Macau’s Outer Harbour is another must-see locale where furniture antiques and well-known brands are available at affordable prices. Often compared to Bond Street in London the area is a Mecca for those with a flair for style and bargaining.

Significance of Product Reviews When You Shop

Nobody hates shopping. All age groups like to shop though they have different wants and needs. It is a necessary thing to do for every individual to support his daily living. Everybody loves to shop in department stores and shopping malls.

Recently, consumers are becoming more specific and wise in purchasing variety of goods or products. Every shopper checks the items thoroughly first before buying it. However, at some point, we are being careless and spending too much in an item for the sake of having it. Watch your savings. Do not be impulsive in shopping. Take your time doing product reviews so that you won’t regret anything in the end.

To have an effective product review, search to the Internet about the product you want to procure. Internet has no limitations with regards to information dissemination. It has the latest updates about the availability of products in the market. Have a thorough research of the item and learn its features and benefits. You can also compare two or more brands with the same purpose. Have a brief and approximate review of those products before you will decide to finally choose one. You can have your checklist so that you will be able to compare the products’ features clearly. List the pros and cons of a particular product. There are available websites in the Internet where you can see the product’s rating. Today, buyers use search engines just to get the information that they need. You can also see some of the comments in the company’s website or even in personal blogs made by previous consumers.

When you are doing a product review, it is very essential that you are knowledgeable enough and well-informed about the product. Know the item in full details. The item you are looking for might be faced out already in the market or had been replaced with new upgraded item. Always verify the price and the shipping fee if you want to purchase it online via delivery.

Be aware that there are so many existing producers, manufacturers and companies who offer the public almost the same product. Product review can help consumers to select. All companies have their own and unique advertisements to promote their products. It will be a waste of time and money if consumer will buy different kinds of brands which only serve one purpose. That is why reviews will be of great help to consumers to help him come to a decision.

Be very careful when searching for product reviews online. Some are just bogus ideas or comments to encourage shoppers to go for that item. Double check the genuineness of the review. Global crisis is very prominent nowadays which affects our economy. It is not that easy to look and earn for money so be meticulous enough before spending your savings in a specific item especially if the item is a bit expensive.

Product reviews play an important role not only to consumers but also to the producers. Some deals are being made through an effective and efficient review.