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Screw the Holiday Blues

14 Dec

The December/January issue of Men’s Fitness magazine, with Ben Roethlisberger on the cover, has a 7-step plan to give that foul holiday mood a serious beat-down.  “Happy holidays?  Bah, humbug.  For some guys, December is actually the darkest month, says Andrew Weil, M.D. ‘There’s a contradiction between expectations of joy and reality.’ he says. (The sucky economy doesn’t help.) Conquer the problem with these simple all natural mood boosters:

1. Get your ass to the gym. It’s still the best way to prevent the holiday funk.  A 2008 study backs this up: subjects who were most fit were also the least likely to experience depression.  Now that’s “lifting” your spirits.

2.  Strike a pose. Who knew “downward dog” would do more than simply make you think of sexy time?  Yoga is also an effective treatment for depression because it helps hike up levels of the same chemicals in the brain that are targeted by many antidepressants.

3.  “Wort” off the blues. Although St. John’s has not yet been proven effective against major depression, the over-the-counter herb can help minor depression.  It’s sold as a capsule, tea, or liquid extract.

4.  Let her (or him) tickle you. Maybe laughter is the best medicine.  According to a recent study, watching a funny flick may increase your body’s production of beta-endorphins, the family of chemicals that alleviate depression.

5.  Step into the light. Soak in as much bright light during the day as possible. Or invest in a light-therapy box, which mimics natural outdoor light, causing a biochemical change that lifts your mood.

6.  Go Fish. Depressed patients have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are primarily found in fish.  Weil says that just 2 to 3 grams of fish oil a day can leave you happier.

7.  Ho, Ho, Hold on to your wallet. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones still working, this isn’t the time to splurge.  Watch your spending for the rest of the month or you may feel anxious about that monstrous credit card bill coming in January.

The Look: Mad Men’s Don Draper

21 Nov

Want to look good?  Part of it is how you dress and part of it is how you act – or how confident you come off – in your own clothes.  Men look good in suits, but it can be a hindrance if they don’t look right on you or if you don’t feel confident in them.  In the November 2009 issue of Men’s Fitness magazine, there is an article titled “The Perfect Fit” that features mad Man’s Don Draper. “John Hamm is a modern-day style icon – even though the show is set in the 1960’s.  To help you rock the best of his classic vibe, here are tips on how to dress like Draper without looking as though you just stepped out of your father’s closet.”

Get a Custom Fit – Find a good tailor and bring in an armload of stuff from your closet. Most men buy their shirts and suits way too big. Have what you are not wearing taken in to give it new life. Then, when you are trying new items on, go for a smaller size than you normally would. You’ll end up looking leaner and the suit will feel as if it were made especially for you.

Get Your Swagger On – Once you’ve got Draper’s duds, then you need the attitude.  Use clothes to help you exude confidence. When you own your look, everyone around you knows it.

Don’t Be a Slob – Men in the 60’s didn’t wear clothing baggy.  Always opt for shirts and pants with flattering lines that contour the body.  In Don’ Draper’s world, a man should always look put-together.

Pay Attention To The Details – Accessories are the key to pulling off the Mad Men aesthetic.  Hats, tie bars, pocket squares, and watches provide a way for men who wear suits every day to show originality.  The must-have accessory is a slick pair of cuff links.

Embrace Color – The 60’s were all about rich browns, grays and blues.  Mixing those colors into your wardrobe doesn’t have to be difficult.  You probably already have them in your closet now, you just need to bring them out.  Teal and mustard yellow also capture the feel of that era.  A good move: buy a skinny tie (about 2 and a quarter inches wide) in one of those classic shades.