12 Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

12 Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

Eat Well

The holiday season is practically defined by edible temptations. Take the middle road–enjoy treats in moderation. You’ll feel deprived if you don’t indulge at all, so plan on some treats, and eat healthily when you’re not in social situations.

Maintain Your Exercise Routine

Even if your schedule is packed, reserve time for your workouts. You’ll need the endorphins and the stress release more than ever this time of year. By taking care of yourself, you’ll have more energy to take care of others.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

If you do overeat or skip a workout–life goes on! We’re all only humans doing our best, so chalk it up to a learning experience, try to do better, and move on.

Say “No”

Protect your time and energy by saying no to projects and social events that your heart isn’t in.

Simplify

Remember that the company, the laughter, and the togetherness are what make memories. Instead of fighting traffic to take the family to The Nutcracker, make a big pot of soup for your extended family to enjoy together, or order pizza and play games.

Resist Overspending

Don’t get caught up in consumerism. Plan a shopping and gift budget and stick to it. Don’t wait to the last minute to buy gifts–judgment flies out the window under pressure. You want fond memories of your holidays, not gnawing regrets when you open your credit card bills in January.

Ask for Help

Don’t try to do it all! Join forces with friends and family to tackle big holiday jobs like outdoor lights, Christmas tree shopping and decoration, and cookie baking. If you can’t get help or delegate, re-evaluate: How important is it, in the grand scheme of things?

Go Outside

Revitalize yourself with time outdoors. If you can catch some sunshine for a walk, fabulous. But even a walk in rain or snow is a powerful reset button. Take a stroll, breathe deeply, and if you can’t smell the roses, smell the fir trees.

Allow Extra Time

December is a big month for traffic. Parking spots are tight and tempers can be short. Allow extra time for your errands and your projects, so if things don’t go according to plan you can respond calmly.

Stick with the Tried and True

Maybe we have traditions because they’re easier than coming up with new ideas. There’s nothing wrong with doing it like you always have, whether it’s decorating, menu planning or outings. If it doesn’t bring you joy to try that new recipe for company, don’t do it.

Take Shortcuts

Buy cookie dough instead of making it. Try battery-powered lights in awkward spots. Pay a house cleaner. Pre-washed salad greens, pre-diced winter squash, deli soup–it’s not cheating, it’s taking care of yourself.

Have Fun

If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong! Holiday gatherings, traditions, feasts and family are supposed to make you happy. If they’re not–re-think your plans and your motives. Be sure to make time for light-hearted fun: a matinee with the family, a dog walk by the lake, eggnog by the fire. Hugs, family time, and R&R should be part of everyone’s holiday.

Last, but not least…be sure to take care of yourself and come in for an adjustment, massage, or physical therapy.


Tom Schmidt

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