15 minutes to your best self

January 3, 2008 7:04:47 PM PST
Self magazine's Editor-in-Chief Lucy Danziger has joined other editors to compile tips from one of the publication's most popular sections: "15 Minutes to Your Best Self." The book is packed with 573 time-saving fixes. Squeezing just a few small, quick changes could make a big difference in your health and your happiness. Check out a few of the simple tweaks you can make below and click here to read an excerpt.

Set Your Alarm Two Minutes Early

Set your alarm two minutes earlier than usual. When you wake up, don't hit snooze and use those two minutes to reflect on things you're thankful for. Don't think of this as losing precious sleep time but rather as gaining serenity that will last you all day long. Studies show that practicing grateful thinking makes people more energetic and enthusiastic.

Soothe Morning Moods With Apple or Vanilla Flavors

It just takes a minute to release some morning tension with a hot drink or some therapeutic sniffing. Instead of coffee, try hot cider or something with vanilla. Apple and vanilla scents increase the brain's calming waves.

Quick Fix for Rough, Itchy Skin

This takes just 30 seconds. Calm your skin when the temperature and humidity drop by mixing a 1 percent hydrocortisone cream 50-50 with your favorite lotion.

Flutter Eyelashes for Three Seconds

To reset your brain and give your workout a boost, flutter your eyelashes for three seconds, then blink slowly three times. The fast switch between light and dark triggers a mind-refresh reflex for a psychological surge

Keep Up Energy by Standing Up

Standing burns 17 percent more calories than sitting; so give up your seat on the bus or stand when you're on the phone. In a study, overweight people spent about 2½ more hours a day in their chairs than leaner people did.

Use Honey to Heal Wounds

Help your wound heal faster with a tablespoon of warmed honey applied on a gauze pad with medical tape. Honey contains enzymes that produce hydrogen peroxide, which kills germs, and its antioxidants may reduce inflammation.

Snack Smart

Enjoy 260 calories a day of snacks (160 calories if dieting). Split it into two satisfying snacks or enjoy one substantial mini-meal. Lots of options for satisfying your salty or sweet cravings.