4 self-care secrets for a joyful holiday season

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(BPT) - The holidays can be a happy yet hectic time. Between planning, cooking and hosting celebrations, your focus often shifts to the joy of others. As you check your list twice to make sure everyone else is having a merry holiday, don’t forget yourself. Prioritizing self-care is essential this time of year.

To make sure you can enjoy the festive season as much as possible, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner offers some tips to deck the halls with self-care this holiday.

1. Manage stress

As stress levels rise, your enjoyment of the holidays often goes down. It’s important to regularly exercise or meditate to manage stress. Find time daily, even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes between to-dos, to practice mindful activities such as yoga, journaling or even putting together a puzzle.

2. Rest well

With so much on your list, you may find yourself sleeping less. However, to feel and be your best around family and friends, you must get good sleep. Plan and adhere to earlier bedtimes and remember to reduce screen time and social media use to aid in relaxation. Reading a book instead of scrolling on your phone can help to wind down before bed.

3. Practice gratitude

Make a list of things you’re grateful for this year. Review and add to it as you feel overwhelmed. You may even consider volunteering with your loved ones to help foster joy in the true spirit of the holiday season.

4. Start new traditions

Embrace new traditions like participating in a weekly game night, visiting the local drive-in theater or baking holiday treats together with wholesome ingredients like Eggland’s Best eggs. These eggs contain superior nutrition such as six times more Vitamin D and 25% less saturated fat to boost heart health and your body’s immunity, both of which are important for overall wellness during the holiday season.

Check out these Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes from Eggland’s Best. They are baked in a muffin pan and have festive flavor, with a double dose of ginger thanks to a ginger snap crust, plus a delicious cream cheese filling with seasonal spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. Try it out with friends and family this season — it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any holiday gathering!

Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes

Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Yields: 6 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 12-15 gingersnaps
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

For the filling:

  • 1 Eggland's Best Large Egg
  • 1 Eggland's Best Large Egg Yolk
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dried ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • pinch of salt

Topping ideas: whipped cream, caramel, nuts, melted chocolate, toffee sauce, etc.

Directions:

1. Line your muffin/cupcake pan with 6 liners and preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Add the ginger snaps to a food processor fitted with metal blade, add butter and granulated sugar. Crush them to a fine powder.

3. Put a heaping tablespoon in each liner and press down using back of a cup or spoon. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, add all the ingredients under the filling (except topping) and using a hand mixer, beat until smooth and fluffy. Add about 1/3 cup on top of the crust. Once filled, tap the pan a few times to get rid of any air bubbles.

5. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until set; a little jiggly in the center is fine.

6. Once baked, switch off the stove, open the door and let the cakes cool for 10 minutes. Then, pull it out of the oven and transfer using a spatula to lift and place on a rack to cool down completely.

7. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight before serving. Add whipped cream and toppings if desired.