Five Tips For a Healthy & Stress-Free Holiday Season

Halloween signals the beginning of the holiday season festivities. While it is the most wonderful time of year, it’s also a physically and emotionally taxing time as we try to make our holidays as perfect as a Norman Rockwell scene. Here are a few tips to de-stress the holiday season so that you can greet the New Year with excitement and energy instead of exhaustion!

1. Start planning now by creating a holiday season calendar. Include all your social activities as well as chores such as decorating, shopping, wrapping and baking. Take a serious look and if there is just too much there, get your red pen and start paring down the tasks and activities. Have a family meeting to decide what activities stay and what can go.

2. Make your health and well being a number one priority during the holiday season. Get enough sleep, eat well and make sure that exercising stays on your holiday planning calendar. If you can’t get to the gym, try getting to the mall early for a few laps before you start shopping. If you’re feeling good, you will be able to accomplish so much more and be happy doing it.

3. Remember that the holidays are about family, friends and being together, not about the decorations and elaborate meals. Make sure you are physically and emotionally present. Keep the cooking simple or even choose take-out. Don’t bake six different types of holiday cookies, choose one or two family favorites and fill in with the easy break and bake variety. They taste just as good, warm out of the oven, with a cup of marshmallow topped hot chocolate.

4. Cut your holiday card list down… way down. Take the time to send cards and personal notes to family and friends who you don’t see often. If you just can’t pare the list and break the tradition, don’t fall prey to the pre-printed label and card routine. There are some beautiful, cost-effective and environment friendly online cards that still have a very personal feel. Check out www.paperlesspost.com and www.pingg.com for ideas.

5. Most important, try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all your expectations. Even better, don’t have expectations and remember that you can only control your own behavior. Learn the power of taking a deep breath and counting to 10.

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