5 Tips for Sane and Happy Holidays

Just thinking about the holiday season can raise stress levels, with all the shopping, decorating, parties, traveling, and family activities.

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Feeling worn out from all the demands? Here are my top 5 tips to keep your sanity and enjoy the season:

  1. Get out of your head and into your body. Nothing relieves stress like a good sweat. Feeling overwhelmed? Put on those sneakers and go for a brisk run. Getting daily physical activity is so important, not just to burn those extra Christmas cookie calories, but to give you a mental boost. Dance, walk your dog—anything, just find a way to move your body!
  2. Set your own schedule, so it doesn’t get set for you. With work holiday parties, family obligations, and friendly get-togethers, your days can fill up quickly. Where did the time go? When you receive an invitation, check your gut. If the idea of attending this event does not fill you with joy, say “No, thank you,” and don’t feel guilty about it.
  3. Find a way to give back. Getting wrapped up in the hustle and bustle makes it easy to forget about those less fortunate than us. Make it a point to donate funds, goods, or time to a worthy organization. It sets a good example for your children and helps keep you grounded.
  4. Go heavy on the whole foods. Limit the sugar and carbs. Traditional holiday foods can bring us back to happy memories of our childhood. But holiday calories count just as much as everyday calories, especially as we get older and our metabolism slows! It’s ok to sample desserts and high-fat dishes—in moderation. A good rule of thumb that works for me is to fill 75% of my plate with whole foods (buttery mashed potatoes don’t count).
  5. Do “good enough.” In the age of Pinterest-perfect crafts and recipes, we sometimes feel inadequate if we don’t make the holidays appear flawless and special. But don’t forget the point of it all: to appreciate the company of loved ones. Enjoying a wonderful time with family and friends is more important than impeccably-frosted cupcakes or elaborate party decorations. Your worth is not measured by doing everything for everyone. Focus on being happy and sharing love with the people around you, and that will make for a wondrous holiday season.

Now it’s your turn, what tips do you have to stay sane during the holidays?

Tell me in the comments below!

Photo credit: Jack on Flickr

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